Published February 13, 2008 by
It’s almost certain that every parent trying to find a good day care situation has thought of the sexual abuse that has been reported in the media. How do you know that you are leaving your child in a safe place and what are the different options?
Breastfeeding can be a problem of convenience, though for some working women who are adaptable and willing to experiment, it is possible to have the best of both worlds-working and nursing. Your success will depend on your working conditions, your day care arrangements, your milk supply, and other factors. The tiniest of babies can be incredibly flexible, and you may be able to nurse the baby in the evenings and on the weekends when you are at home and have your caregiver feed the baby bottles of formula or your expressed breast milk. Your breast milk can be safely stored by refrigerating it for up to twenty-four hours or freezing it for two weeks. An occasional woman is lucky enough to find as a caregiver a nursing mother who will feed her infant charge as well as her own baby.
First, consider your child’s needs. Some centers may expect your child to play quietly and read baby board books all day, others may provide a preschool atmosphere with structured activities. Consider how many children will be there during the day, large groups may not work well for a shy, easily “lost” child. The point here is that the “ideal” daycare situation will be different for each child. One one-year old may be ready for a structured preschool type day care center, while another may be much happier staying with a neighbor.
Consider your needs. What hours will you need care, and what location will be the most convenient? And don’t forget to consider how much you can afford.
The most difficult problem is leaving a baby only a few weeks old is that of finding adequate care for him of her while you are gone. Most new mothers who return to work leave their babies with trusted and competent relatives. If you do not have family members who can provide this care, you my have trouble finding a sitter or day care center that will accept responsibility for such a young baby, and charges will probably be higher than they would for an older baby.