Caring For Baby: Daycare, Home Care, Parent Care, Family Care

Mother-to-be may work up to time to have the baby. Then the poor woman learns that sleep is often something she vaguely remembers from the past as she and the little one, with help from Dad, learn to adjust. After a short time, if the mother had worked before and needs to work again, the baby must be left somewhere during working hours. The choices of where baby will stay are mainly from daycare, in-home care, parent care, or family care.

Daycares come in two flavors: an organizational type, authorized daycare or a smaller daycare provided in someone’s home. The organizational or school type does provide “classes” for children enrolled, but there are anywhere from ten to fifteen children per “teacher” or care-giver. Most will not accept infants under three months old.

Some smaller in-home type daycares provide more individual attention for children enrolled and provides a more likely place for infants under three months of age. The problem is that too many “private” daycares accept too many charges for the number of adults caring for the young ones. Also, learning experiences aren’t always provided.

Home care may come in the form of a nanny or other care-giver who comes to the home of the infant or child. If both parents must work, and they have the income, this may be the “ideal” situation for the child and parents, as long as the care-giver can and will become a nurturing replacement for a parent during working hours. The baby or child should have more individual attention than in daycare.

Parent care, if the parent is willing to be at home with the baby, is probably the most beneficial for the child. Note the use of parent care rather than mother care. One couple has worked out a schedule so that while the mother works, the father stays home with the baby. The mother’s income is considerably higher than the father’s. Another couple change shifts: The mother works days while the father cares for the child; and the father works nights while the mother is home with baby. Values and experiences parents wish for the child aren’t compromised under such care.

Family care is another option that some parents find. A grandparent, aunt, cousin, or other family member either cares for the baby in the parents’ home or in his or her home. In such situations, if the care-giver is able, the child receives all the individual care as in any home and hopefully the training needed to prepare him or her for school and society.

The right decision depends on the family situation and even the sacrifices a mother or parents are giving to make for a baby. A must, though, if a baby is to be left in another’s care, is for parents to research and investigate before the need for child care arises.