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Choosing a daycare is a big decision for any parent. You want to make sure your child is safe, happy, and receiving the best care possible.
But what’s the right age to start daycare? Is six months too early? Let’s explore the pros and cons of starting daycare at six months old.
Is 6 Months Too Early For Daycare?
Some will argue that 1 year is the best time to send a kid to daycare. But that doesn’t mean 6 months is the wrong time either. Many parents will send their kids to daycare even earlier, at 6 weeks, and the kid develops just fine in daycare.
Many Parents Have to Use Daycare
It’s important to note that even though I stated that 1 year is widely considered the best time to send your baby to daycare, that doesn’t mean 6 months is the wrong time.
It doesn’t mean your kid won’t develop normally, and it definitely doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent just because you start daycare at 6 months.
Nowadays, many parents rely on daycare because both parents need to work outside the home.
Even if it’s not for work, many parents want childcare because it’s a way to get a couple hours of relief a day from their baby.
Pros and Cons of Starting Daycare at 6 Months
Below I’ll list a few of the pros and cons of daycare. Please note that the linked article goes into it in more detail.
The Pros of Starting Daycare at Six Months
There are several benefits to starting daycare at six months. First of all, it can give you some much-needed time to yourself.
If you’ve been home with your baby since they were born, chances are you’re feeling a little stir-crazy by now. A few hours away from your little one can do wonders for your mental health.
Secondly, starting daycare early can help your child socialize and learn how to interact with other kids. This is an important skill that will serve them well throughout their lives.
Finally, many daycares offer enrichment activities like music or movement class that can be beneficial to your child’s cognitive development.
The Cons of Starting Daycare at Six Months
Of course, there are also some downsides to starting daycare at six months.
The biggest one is that your baby is still very young and may not be ready for a full day away from you.
If you’re concerned about separation anxiety, it might be better to wait until your child is a little older before enrolling them in daycare.
Additionally, younger infants require more hands-on care, which means they may not get as much individual attention from their caregivers as they would with you.
Starting at six months may not be the best option if you’re looking for a highly individualized program for your child.
If highly individualized care is what you want, you might be better off looking at a nanny. I wrote an article comparing nannies vs daycares, so check it out for more information.
There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing the right age to start daycare.
Ultimately, it’s a decision that every family has to make based on their unique circumstances.
If you’re considering starting daycare for your six-month-old, weigh the pros and cons carefully to decide if it’s the right choice for you.