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- Is there an ideal age to start daycare?
- The benefits of daycare for a child
- How can you ensure that your start at daycare goes well?
Is there an ideal age to start daycare?
The crèches can accommodate babies from 2 months old. Before looking at the ideal age for starting daycare, it should be noted that some mothers simply have no choice. Postnatal leave lasts 10 weeks in France (in the case of a first single pregnancy), and many women do not have the possibility, for various reasons, to extend it with RTT or to follow up with leave parental care until the child is 12 months or 2 years old. In this case, baby will head to the nursery when he is 2 and a half months old... which can be experienced very well by both sides, as well as being a real heartbreak after several weeks spent alone.
Others are on the waiting list and the situation is resolved almost overnight: in this case, it is difficult to predict and really choose when baby starts daycare...
Finally, some mothers have decided to put their work on hold to spend all their days with their little one, but would like to have a little time for themselves or allow them to spend a few hours a week with other children. In this case, it is not uncommon to start daycare later.
If, however, you have a little flexibility to start childcare, then the ideal is to start when you feel ready and when the moment seems ideal for baby, a notion which can vary enormously from one mother to another. If you are comfortable with the idea of entrusting the apple of your eye to a childminder or another person, if you want him to meet other children, if you want to take on certain projects again... The time may be having come to consider a (small) separation.
If you can, avoid the baby's 8-9 month period, during which the feeling of abandonment often appears. This is a period during which the child cannot bear to see you move away: he expresses it with loud cries and cries as soon as you disappear from his sight, even if you simply pass into the next room . These moments are particularly difficult for parents and their baby, so you might as well not combine them with the start of your childcare…
The benefits of daycare for a child
The main advantage of the crèche is of course introducing your baby to community life! Accompanied by children of his age, and older ones who will come to stimulate him, a whole new world awaits him! The nursery is a place of learning, where lots of activities will be offered: coloring, painting, construction games, songs, play mats, rattles, nursery rhymes... your little one will be kept busy and certainly very proud to share their learning. with you. Another interesting point: children who have attended a reception structure are used to growing up in groups and generally adapt very well to the first year of school.
The childcare assistants who will look after him are qualified and trained in early childhood professions to take care of babies at all ages. You entrust your child to experienced professionals, who will be able to meet their needs. The cleanliness of the premises is guaranteed, the toys are safe and adapted to the age of your child – the Maternal and Child Protection (PMI) in your region also carries out regular checks in the crèche to ensure this.
The other side of the coin – which you have certainly heard about: microbes circulate in large numbers in this closed space and your little one risks a series of colds, tonsillitis and other small illnesses which will put a lot of strain on their immune defenses ;-)
How can you ensure that your start at daycare goes well?
We often talk about the baby's adaptation, but let's not forget the adaptation of the mother who will also experience a big change in her daily life. It is not always possible to choose your structure: private micro-crèche, company crèches or establishments managed by the town hall: getting a place is sometimes an obstacle course! However, do not hesitate, beforehand, to meet the staff and visit the premises, to better understand how the establishment works (which can vary from one crèche to another) and to ensure that the feeling passes.
Take the time to undergo an adaptation period: this is often obligatory for the well-being of children and parents. You will, firstly, spend a moment there with your little one, to familiarize him with the place, then a little longer, leave him alone for an hour, then a morning, then a full day... And the separation will happen naturally.
To make starting daycare easier, think about so-called “transition” objects: a cuddly toy, a pacifier that he uses at home, and that he can take with him. A tip that many mothers have adopted : sleep with a soft toy, a t-shirt or a fabric that the child will keep with him during the day. The object will have taken on your scent and it will comfort it in your absence.
It's often said that children sense their parents' fears and stress, so try to stay calm. If you are completely confident when you put your baby down, your baby will feel it and start their day in a positive and serene atmosphere. All this to better get together in the evening with your family, and fill up on hugs and kisses!