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I am not sure as to what to opt for. My twin girls have completed their 12 months of age. This whole year I have not been able to sleep properly or have my alone time. I love them a lot and instantly bonded with them after their birth, but didn't receive any help after my surgery.

So, now I want my babies to be babysat or in playschool for 3 or 4 hours daily so that I can get space and my own sweet time. Also, I wanted to add there are no parks nearby home. There are no other small babies also nearby, so I want them to interact with babies of their age. So will a childminder be the best solution?

Additional information

  • We have a wonderful playschool near our house. Babysitting is also common but professional childminders are rare, charge exorbitant prices and also use smacking as a means of discipline.
  • A babysitter is someone coming to your home and taking care of a child. A childminder is a trained professional who takes care of kids in her place, so we need to take our child everyday to her home.
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    What are those different options like in the place where you are? That kind of thing tends to differ quite a bit around the world, and I don't know where you're located. – A E Nov 7 '14 at 17:14
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That really depends on your babies and where you feel they would best thrive.

I would pick a place based on which one exposes your babies to other children and has the higher caregiver to child ratio. That way, your babies will get the benefits of being exposed to other babies/children (important not only for psychosocial reasons but also medically for their immune systems) but also be more closely supervised and maybe have more adult interaction. Do keep in mind that the one with the most children will mean your babies will be catching colds more often. If you can deal with twins who are sick at the same time, bless you. But I'd go with this route personally.

Just be sure to ask around. Hear what experiences others have had with your possible choices, check out the facilities for cleanliness, babyproofing, etc., and enjoy your freedom. You've really earned it!

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    Thanks. We have decided to put the babies in playschool creche near our home where teacher : student ratio is 2 :10 in a classroom for children between 10 months to 15 months. I am open to more answers which will help me in taking the final plunge. – Tiffany Nov 9 '14 at 16:36
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We recently went through a similar experience of choosing childcare for our baby who is a bit younger than your twins. It's a tough decision and of course you want what's best for your babies and you need to feel comfortable with where they'll be going if you want to be able to relax while they're away. I found some useful information in some of the other questions and their answers here. Try browsing through questions tagged with daycare. Some which I found particularly useful were this one and this one.

I think it's generally considered that younger children need more continuity of care to feel secure and they need more individual attention.

From my experience with my baby, we started him off in a nursery (which I guess is similar to your playgroup) because we didn't know much about the other options. However, we soon decided we didn't like that environment for him as we didn't feel he was getting enough attention to be happy and thrive. That was even with a smaller child:staff ratio than your playgroup - nurseries in the UK are allowed up to 3 under 2 year olds per staff member. In our nursery, the staff seemed to change often even in the short time our son was there and I've heard similar stories from some friends here. It doesn't seem like he'd have had much chance to get to know any of the staff well to help him to settle in.

We decided to move our baby to a childminder. Unfortunately it doesn't sound like childminders are very common where you are but here they care for a smaller number of children and are only allowed one child under a year old. Our childminder takes the children out regularly to groups and on other outings so they also get to meet other young children, therefore getting some of the things we considered would have been benefits of the nursery whilst also getting a bit more attention.

Much of what I've written is only from personal experience and you may feel differently about your babies depending on their personalities. I also don't know if things would be different for twins. But overall, from what evidence I've seen and from experience, I would recommend trying to find something with fewer children per caregiver while they are still very small.

You mentioned that childminders there use smacking as a form of discipline. Perhaps if you were to interview a few potential childminders and/or baby sitters you could specify that you don't agree with that (assuming you don't) and only choose one which is willing to stick to your principles.

Whatever you decide in the end, I really think it's worth seeing as many options as you can and seeing which you are most comfortable with.

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Rather than tell you what you should do (edit: though the OP appeared to me as a new post, I now realise that it was originally posted years ago!), I'll share with you how we dealt with our own situation, with what was available to us then.

We have girl twins. My wife was a bit spooked by having to manage on her own, so first, as soon as I was back to work, we got help in the form of a young inexperienced woman who could help by being told what to do through the day, weekdays. We only trusted her alone with the babies after about 3 months, and not more than an hour. This was an Ok set-up during my wife's 1y maternity leave. She was just a pleasant pair of hands and meant my wife could take a shower without stressing about the babies.

At 11 months they were not ready for being stranded in a daycare, when my wife was about to return to work, we hired a professional nanny, through an agency. Mon-Fri 8-5 at our home. She was good, but not amazing. Trustworthy, fed them what I had prepared, she took them on walks, to the local library (play & story corner) and to a toy place operated a bit like a library. But other than that not very creative.

So at 18 months we decided the girls needed more interaction with the world and got them into a fabulous educational daycare. They had their fill of stimulation and social interaction. It worked.

As to discipline, our pediatric doctor suggested that the best tack was quiet time on the naughty step to the tune of one minute per year of age maximum (at least for the first 5 or 6 years). It seemed to work quite well for us. A baby or a young child does not really understand slapping for a number of years so it tends to not be effective at all.
There is a reason 7(yo) is called the age of reason.

  • Experience is a great educator! Can you offer some advice? If your twins were 1year old's (again) and you had to choose between a babysitter, childminder, or a playschool... which do you think would benefit their development best? Why? – elbrant Mar 6 '19 at 23:55
  • I certainly would not trust a babysitter for a 1yo without supervision. And daycare is, in my personal opinion, a bit much before 18m old. So I'd go the nanny route like we did. Many people do it differently though, it depends how much you can trust the people to be responsible and engaging, and how well they will respect your values as far as your children are concerned. – asoundmove Mar 7 '19 at 0:01

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