Jellybean has been going to daycare for a month now and she's doing great! Here's a list of all the things daycare has had a positive effect on:
1. Her napping and sleeping schedule is now predictable. It makes me wonder what the heck was I doing for the first 16 months!
2. Her eating schedule is solidified! She eats so much for dinner that I can be confident she's not waking up in the middle of the night because she's hungry. And she drinks milk now!!
3. She talking more and using words purposefully. So far she can purposefully say "ba ba" for ball, "mama" for me, and she can answer yes or no when we ask if she would like a food or not.
4. She's becoming more independent and willful. She's still a pretty easy going kid but she will definitely let us know when she doesn't want to be taken away from something that interests her.
5. She can wave bye bye to people now, especially to us, her nanny, and her teachers.
6. She's started playing with kids of her own age and enjoys it!
The one negative thing about daycare is that Jellybean got her first diaper rash while attending daycare. I'm not sure if it was inevitable or if it is the nature of daycare (1 teacher to 3-4 kids and therefore a lack of individual attention) but we've been battling her first bout of diaper rash.
The first day of daycare went as expected. She was so excited by her new environment that she ignored me when I dropped her off and tried to say bye.
The second day she realized daycare is a place where she has time to make new friends and play WITHOUT mommy. She cried during drop offs for the next 8 school days.
By the middle of the second week, she was ok at drop off. She didn't cry but she clung on to us tighter before letting a teacher take her.
By the beginning of the third week she was good at drop off. She recognized her teachers and was happy to play with her buddies at school.
If we had to do this again we'd still put Jellybean in daycare. The positive effects of daycare made me realize that some of the things I considered challenges were not permanent. They only required a more solid and structured routine. Jellybean is learning so much that I know this was the right decision 10 times over.