Last week was PK's first week at daycare, and I'd say that it went really really well overall, thanks to that brief transition period beforehand. Of the days she was at the daycare, she didn't really cry when I left, and she didn't freak out when I came to pick her up. She was pretty content overall.
The daycare has a Webcam, and I logged on a couple of times to see how she was doing. I wasn't obsessive about it, mainly because I was actually pretty busy at work (definitely a good thing). From what I could see, PK was having a great time, and the written reports that I got from the caregivers at the end of the day certainly reinforced this. It definitely gives me peace of mind to know that PK is having fun while at daycare. It allows me to carry on about my workday without having to worry about her.
To be perfectly honest, I am quite surprised by how easy PK's transition into daycare was. I am well aware that many kids freak out when they are dropped off at daycare, and also flip out when they see their parents at the end of the day. From what I hear, it's particularly bad for a kid if he or she sees other parents come for their kids when his/her parents are nowhere in sight. I can see how that can be distressing.
Here are some observations that I've made about PK's time at daycare thus far:
PK appears to eat really well at daycare. They serve soft foods (some of them finger foods) as opposed to the purées that she's used to at home. When I tried to go purée-free at home, I've had some limited success. Last night's dinner went particularly badly. All PK ate was half a slice of cheese, some raspberries, a couple of bites of toast, a couple of bites of pasta, yogurt, and applesauce. I have a feeling that doing purée-free at home is not an option just yet. I think that daycare eating goes better because she likes to imitate the other kids. Even though I've been trying to give her what we've been eating, she doesn't seem to find it as interesting anymore. Arrrgh!
PK continues to sleep really well through the night (knock on wood). I consider this to be a good thing, because I hear that many kids' sleep patterns go to the pooper when they start daycare. Unfortunately, PK doesn't nap all that well at daycare. She takes two naps per day at daycare, and one is usually 30 minutes long, and the other is usually 60 minutes long. At home, her morning nap is 1 hour long, and her afternoon nap is 2 hours long. I guess that trying to share a sleep room with other kids who wake up crying can make it difficult to nap properly I try to compensate for this lack of napping by walking home with her in the carrier. I figure that she at least gets about 40 or 50 minutes of sleep while I get some exercise. One thing I noticed at daycare that kind of miffed me was the fact that they use her sleep sack as a blanket, and that she sleeps with her shoes on. PK is used to sleeping IN her sleep sack, not with it loosely draped over her. And I don't see how sleeping with your shoes on can be all that comfortable. I only noticed this yesterday and today is a grandma day, so I'll definitely take it up with them tomorrow.
PK is a full-on walker now. She still falls now and again, but when she does, it's usually the bum-led fall when she falls back, or she puts her hands out in front of her when she falls forward. And when she wants to get up again, she crawls to a wall or a table or something to pull herself up to standing again. She is a resourceful little thing!
4. Bowel Movements
Everyone's favorite topic. PK normally poops 3 or 4 times a day at home, most likely due to all that yogurt that she goes through. She has yogurt 3 times a day, so you do the math. Anyway, now that PK's breakfast and lunch are at daycare, her yogurt intake has gone down. They do have yogurt there, but it's not part of their daily routine. One might say that pooping 3 or 4 times a day might be excessive, but it is normal for PK, and when she gets fewer poops out, she's not in as good a mood. So I tried to compensate by bringing some yogurt to the daycare and asking the caregivers to feed it to her. I was told that the daycare has yogurt to feed to the kiddies, so I asked them to make sure that they feed it to her in the morning, along with her cereal (something that they have NOT been doing, in spite of the fact that I bought a box of cereal specifically for daycare). I know she was fed the daycare yogurt at breakfast and the yogurt that I brought was given at snacktime. But that was one day last week, and it has not been repeated since. Arrrrrrrrrrgh!!!
It has been hard to keep up with the potty-training while PK has been at daycare. The hardest part is trying to find time. I usually do it after dinner, but by then I'm annoyed that she hasn't eaten well, and she's over-tired (and therefore hyper) and wants to walk all over the place, and she refuses to take water because she's full from drinking water at dinner and eating the food that she did eat. It also doesn't help that her post-dinner poop keeps happening while she's on the highchair. I so need to time this better. I've had some success with the potty, but it has been all in the timing, and timing is something that I'm just not getting right lately. Fortunately we at least had a potty pee on Saturday, so I guess I should be happy that it's still happening, even though it's to a lesser degree.
All in all, I should be happy about the daycare thing. She's close by, and she seems to be happy. She seems to be more independent, and she responds really well to daycare activities like circle time. And while she's over-tired at night and is becoming a terrible eater, she sleeps well at night and eats relatively well at daycare (in spite of the fact that they won't feed her some stuff that I requested). I guess beggars can't be choosers.