Is this daycare or Animal House?
September 1, 2014 6:58 AM Subscribe
My child just had her first day of daycare (6 months old). I'm a bit freaked out by how crazy it seemed. Is this normal?
posted by caoimhe to Human Relations (23 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
We just moved to a new city, and basically had to organize daycare without visiting a lot of places. The city we now live in is HIGHLY competitive for the really well-known daycares (we're talking wait lists over a year long, some into 2016, however that is possible!) -- we got on those lists and took a temporary spot at the daycare near my husband's job. We didn't see it initially because we couldn't travel there, but talked to some people who had kids there who said it was a good place, it has a decent government rating, and we decided to sign up at least for the first few months that we arrived and were settling in, hoping a place in another school would open up (where we could tour, etc.)
Today we went for our first day (a short day to get her settled in.) Boy, am I kind of freaked out. It is LOUD. There aren't even that many kids in the class (within the state guidelines teacher/child ratio, and she has one person assigned to her primarily) but it is SO LOUD. Babies/kids were just screaming endlessly -- not as I could see it because they were being abused or anything, they were just -- loud. My daughter is not used to that and seemed a bit dazed by it all. Also, they have the kids sleep in these pack n plays in the open, with these really bright lights on. No way that's going to happen sleep wise. (Or does she just get used to it?) And geez, the colors in there -- all fluorescent pink and blue and red, and a zillion toys and things to do, it just seemed crazy overstimulating. Not an inch of wall space left uncovered.
On the plus side, the people there seemed nice (and laid back); they seem willing to follow any instructions we give them (feed on demand, etc.). It's close to my husband's work so he could stop in on her frequently. It's within our budget. The other parents seemed very friendly and warm.
I haven't really visited any other daycares yet (am scheduled to) so I'm not sure if this is all just how daycare is or if it's just this one. And if all daycares are like this, if it's a bad idea to send her there.
So TLDR: is it normal and okay for a six month old to spend all day in a place that is LOUD (I really cannot emphasize how loud and crazy it seemed), with REALLY BRIGHT fluorescent lights that are only dimmed for a prescheduled naptime after lunch (she usually takes more naps than this -- not a scheduled baby yet at least) and with an extremely stimulating environment? She's scheduled to be there three days a week.
Or am I just being a nervous mother? Are all daycares like this -- even the really good ones? I'm not into hiring a nanny because we can't really afford it, I don't like the lack of oversight, and I really don't want to be someone's employer. My situation is such that I COULD stay home with her, but I'm really for lots of reasons trying to find a good job and advance a burgeoning career; I'm at the point where it's kind of do or die for me workwise. I'm not suited in general, I think, to be a full time parent. But obviously she comes first!!
Help, working parents!