My Struggles with Sending My Baby to Daycare

breast pump and prepared bottles
Image via Mindi Stavish

After the birth of a child, most, if not all mothers struggle with certain aspects of caring for a new baby.  Some moms find it difficult to recover from birth, while others battle breastfeeding woes, including cracked nipples, mastitis and engorgement.  I had a very tramuatic birth experience with my first child.  Recovery was difficult but I was in such bliss over having a new baby so I just got through it without complaining.  As the weeks passed by after his birth, I physically started to feel stronger each day.  By twelve weeks I started working out again and couldn't have been happier.  Then at fourteen weeks I returned to work full time, after enjoying time at home with my baby.    

Immediately after the return to work, I experienced extreme depression that lasted for several months.  Beyond the obvious “I miss the child that I just spent 14 weeks of my life rocking, cuddling and nursing.”, there were many different aspects of having my child in daycare that I completely hated.  Unfortunately due to high student loans and a mortgage, staying at home just wasn't and still isn't an option.      

{ MORE: Don't Let Maternity Leave Turn into a Nightmare: 6 Maternity Leave Tips }

After the birth of my second and third child, I dreaded the end of my maternity leave.  Again I felt sad and anxious throughout the work day and looked forward to daycare pick up.  My children attend a home daycare just a few blocks from our house.  They are well cared for, yet it will never be enough because it's not me.  My third child, especially, had a difficult time with the transition to daycare.  He was a rather needy baby and enjoyed being held throughout most of the day.  Since I babywear, it felt natural and was certainly not a hassle to me that he wanted to kept close,  after all, this was totally normal newborn behavior.  Yet, at daycare there is no time for cuddling a baby throughout the day.  I remember how sad I felt for my baby when my childcare provider said she was not open to babywearing, because she felt that she would give him whiplash.  She then said they were working on “training him to get used to being put in a bouncy chair or swing.”.  The word training just did not sit well with me or my parenting style at all.  

{ MORE: 5 Things to Look for in a Potential Daycare Center }

Throughout that first year of my baby's life, I thought about switching daycare providers several times.  As much as I appreciate how hard our childcare providers work and truly do love our children, it is just not the ideal situation for a baby.  However, with two other boys at the daycare, I had them to think about as well.  The transition to a different daycare would have been difficult and not fair.  Instead I continued to suck it up and enjoy the evenings and weekends with him.  It wasn't ideal, but the best I could do.  

What was the most challenging part of sending your baby off to daycare for you and your child? 


What do you think?

My Struggles with Sending My Baby to Daycare

Mindi is a working mom with three boys ages 4, 2, and an infant (born June 2013). She spent her first 8 years of her career in Speech-Language Pathology at a Children's Hospital. She currently works with adults and children in home health. The real fun for her happens when she is at home with her boys, chasing them around and pretending to be a super hero. She blogs about life as a working mom at Simply Stavish. Her weekly feature, Words in the Sand, teaches parents how to grow their child's s ... More

Tell us what you think!


  1. Dara says:

    It’s heartbreaking to think that my daughter isn’t getting the same affection/attention at the babysitters as she would with me. Sometimes I wonder if I could do part-time just to be able to spend more time with her. It gets harder to go work everyday.

  2. ovation says:

    After my first was born my very dear and close friend was a stay at home mom so she watched my son when I returned to work after 8 weeks. Even though I love her like a sister it was awful having to just leave my baby. I couldn’t wait to get off work and pick him up. She was wonderful she cuddled him and treated him like one of her own. She even sent me cute pics throughout the day to make my day better. But still it was super hard to leave him everyday. I couldn’t wait til the weekends. I think it’s just the over all fact that you have to leave them and it rips at every fiber of u being mom. I’ve been lucky enough with our second one that I’ve been able to stay home. Now there’s days I can’t wait to be by myself! Even if it’s a trip to the grocery store. Lol.

  3. Kristin says:

    I wasn’t upset leaving my first baby with a babysitter. I suppose I felt like it was healthy for her to be away from me so she wasn’t clingy. We had a wonderful bonding experience from the moment she was born. Now with my second child, the birth experience was horrific but there were traumatic aspects about it. So bonding with her over my maternity leave was very meaningful to me. Again, I wasn’t upset leaving her until recently. My children are so precious to me and the longer I am away the more upset i get about leaving them.

  4. Lorisa says:

    I’m so nervous about sending my baby to daycare, when I had my son my husband and I both worked shift work so one of us was always home with him. Now my husband work out of town for 8 days then home for 4 so that is no longer an option. I have 6 weeks maternity leave and additional 6 with FML only I was put on bed rest at 32 weeks and I’m going thru my leave.

  5. Corrie says:

    I don’t get any time for maternity leave, unless I can save up a week of vacation by the time he or she comes, I’m not even sure if my work will let me do part time, I’m a little concerned with what to do… With my last one my mother watched him until he was over a year but that was 6 years ago and she doesn’t think she will be up for it so now I guess its time to start looking for places that will watch new born 🙁

  6. Schazaura says:

    I had my first baby in July, and then I started college at the beginning of this month, so I barely got any time to spend at home with my little one. When I dropped him off on the first day i felt like crying because it felt like he was going to forget me. I’ve gotten used to it, and one up side is that my husband (who is taking a few less credits than I am for some reason) gets to bond with the baby more 🙂 But I always look forward to coming home at the end of the day to my adorable baby and y husband 🙂

  7. Rose says:

    Thanks for sharing your struggles! I only get 6 weeks (!!) of maternity leave from work but plan to take an additional month. Not looking forward to bringing my baby to daycare either!

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