Preparing your Baby for Group Care

0-6 Months

  • No co-sleeping let them sleep in their own crib preferably in their own room away from you.

  • No baby wearing
  • Start sleep training very early on.  The Sleep Lady's Good Night Sleep Tight
  • No attachment parenting
  • Put them to bed fully awake NOT asleep after rocking them.
  • Gradually start NOT jumping every time they cry. As a child gets a few months old you can talk to them, letting them know you will be there in a second.  Sing and then go to them.  Especially if you know they have been fed, napped, clean etc. 
  • Start belly time very early on on the floor.  Get them out of the swing, and all these electronic devices that keep them entertained.  Let them learn to exist without flashy lights, an adult constantly entertaining, holding, swinging them. 
  • Belly time early also prevents a flat head and helps them work their muscles and giving them the ability and space to start lifting themselves up and crawling.  A child can't do that in a bouncy, swing, or excersaucer. 
  • They will cry at first with belly time, pay attention, gradually work up to longer periods of floor time. 
  • Finally just imagine what you would do and how you would prioritize care if you had multiple kids.  It is sorta like triage in an E.R.  

6-12 Months

  • All I mentioned above but even more of it.  This age babies learn what to do to get whatever reaction they want from their caregivers. They have figured it out.  This is also the stage where separation anxiety kicks into high gear.  Google 'separation anxiety' and use those tips.  It is a hard phase, but if consistent you both will survive with your sanity and eardrums in tact :)

  • This is also an age where many parents go back to work and it is a hard age to transition.  You have a double whammy of them only knowing mom and one on one care and separation anxiety starting.  My experience is that these are some of the hardest babies to get used to daycare.  Not impossible but a hard time to do it.  So moms just be prepared for a few tears, but they will be fine :)
  • Babies should be crawling and walking during this stage.  Again I can not emphasize it enough, almost 100% floor time during this age.  They will not learn unless they have to.  Get them out of the bouncy and excersaucer and provide a bit of tough love and let them work those muscles and learn to crawl, and start pulling up.  Those bouncy and excersaucers only work one main muscle, being on the floor teaches them to learn how to use all of them in harmony.
  • If you haven't already, start them on a regular eating schedule, don't let them graze.  Though some may say that is a preferred way to eat.  The realities of the daycare environment and time mgmt. state I have to eat at scheduled times. 
  • Keep on a nap/ and bedtime routine.  Falling asleep whenever they want is not ideal for good behavior and a happy baby.  Sleep deprivation is common in kids and makes them cranky the next day.  Babies and young toddlers should be sleeping 12 hrs at night and 1-2 long couple hr naps a day. 

12+ Months

  • All the above plus hopefully if you are now headed back to work you have been taking them on play dates. Working on socialization, not home all day alone with them or the grandparents.


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