Monday, June 30, 2008

Daycare Update 2

Okay, so I've been a lot lax on blog entries. As I left it, we were headed to a meeting with daycare to see if things were going to improve and what we could be doing differently to make everyone's life better. We went into the meeting with a list of things we were concerned about, and a list of things that daycare had mentioned as issues we needed to deal with. To be fair and politically correct about it, I think both sides of the situation - Rick and I as the parents, and Ada's daycare - put a lot of effort into making things work. Problem is, Ada is a one-on-one baby when it comes to being babysat by someone other than her parents. She doesn't like to be left alone to play on her mat or bouncy seat for too long - even though she'll do that for us at home -she doesn't like to sleep in a pack and play at daycare - even though she only naps in her crib at home. She just didn't adjust well to the situation. Now we know and can move on.

My advice to anyone dealing with a similar situation - and the lesson I've learned from all of this is... You are the parent. Your decision and opinion is the only one that matters in the end. Get a spine and stand up for what you believe in. Listen to your gut, fight for whatever your gut tells you to do, and don't let other people boss you around when it comes to caring for your child. This is a hard thing to do, as I've struggled with it and finally snapped after about 3 weeks of knowing that things just weren't right for Ada.

As for the gory details, we had the meeting, listened to the daycare's suggestions for possible ways to make things better for Ada and her experience and it backfired - in my opinion. (This will lead to another blog on how to deal with a nursing mother and what not to ever suggest to them.) What we tried was only feeding Ada from a bottle, having a strict morning routine, and reducing the amount of time when we had physical contact with Ada (nursing, carrying, cuddling, etc.). We also learned that daycare wasn't feeding her to sleep, while I was -- even though I was trying to break her of that habit since it is bad for her oral hygiene. The good thing that came from all of this was that she doesn't need to be feed to sleep anymore and the morning routine helped get her into more of a daily routine and she seems to be happier with that. The bad news is that this new routine didn't really improve her behavior at daycare. Now I must add that we had this meeting on a Monday. They implemented their changes and spent more time with her that week. Then that weekend I implemented the changes on our end. Come the following Tuesday, I was a wreck. In the process of not nursing Ada in order to reduce the bond she had with me (I now know this is just asinine so don't even start with me - touchy subject) my milk production dropped. Low. As in I went from supplying daycare with 20 ounces or more each day to having 3 oz to send to daycare with her that Wednesday. Knowing things were bad, I contacted my lactation consultant and we had a heart to heart.

Long story shortened up a bit - see the blog on dealing with a nursing mother - I realized that things at daycare weren't getting any better and I didn't want Ada in a daycare that didn't believe in holding her, giving her the one-on-one attention that she needed, and suggested that I try to break my bond with her so that it is easier for her to be "dealt with" at daycare. It turns out that 6 months is a pretty critical time in a baby's life and one in which she really needs to have a strong bond with her parents in order to develop a sense of trust and to combat separation anxiety.

So the drama unfolded Tuesday night when I asked daycare to feed Ada a mix of breastmilk and soy formula on Wednesday since I didn't have enough milk. Ada had had a rotten day that day and the report wasn't good. Then daycare said they didn't want to be the first one to give Ada formula with her breastmilk on Wednesday. I didn't feel that was very accommodating so that was the straw that broke the camel's back. I got into the car to come home, called Rick and told him we were done. Then we called to tell daycare and we've been having friends and family watch Ada for last week and this week. And she is so much happier for it.

Moral of the story: Get a spine, be your child's advocate because no one else will, and follow your gut for everything in life.

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