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This was suggested to us by our doctor, to prevent our daughter to get sick (which in her first year of daycare she does, often), and pass it on to the baby.

She hasn't been attending daycare anyway for the first two weeks, because it coincided with the winter vacations in our country, but we're struggling to decide if we should keep her at home for a few more weeks.

The dilemma is between being rigorous to prevent the baby from getting sick, and the convenience of having his older sister out of the house for a few hours, as the daycare reopens next week, and one of us is going back to a regular job schedule.

Another important consideration is that she is having a somewhat difficult time adapting to not being the youngest in the house anymore, as you would expect, and we feel we would be keeping her yet from another thing she loves, which is going to the daycare, interact with the teacher, and other children, especially with her birthday coming up soon.

We have to admit it's very tricky to keep the child from touching the baby, running around him, and coughing and sneezing pretty much on his face, so we understand that if she gets sick, it's likely that, despite our best efforts, she could pass whatever she catches to her brother.

A final note. The teacher seemed surprised by the doctor's suggestion of keeping our daughter out of daycare for a full month and mentioned that sometimes people take them out for one or two weeks, but apparently no more than that.

Any thoughts to consider in making the decision?

3 Answers 3

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I recommend you follow the doctor's advice on this

When my daughter was born, she ended up back in the hospital shortly after being brought home due to jaundice (don't let them force breast feeding on you, sometimes milk takes awhile to come in). When my first niece was born, she ended up in the hospital shortly after coming home due to an RSV infection.

The point that I'm getting at here is that newborns are extremely fragile. It doesn't take a lot going wrong for the pediatrician to send you to the hospital.

Granted, these are stories about first children, but I think most doctors are going to want to minimize the risks where they can.

So now let's talk about 2nd children. When my son was born, my daughter knew this was coming. Mommy had been pregnant for awhile, we read multiple books about being a big sister, and the prelude to her brother being born was chaotic to say the least. When we brought my son home from the hospital and introduced the two of them, her exact words were, "NOOOOOOOO!" and then she ran back up to her room.

Suffice it to say, this was a massive change in her life. She's no longer the baby. But having her home meant that we could help her with the transition.

  • We wanted her to know that she was still very special to us and so as dad, I made it a point to take her out with me more often during my leave so that she could have special daddy time.
  • Additionally, with her being home, we could introduce small chores around the house that she could do to help us with her brother (i.e. open the trash can lid for a dirty diaper, passing the wipes, helping to feed her brother, even just talking to him).
  • Most importantly, her being home with us meant we could talk to her about things. We wanted to make sure that we acknowledged all the big feelings she was dealing with and help her through them.

If it's possible, I would recommend that your partner delay resuming their regular job schedule so that all the work doesn't fall on one person. If that's not viable, it's going to be important to have ideas to keep the older sibling occupied, so I get the appeal of daycare here. Some ideas to consider:

  • Identify some parks in the area that you can walk through and hopefully have a playground. Outdoor playgrounds aren't quite as prone to airborne diseases as indoor spaces are and you can mitigate the touch surfaces a bit by virtue of constant UV exposure and bringing hand sanitizer.
  • Having access to a few different streaming platforms can be a good way to get some shows and movies that your toddler can binge while you try to catch a break.
  • If you can get grandparents to help, get them to help. In my case, I had make them commit because we didn't have time for 'when their schedule was open', we needed to know that grandma has the older sibling on Thursdays.
  • Some easy craft toys like Play Doh can keep your son occupied for a little while with relatively little risk to your house (i.e. if it gets stuck in the carpet, let it dry out and then vacuum). Alternately, crayons and paper to draw.

Good luck!

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i think the doctor has a honest point.

"consideration is that she is having a somewhat difficult time adapting to not being the youngest in the house anymore" - but i think it is more important thing then sick prevented. An it ll be better, if she will free to decide need she go to daycare today or not.

Probably, she may to say: "I want to go daycare to meet with my friends". And you have not to say: "no, you can't, because you are not youngest anymore, you have to care about your little sister health" - that is a conflict point.

But, you may to say: "if you want, you may go, no problem, that is you wish, and you friends".

Also she may say: "I want mom pick me up(by hands)".

Wrong answer to say: "no you can't, because your little sister is already there".

Better answer to offer an alternative: "mom is busy, do you see it? probably little bit later, or you papa can pick you up...

Try to create alternative rules of her behavior, do not think with prohibition of that she is already like.

"We have to admit it's very tricky to keep the child from touching the baby, running around him, and coughing and sneezing pretty much on his face" - as i know usually newborns have decent immunity if they are natural milk feeded. And if daughter is not ill, she is not dangerous - her saliva is not toxic, and she may atleast to look and touch with washed hands. Maybe medicine mask may help, but i think it can create distorted sense for the newborn directly about human faces.

Clean hands, masks up in occasionally, and adaptation to new rules.

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  • Babies' immune systems aren't fully developed for several months, which is why it's advisable to not take a baby to crowded public places, and also to be vaccinated and wash your hands when interacting with a newborn. And the notion that if the elder daughter is not visibly ill she can't be contagious is just false, many illnesses are contagious before symptoms begin. Jul 13, 2023 at 13:38
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    @NuclearHoagie yes, i agreed, but it is also usually not mean that one is ill. rules is something that work in usual cases, and unusual can be, but it is not mean that some rule is wrong. i suggest only to soft rules changing, not "all will be not like it was". And elder daughter is a baby too. Jul 13, 2023 at 14:09
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In the season of infections (i.e. winter in my place, not now) I would follow the doctor advice. Not sure what is your situation, but if the father can stay at home during first weeks, he can tak care of the daughter and it can be nice family time.

During the summer the "out of the house for a few hour" thing would be priority for me ;)

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