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Is it strange for an infant to love daycare?

Home Forums Parenting Infant Is it strange for an infant to love daycare?

This topic contains 8 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Franklin Aston Franklin Aston 5 years, 4 months ago.

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    We have a six month old enrolled in one of the Bright Horizons centers, and she absolutely loves it. As soon as she wakes up in the car and sees the building, she gets wide awake and really excited. She’ll kick her feet on the way in, and then startings baby-babbling away once we’re in the learning center. At the end of the day, she seems a little sad when we arrive to take her home, but she is babbling away and "talking" up a storm while we are there. At home she is much more quiet and subdued. Doesn’t talk a lot and more spends her time playing quietly.

    One day we took grandma and grandpa to the center so we could show them around. As soon as our daughter saw one of the teachers, she just started to cry because she realized that she wasn’t going to spend the day with that teacher!

    Is this unusual at all, or is this common for 6 month olds? I’m thrilled that she likes the learning center so much because it’s an important part of her life and we need to have her enrolled there. I’m mainly wondering if I can attribute her enjoyment to it being a great place or if this is something fairly normal for 6 month olds.


    Yes, I would say that this is natural. It took my son a few months, but he too reached that point of excitement. For me, it meant that he was truly being cared for while I was away – and that is a sense of comfort that made me a feel great as well. Some children may struggle to adapt to new environments or be apart from their parents, so I would say you are quite lucky to have an eager and open-minded little one!


    My son was the same way with his infant teacher.   It gave me such a sense of relief that he loved his teacher and that they bonded so quickly.   It let me know he was loved and happy during the day when I was at work.


    Lucky you that your child has adjusted so well to the center.  You may find this comes and goes – sometimes my children are thrilled to go to "school" everyday and then after a few weeks they hang onto me for dear life (but the teachers tell me they are ALWAYS fine shortly after I leave).  And before I know it, they are back to quick waves goodbye.  With my first, I had the hardest time leaving.  She was so happy but I just couldn’t leave.  It broke my heart everyday and I LOVED her teachers.  I just wished it were me spending the day with her (well, most days).  I think your daughters reaction at the end of the day is completely normal too. She has had a very busy day and at home she is probably just enjoying "being".  And in a few months/years, you may find she acts out at night too.  It’s just her way of letting loose after a long day of being "on".  Be thrilled you have such an excellent solution and you can go to work with peace of mind.  And yes, I think much of it can be attributed to the care and experiences she is getting at the center.  I always joked that my daughter experienced more in one day than I could give her in a week if I were a stay at home parent!

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    I think it’s a great sign that your baby has teachers who really show love for her. But like Mary said, do be prepared for this to change off and on throughout her time at the center. 6 months is still a bit young for separation anxiety (I think), so that phase will come. My daughter is 4 now, and we still go in 3 month cycles of easy drops offs and difficult drop offs. The fact that she’s excited to be there is great, but don’t let it worry you when the phase comes when she doesn’t want you to leave. That’s totally normal too.


    We just started in the infant program and as a first time mom, i’m struggling with being away from my son, the different environment for him at such a young age and concern that he is getting enough rest.  Does anyone have advice for helping me ease into this program that you all find so great now?

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    In the case of my daughter, I attribute her love for learning center for a number of reasons:

    1) We enrolled her at a young age – about 8 or 9 weeks. She was exposed to the learning center environment at a very young age and now expects it as part of her daily routine.

    I’ve seen some kids start at an older age of 9 months or so, and they have a much harder time transitioning to the learning center. They just want to be with mom!

    2) Our teachers at her learning center make sure to tend to all of the needs of the infants when they are young infants. They don’t let them cry, they make sure they are well cared for. They give them lots of kisses and show the infants are well loved.

    3) The environment they are with is safe, kid friendly, and provides experiences they don’t get at home. My daughter gets to play with other kids, play with toys she doesn’t have at home, and gets unique experiences that we would never think to provide her with….she loves that.

    To this day, my daughter is very excited when we take her out of the car and carry her to the learning center….

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    EmilyE – I promise, it gets easier with each and every drop off! It’s always hard at first, and just takes some time to settle into your new routine. For me, the comfort came with getting to know my baby’s teachers so well…and with that close relationship came trust in knowing that my child was being cared for very well while I was away for the day. Seeing my child happy and learning new things everyday also helped calm my nerves. Give yourself time to get used to this new routine, I promise it’ll get easier for you!


    I struggled as well for the first few months.  It’s still hard being apart from him all day (he’s 12 mos now).   One thing that helped me immensely was going to visit him on my lunch hour.  At first I felt I would be disruptive, but his teachers encouraged me to come so now I go almost every day.  I’m lucky enough that my employer is very flexible and lets me take a long lunch.  If it’s a possibility for you, I would suggest you try to go and spend some time playing with your son during the day.  Or if you’re breastfeeding, try to go nurse him once a day.  A great perk is that you get to know his teachers and how the classroom runs much better!

    Getting enough sleep was always a concern for me.  He would go through periods where his naps were only 30 minutes and when I picked him up he was obviously so exhausted.  But then he got a little older and his naps got better.  Then they got bad again…. I noticed that when certain teachers were there he slept better.  So I made it very clear that I was happy when he got a lot of sleep and that I appreciated everything they did to help that happen (pat his back, soothe him back to sleep if they could, make sure he was well fed before, use a white noise machine, etc.).  Around 7 or 8 mos he finally got into a good routine and his naps have been very consistent since then.  I dont know how old your son is, but maybe try a more strict schedule so that his circadian rhythms can become regular.  That may help him sleep better.  But most of all, know that just like everything else in the first year, this is just a stage.  His sleeping will get better, and maybe worse, but you can guarantee it will change at some point.

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