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1 day of nursery a week for DD when I'm a SAHM

(18 Posts)
makeyourmindup Thu 21-Jul-11 11:22:18

I'm a SAHM which is great. (Going back to work not financially viable for me).

My DH is in a good job at the moment so we are doing ok for money. DH has offered to pay for DD, who is just 1, to go to nursery for 1 day a week - he thinks it will be good for her to socialise etc.

All those who have babies in nursery rave about how great it is for their progress, socialisation and happiness. So my motivation for possibly using a local nursery is because I feel she is missing out because she is with me all the time. I try to do lots with her but over the summer there is not much available.

Would going to a lot of groups/clubs be better than nursery? Will she struggle when she goes to pre-school next year because she has become too dependent on me?

Feel a bit confused and slightly guilty. I love being at home but worry about the effect on DD.

PGTip Thu 21-Jul-11 11:24:22

Mine went for 2 half days a week and I'm a sahm. Personally I didn't want them there for a full day and felt the half days were better, also meant they got used to going quicker.

sims2fan Thu 21-Jul-11 11:34:36

You being with the baby is all the socialisation she needs at this age.

Bramshott Thu 21-Jul-11 11:38:37

At 1, she doesn't NEED to go for socialising etc. How could she possibly be missing out when she has your 1 to 1 attention all the time?! But if you'd like a day to yourself, by all means send her. If not, revisit the questio with your DH once she's 2!

MovingAndScared Thu 21-Jul-11 12:48:22

I honestly think that until they are 21/2-3 or so - depending on the child then groups/meeting with friends - do you have some mum friends - are enough - but if you could do with a break then I think 2 half days a week is probably a good option as 1 day a week is quite hard to get used to - its not often enough

EssexGurl Thu 21-Jul-11 13:39:05

I am a SAHM and my DD goes to nursery 2 days a week. DS had gone 4 days a week when I worked and he absolutely loved it. Even though I stopped working after DD - due to DS going to school and difficulties finding childcare to suit working hours - DH and I agreed we wanted her to go as well. She started when she was 16 months. After a rocky start she loves it. She has a nice set of friends there and they do lots of activities that we wouldn't do at home - messy play, painting etc. We also do groups together but I do find that when we go together she will cling to me and not play with the other children so there is little in the way of "socialisation" there. She is a very full on 2 year old now. When we are at home I get nothing done. So the two days without her I do cleaning, shopping and also go swimming. I also get some 1-1 time with DS after school which helps him. All in all, I think it is great and it works for us.

greycircles Thu 21-Jul-11 13:47:17

It's up to you really. It is true that lots of younger ones who go to nursery seem more sociable when they are aged 1-2. I personally don't think that it is necessary (unless you want to) until they are 2.5-3. Once they are 3, I think they definitely benefit loads from some sort of nursery/preschool. I would also say that they miss out if they don't do anything outside the home once they are 3, but that's just my opinion.

My DS has just finished reception and out of the kids in his class, all had attended some form of nursery/preschool from age 3. Some had attended nurseries from when they were babies, but there are no social differences/trends resulting from this - by the time they are 5, I think it's really just their own personalities coming out. It is important to get them into something before they go to school though, otherwise it will be quite a shock.

Pussinglads Thu 21-Jul-11 13:48:35

Sounds good to me - but like others have said, maybe 2 half days would be better?
My dd will be going for 3 mornings when she's 1 and I can't wait (will be back at work, but work from home. In my fantasy world, I'll spend this time sleeping and doing housework, while the paid work still gets done...).

Llanarth Thu 21-Jul-11 13:49:29

two half days are also better from a physiological point of view. One of the reasons why 'experts' such as Oliver James do not advocate children under 3 being in group childcare is to do with cortisol levels. When cared for at home, a typical babies' cortisol profile would peak late morning then gradually return to baseline levels over the afternoon. In childcare, the cortisol levels rise steadily throughout the day. The concern is that with group childcare, as well as higher cortisol levels per se, there is not enough wind-down time before bedtime for them to return to baseline, potentially causing long-term problems. With two half days, the cortisol levels will not get to rise as high, and there will be time for levels to return to baseline once back in your care. Google "cortisol levels group childcare" if interested.

If you need/would enjoy the break then go for it (I did, I needed one morning a week to keep my sanity!) but certainly don't waste any time feeling guilty for NOT doing it - the latest research supports your status quo as the best possible start for your DD

BornToFolk Thu 21-Jul-11 13:52:14

If you feel like you want a break one day a week, then go for it but like others, I don't think it's necessary for a 1 year old to socialise at nursery.
I went back to work when DS was a year old and he started nursery 3 days a week then. Although the care he got has always been excellent I don't really feel like he got much out of it until he was around 2 and could fully take advantage of all the things we couldn't do at home (painting all the time, loads of play equipment in the garden etc)
Now he's 3 and really benefits from nursery in terms of learning how to get on with other kids etc but he would have gone at 3 anyway, whether I'd been working or not.

swash Thu 21-Jul-11 14:29:30

Agree that you should do it if you want a break, but not otherwise. They need socialising from 3 (or maybe 2.5). Before that, it is more about your needs than theirs I think.

matana Thu 21-Jul-11 18:16:25

Two half days might be better for both of you. If she's the kind of child who you think will thrive on interaction then go for it. Don't forget it gives you some free time too, either to chill out or get things done - everyone's a winner. I'm actually quite envy that you only have the dilemma by choice and only about whether to send her to nursery for a day. I go back to work full time in August when DS will be 10 months and he'll go to a childminder.

So the talk about cortisol levels from Llanarth hasn't helped ease my conscience.... sad

Whatever you choose, you must feel comfortable with it.

Decorhate Thu 21-Jul-11 18:24:37

I think how sociable a child is has probably more to do with their personality than whether or not they have been in formal childcare...

My eldest went to nursery fulltime when she was 6 months old ad I went back to work. She is quite confident & sociable, though not the "Queen Bee" type.

I gave up work when I had my second dc, went to loads of groups with him - things I hadn't had the chance to do with my dd. He is the least confident of my children.

I didn't bother with groups for my youngest, apart from the local toddler group once a week. He us the most sociable & popular of my 3 dcs...

Llanarth Thu 21-Jul-11 20:15:13

matana sorry didn't want to upset anyone, I obviously wouldn't bring up the cortisol issue on a thread where someone was needing to use a nursery because of a return to work, but I do think it's worth mentioning if someone is deciding whether to use a nursery by choice, especially as it would seem to suggest that two shorter days are better than one long day (and as I said, I read the research and then put my son in a nursery one morning a week anyway as I needed the break!).

But for you, the good news is that the results were from group daycare, i.e. a nursery setting, in a home setting with a childminder the patterns would be the same as at home with the parent - that's the main advantage of childminders versus nurseries, they more closely mimic the way babies have evolved to be raised smile

ChocolateIsAFoodGroup Thu 21-Jul-11 21:21:36

At one, your DC really doesn't need nursery for the socialization, I promise you (as others have said). If, however, you need the break (and who doesn't need the break, or would leap at the chance at having one, if they could afford it?!) then what about a babysitter? I get 6 hours during the week, in two blocks of 3 hours, and it's just perfect - good amount of time to do stuff for myself. However, I'm totally aware this is because I would like a break - DD would be completely happy being with just me 24/7

Background: Am full time SAHM, have 4 year old DS who is in part time nursery - didn't start going till he was 3.3, though. They really don't need it until 2.5 at the earliest. Seriously.

matana Thu 21-Jul-11 21:28:45

Thanks Llanarth, that does make me feel better smile

I'm just getting a bit jittery about having so little time left with my DS. I can't believe how quickly the time has gone.

I'm absolutely happy with his childminder though - she looked after my stepdaughters (11 and 14) and they loved her to bits. He's also had some settling in time and loves it there, seems to thrive on it. It'll hurt me more than it hurts him that's for sure.

pozzled Thu 21-Jul-11 21:39:04

I agree with other posters- she doesn't need the social aspects at the age of one. She is getting loads of benefits from being at home with you and going to groups etc. Do you have any friends with children close to her age? My DD has been at nursery since she was a year, but her closest 'friends' are still the children of people I met through a postnatal group.

I also agree that two half days would be better than a full day.

makeyourmindup Fri 22-Jul-11 08:07:48

Thanks very much for the advice everyone. I don't desperately need a break so might put it off until she is a bit older. Luckily my Mum is due to retire very soon and perhaps in the new year, after she has had a bit of a rest, she'll look after DD for a few hours once a week. Feel much happier about DD's development and so on too.

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