You can be at peace sending your baby off to daycare if you know that your baby is happy there. The question is, how do you know if your baby likes daycare? There are a few different things to watch out for to be sure that your baby is happy at daycare.
Just know that more than anything else, it’s important for you to trust your instincts and keep what you have learned about your baby’s little personality in mind. Mommas, you know that even at three months old, you have an idea of what type of personality your baby has.
There are some signs to look out for if you want to be sure that your baby likes daycare and that it is beneficial for them. Withdrawing your baby from daycare is a big decision and should not be taken lightly, especially if you are going to struggle to find another daycare.
However, your baby’s health and safety is paramount. If you believe they are so unhappy that their health will be compromised in any other way, taking them out is the best thing to do.
How long does it take babies to settle at nursery?
How long you should observe your baby for is really dependent on your baby, however, it generally takes anywhere from two weeks to a month and a half for babies to fully settle into new environments. Your baby might make it very clear to you how unhappy they are. Sometimes, though, you might have to be watchful of the following signs.
How do you know if your child is unhappy at daycare?
Crying a lot after attending for more than a few weeks
Your baby is still more than reluctant to go to daycare even after having experienced it for two weeks or more.
Having temper tantrums
They’ve started to act out by having temper tantrums that they previously did not have before starting daycare.
Seemingly sad a lot at home all of a sudden
Your baby appears to be unhappy at home – something you never noticed before they started at the daycare. This is one of the signs that your baby is being mistreated at daycare.
Becoming clingy at home
They cannot bear to let you out of their sight once they are home and have you to themselves. They want to be held by you all the time.
Slowing or regressing development
Does your baby seem to be missing some key developmental milestones? Worse, do you notice that your baby is regressing and either seems to no longer be able to do the things they used to be able to do? For example, are they now refusing to walk even though you know that they are able to?
Food strike while at daycare
They are so discontent at daycare that they completely refuse to eat anything.
Their sleep at night is interrupted with nightmares.
Open conversation with care providers
You will know when you have a good daycare even if it’s not the right one for your baby because your baby’s attendant will honestly let you know that your baby is unhappy there. This open communication is one of the signs of a good daycare.
Ignoring you at home
Is your baby not excited to see you after daycare? Does your baby seem withdrawn after daycare? When they get home from daycare, they act like they would rather be on their own than spend time with you.
On the other hand, you will be able to tell quite easily if your baby likes daycare. They will show a combination of any of the following signs.
5 Signs that your baby likes daycare
1. Learning new things/skills
Your baby comes home each week with a new positive skill that they’ve picked up. It could be anything from a new word to expand their vocabulary to an ability to physically do something that you know they could not do before.
2. Making friends
They have identified specific children as their favourite and like to spend time with them at daycare.
3. Having a favoured carer
Your baby really likes a specific daycare attendant and enjoys spending time with them when at daycare. You might find that your baby is with this carer all day when they’re not feeling very well, for example.
4. Doesn’t mind seeing you leave
You’re dropping baby off for the day and they are aware of this. There are no tears and there may even be a smile with that goodbye.
5. Happy to go
It’s not just that they don’t mind that you’re leaving them at daycare, they’re clearly excited to be going when they wake up in the morning! They look forward to getting ready and leaving.
Please bear in mind that this is not an exhaustive list of signs that your baby is happy at daycare. Neither should each sign be considered on its own but rather with other factors such as your baby’s physical health, your home setup or situation and your baby’s usual routines and what you know of their little personality!
How could/can you tell that your baby was/is happy at their daycare centre?