Tomorrow starts a new chapter for my son: he is going to daycare! This was a tough decision for me because up until now, he has been given one-on-one attention by his nana and nanny. So not only has he been cherished, he also has not been sick and I have not had to stress about getting him to daycare on time every day with every single thing he may need for that day.
But now that is changing and I need help convincing myself that this is actually a good thing for my sweet baby, so here we go, five reasons it is okay to put your baby in daycare.
1. Babies need to be social
Probably one of the biggest benefits of putting your child in daycare is that they will be around other children their age. An environment like this allows children to learn social graces that would otherwise not be developed until preschool or kindergarten and by then the child may be too old to quickly catch on to concepts such as sharing or playing nice.
2. Babies need a schedule
One of the greatest needs of a child is routine and schedule. They crave it even though they can’t exactly articulate it quite yet. Luckily, daycares operate at their best when they adhere to strict schedules so you can expect your child to start abiding by one if they have not done so yet.
This is good news for me because my son eats and sleeps whenever and wherever he wants at this point. And why not? He has been the center of our universe for the past nine months. But alas, that is not how the real world works, so a schedule will be a welcomed change for all in involved (I hope).
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3. They need to build immunity
Sure, my son may bring home more colds and bugs over the next few years than he would if were kept at home. But studies also show that by the time he’s in grade school, he will be sick less often than children who did not go to daycare. Yay for immunity building!
4. They need stimulation to grow
Daycares do a great job at stimulating young minds through crafts and lessons tailored to the child’s age. It may look like just another construction paper turkey to you, but actually, it is a development exercise and your child is learning skills they will need for grade school. Studies show that daycare children have higher intellectual abilities, so sign me up!
5. Mamas need grown-up time
Although it is hard to drop your baby off at daycare for the day and to trust practical strangers to look after them, it is truly vital to you as a parent and woman to have time away from your children. You need space to handle grown-up tasks, relax and play! Trust me, you will be a better parent for it.
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Daycare is a big step for both a parent and a child. And admittedly, it is one that I do not know if I am ready to take tomorrow! But, reading over this list helps me remember that my child (and I) will be better off because of it. Do you think it is okay to put your little one in daycare?