Childcare advise needed
I was originally thinking that I could be at home with my daughter for the first 5 months but now that is not going to be possible. So I'd like some opinions on the logistics of child care, especially for commuting moms.
Here's an overview of what I'm looking at:
DH job: close to home, but inflexible in schedule--it would be extremely unlikely that he could leave to get her for illness or whatever reason
Me: far from home (60ish miles, hour+ commute), in school--so very flexible schedule except for 3-4 hours a week I couldn't drop what I was doing without advance notice
So my question is, do I look for childcare close to where I will be or close to home? If we pick close to home (or even in-home care) how big of an issue is it that I couldn't get there for at least an hour and a half?
I think I would go with close to you. If you will be breastfeeding, you could go and nurse her if she was close by. And she wouldn't have to be at daycare as long because you wouldn't be picking up/dropping off an hour before/later, if that makes sense.
I would also go with close to your work especially if you will be breastfeeding. You could then drive to drop her off, nurse her, nurse for lunch if you like, pick her up, nurse her and then go home. You'll likely want to pump less and nurse more! Heck, if your schedule is very flexible and she was super close maybe you wouldn't need to pump at all.
You will also want to be able to pick her up much quicker than 1.5 hours if she is sick. Trust me! Your care provider would also much rather you pick her up sooner rather than later.
I always chose close to home regardless of BF. My children did horribly on car rides as babies and toddlers. Long commute has been a nightmare for many babies I know not to mention that those who are OK with it fall asleep and that screws their nap and sleep schedule. I am very much pro BF (BF both of mine for close to 3 years) but there is no way I would choose long commute with a child. Pumping is not fun but I would rather pump more
Interesting perspective on the car ride aspect, I wasn't really considering that. Since she is a summer baby and I live in GA where it is routinely 85-90 or more degrees, would longer car rides every day pose a risk for dehydration?
My babies have been great with car rides, so I would choose close to me. If you have air conditioning in your car (which I assume you do since you live in a hot area) I don't think there would be any risk for dehydration or overheating. I agree that an extra hour for the commute adds up. Also, if something happened with my baby, I would want to get to her as soon as possible, not wait an hour+ and be a nervous wreck while driving.
I think the risk of dehydration in the summer in general is worst I think though if you take precautions you should be fine. :) Cody come home to 98 degree weather and many weeks PP after that. We had a hot summer when Cody was born and he pretty much lived in short sleeve onesis for the first month of life we took a thin receiving blanket for travel but, babies actually don't get cold all the time like I thought. I warm so was he so you can dress baby girl for comfort and she should be fine. I think care.com has some excellent choices for childcare they have some people on there that have CPR certification, first aid, and a background check. Explore the costs If I were to go back to work I would feel more comfortable in a smaller setting for my kids. You might find a single old lady who wants to fill time and could come to your house or a summer break person from college. Usually home childcare is more affordable from what I've heard from other moms and more personable. However some states do not require for the daycare person to be licensed for a certain amount of kids which isn't always a bad thing but, its all about your comfort level. I know here people can watch 5 non-family children at one time without a license plus any of their natural children don't count with that five so in all reality if someone has five natural kids and five kids to babysit then that's 10 kids in 1 house! I would regardless feel better with a daycare closer to work. I hope you are able to find what you are looking for. :hugs:
I do not think there is risk of dehydration if you have working AC in the car but other things to consider even if she is great on rides, which I would not assume just like I would not assume that a child will be born to be great sleeper, great eater etc., is that you may need to make frequent stops to change poop diapers (she can get rashes), nurse her in the middle of the way coz she will scream her head off, if she is sick (contrary to the suggestion that you should be close to her) what would you do if she has fever in the car? she will be a mess, crying and screaming... how are you going to console her and calm her down. If she is upset you are more likely to get into an accident.
I live in an area where we experience high traffic and sometimes I spend long time to get to a spot which is not that far. I have experience with a screaming child and this is after the time my kids got accustomed to car rides. It is not as simple as just having an easy baby. An easy baby also has bad days and you will have to ride with her on these bad days.
If there is a true emergency, the caregiver must call 911 and then you. For situations that are not dire, they will call you. In all likelihood, she will be calm by the time you get there even if you work real close. If she is sick, she will want you to hold her which you cannot do in the car.
I think our instincts tell us to be close to the baby, just in case, but if you think about it, it does not necessarily work that way.
Without a doubt, I choose close to you. I work 25 miles from home and absolutely would not be ok with being that far from my kids all day, every work day. If they need me, I want to be able to get there in a hurry (and have needed to rush over to daycare a few times because of strange symptoms). My hubby works in a town closer to home, but he is out on jobsites and diving truck, etc. He can't even be reached sometimes because of lack of signal in some areas. I found the most awesome daycare 4 minutes from my work and a preschool about 5 minutes from there. Works perfectly for us and sooooo much easier for appointments or urgent care visits. There have been times I needed to run to the store and bring something to them as well.
ETA: FWIW... my kids have always done pretty well in the car. When they were babies, they would just nap a lot through the ride and it worked out fine. Granted, our drive is more like half and hour. It's hard to say how your child will do. We keep lots of snacks, toys, kid music, books and drawing/coloring supplies in the van. There were a few times they cried half the way, but that's life. They adjusted pretty well even as tiny babies. Also, with such a long drive, a little mirror so you can see baby's face is an absolute must.
I would go with your intuition at first but have a plan B. Before the baby comes, I would look at places close to work and close to home and that way you will know where to turn should plan A not work out. My DS would have been fine in the car and my DD screamed through a 5 minute drive to the grocery store (she is still antsy and often complains on longer rides where DS is a very easy traveller). You just never know.
One thing you will also need to consider is how flexible the childcare is about pick up time. Will anything closer to home be open long enough for you to pick her up? Years ago when I was still working and considering having kids, my only option would have been a childcare closer to work (I lived 30 miles away) becuase children had to be picked up by 5:30 PM. There were very few places with flexible schedule for early drop off and late pick up.
Add me to the list of people whose kid went ballistic in the car. We barely left the house for months unless it was an absolute necessity because of the screaming. If I would have had to travel an hour and a half with him everyday I would've lost my mind.
If you went with a childcare closer to your home, would you have someone (mom, sister, neighbor, friend?) who could pick up the baby if she was sick or there was an emergency?
I would say close to your work too. When I was a nursing student I would drop off DD on my way to school...school was 2 hours one way. It's more peace of mind too. Or that's my 2 cents anyways!
This is another issue, no we don't, not anyone reliable. My DH aunt lives next door and while I trust her to babysit, she travels too much to be an emergency contact.
Originally Posted by kmrk336
My instinct tells me to keep her close, like you all have mentioned, so that's what I'm going to do, even if she turns out to hate the ride. We'll just to have to figure it out.
The day cares around the university are pretty flexible because they have professors and students as clients. Many even offer partial week schedules to accommodate people that only have class certain days a week. I wish that were possible but it seems like I always get a M-F schedule. :(
At first, my thought was to have the baby close to you, but then I thought, if your child does get sick, and you need to pick them up, and hour+ home will be difficult. What if she is sick and vomiting. I am not sure you would want a sick baby in the car for that long.
My kids also hated the car in the beginning. Even now, an hour is long for them to be in the car. 2 hours/day is really a long time for a child to be in the car.