By Fredrica Syren
On January 2nd my son Noah just turned one, an age that (I hear) children need socialization by spending time with other kids their own age. I feel torn as to what to do at this point. I have not yet felt the need to send him to daycare because, since I work from home and have help, I can work while he naps. (Thank God for a good napper.)
With my daughter Bella, I stayed home until she was 10½ months old, and when I got a job offer outside the home, we found a wonderful daycare run by a former preschool teacher. The daycare was also small, with only four kids, so Annie had time to take them places and spend lots of quality time with the children. She taught them so much that it was an easy choice for us.
Bella left daycare and started preschool at the Waldorf Institute when Annie was having a baby right before we had Noah. The transition for Bella was hard, going from a group of 4 kids to a group of 10-12 and adjusting to new routines. She was extremely shy and if not among the first kids to be dropped off, she would stand in a corner and take her time getting comfortable before joining in play. In September she graduated to kindergarten and is doing so well — loves her school, her teacher, her friends; and she is not shy at all. She is in school half day and spends the other half at home with me or sometimes at a play date. When it comes down to it, I don’t know if being in daycare made a difference or not.
Noah is quite attached to us and not very excited to have strangers hold him, which I know is very common. He likes to play and to be around other kids, but I have not seen him play with other kids. I’m thinking of compromising by taking him to Gymboree class and play dates. It’s hard because I hear and read so many different opinions that I don’t know what to think or to do yet. Part of me wants to keep him home as long as possible because he will be a baby for only so long, and he really fills my heart with such joy each day.
What are your thoughts and opinions?