Friday, March 25, 2011

Finding Childcare for Your Preemie

Finding childcare for any infant is challenging, and preemies have additional challenges to face. Although you may find your little one is a bit more delicate than his or her peers, it won't be long before your infant catches up - in size and motor skills. But before you reach that point, there are important factors to consider when choosing childcare.

First, discuss your plans with your doctor. As long as your baby is now healthy and thriving, placing him or her in daycare shouldn't be a problem. Yet if your baby had a difficult time and still struggles with respiratory problems, it may be better to wait it out. After all, all children pick up germs from daycare and are more at risk for such sicknesses as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

If you're given the green light, go ahead and start looking at local daycare centers. Make sure the center you choose has a strict hand washing policy in place. There should be signs posted, a sink in each classroom and a full supply of soap and paper towels. When you ask about a hand washing policy, teachers should be able to tell you that children wash for at least 20 seconds before and after meals and after playing outside.

Also ask about a sick policy and how the daycare enforces it. Many centers accept kids with mild fevers, which can become a problem for your child. Although this is hard to control, the daycare shouldn't allow sick kids to come to school - ever. Finally, ensure that your child's vaccinations are up-to-date, giving him or her the greatest line of defense.

Remember, if your child isn't ready for the daycare route, try reaching out to a family member, neighbor or even a home daycare. Your child can still thrive in an environment with a smaller group of children, at least for right now.

Image c/o BotMultichillT

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