What happened when I sent my son to daycare
Before Levi was born, I had secured him a spot at a daycare centre. That many people told me to put my name down at multiple centres because spaces were in short supply.
We didn’t know whether we were having a boy or girl so TBC Harrington was on the waiting list at seven different daycare centres in Canberra.
I toured them all. Some I got a good vibe from while others I just didn’t like.
In the end, I got my top pick.
Here’s a hot tip. Turns out January is a good time to start your little one at daycare because children are moving up to different rooms or going to big school and spaces become available.
Levi’s daycare had an orientation week, also known as settling in. On day one Duncan, Levi and I went along, met the educators (they are all women) and Levi had a play.
We were given an overview of the curriculum – playtime inside and outside, story time, excursions to the music room and to see the chickens.
All meals are provided because we can’t bring any food in (allergies) and seriously Levi eats a better lunch than I do. I’m talking chicken carbonara, fish curry, macaroni cheese – the menu is gourmet.
What happens that first week depends on your child. Levi seemed comfortable playing and exploring so on day one we were told to leave and come back in an hour. He was totally fine when we left. There were no tears and that was a big relief.
When I got home I didn’t know what to do with myself. The house was creepily quiet. I ended up sitting and having a cup of tea.
On day two Levi went in after his morning nap, had lunch there and even managed an afternoon sleep.
On day three he vomited during breakfast (he picked up gastro) so we kept him home for a couple of days.
I was all prepared for Levi to pick up some bugs but gastro as the first one was a little unfair.
Levi had never been in that close contact with so many other babies so he was bound to get sick. He’s pretty much had a runny nose or cough ever since.
On Friday Levi spent the whole day at daycare, had two naps ate heaps of food and had such fun. I was so happy to leave him there, knowing he was in good hands and was enjoying himself.
If you think about it, there are new toys, so many of them and so many people to pay him attention.
We had just started sleep training Levi (which I’ll talk about in another post soon) so it was a bit disjointed having him at daycare three days and home for the rest of the week, trying to implement a new routine.
The educators were so accommodating. I told them when he needed to be put to sleep, how he needed to be comforted, the maximum length his morning nap should be and nothing was too much trouble. They wanted to make the transition as easy as possible for all of us.
It was tough and didn’t go to plan at the beginning. Levi took some time adjusting to the new sleeping arrangements. He cried and didn’t have very long naps. It stressed me out but has come good (in hindsight, I shouldn’t have worked myself up so much about it) and while we still have bad days, there aren’t that many of them.
Levi loves daycare. As soon as I put him down he’s off to play and when I say goodbye I get a wave and a smile. No tears. Sometimes he even walks me to the door!
When I pick him up he comes to give me a hug. I miss him while I’m at work but have complete faith in the fabulous educators at daycare. These women are incredible, not only because they clean many dirty nappies a day, but they are helping shape the minds of the most important little people to us and they do it with love and kindness.