Will leaving the child in a creche hamper his mental growth?
Q: We are working parents. We have 7.5 months baby boy. Currently we are keeping him at a creche for 5 days. The lady who runs the creche is M.Sc in Child Psychology. Our baby is very active and always busy doing something. But, when we take him to the creche or bring him back from there he becomes sad and unhappy. Will it affect his psychology in long term? I have a better job than my wife. Should my wife quit the job? How should we handle the issue?
A:I think that you are lucky to have a creche (day care centre for infants and young children) available, which is operated by a qualified person. Why dont you talk to the person in charge to see how your baby is adjusting? If he is quite happy most of the time, he has already adjusted. Maybe, with the permission of the people managing the creche, you could spend a couple of hours in the adjoining room, without being seen by your son, to reassure yourselves that all is well. Some creches do not permit this because the babies may get upset seeing some parent-like adults and start missing their own. Without knowing all the circumstances, I will not be able to advise the childs mother whether to give up her job or not. There will be no damage to the child's physical or mental health, if the creche in which the child spends five days a week is clean, well run and is baby-friendly. You have the whole weekend to spend with your little son. When you are with the child, give him a lot of cuddling and holding. Play with him, talk to him, feed him and bathe him -- all this, cheerfully and with love. The baby should feel secure and be certain of your love. If he does, he can face being separated from you for short periods and will know that you will come back. His showing sadness is natural, but once you leave him and go away, he will get adjusted to your absence. It is thus important to satisy yourselves about the suitability of the creche and to find out from the caregivers about your child's adjustment to the creche. In the long term, the unqualified love that you give him is the most important input in his life. Separation experiences will always be there, but can be handled when relationships are good.