Home Daycare

When I found out I was pregnant, my husband and I started talking and thinking about daycare for our new baby.  Would we send our child to a home daycare, daycare facility, or find a personal nanny?  We looked into several facilities, interviewed a few licensed home day-cares, and spoke to some friends about using nannies.

One day we were talking to a neighbor. She mentioned another neighbor who was staying at home with her daughter and  was looking for a way to make a little extra money.  We spoke to her and for the first six months our neighbor watched our daughter.  I enjoyed knowing my daughter was staying with someone that had children of her own and treated my daughter as her own daughter.  Unfortunately, our neighbor’s husband was relocated and they moved.  We were considering a daycare facility near our house, but we wanted to make sure our daughter was getting the attention we felt she deserved. I felt like a larger facility wouldn’t be able to focus on my daughter as well as a home daycare provider.  I had also heard a few “bad” stories from a good friend of mine about her facility.

BabyLegs leg warmers for boys

Luckily, a lady we went to church with had an opening in her home daycare around the same time our neighbor had to stop watching our daughter.  We decided to send our daughter to her. Our daughter has been going there for over a year and half. The lady is licensed by the state and has random visits from DHR just like a larger facility.  She has a meal plan she has to follow. She also has a school curriculum she has to follow when the children are old enough.  She only keeps 6 children and none are over the age of 5 or 6 (most leave when going to school).  When she accepts a new baby she likes to try to keep the ages spread out so that she doesn’t have too many little babies.  She has an open door policy. This means we can drop by anytime, unannounced, to check on our kids.  She has been a licensed home daycare provider for 30 years and she kept several of my church friends’ children.

I’m not saying I would NEVER send my child to a facility or that I think that home day-cares are “safer” or  “better” than a facility.  There have been home daycare providers (as well as facilities) that fall short of the expectations the parents have, but I believe that as a parent you have to look into each option and see which one feels right to you.

About the blogger:

My name is Stephanie.  My husband and I have been married 3 years.  We have a two year old daughter, McKenna, and a little boy due in January.

“Itchy Spots” (or Eczema, as it is Called Elsewhere)

Four years ago, the extent of my knowledge regarding eczema was its existence as some kind of skin rash. Having worked with a person who had psoriasis, I somewhat (incorrectly) equated the two and felt bad for people who dealt with them but didn’t give them much thought myself. So, when my son had a circular patch of red, bumpy skin on his arm, I never considered eczema but thought it was ringworm. Daycare thought the same and the nurse at my son’s clinic confirmed the suspicion and said to use Lotrimin on the area. A few days of Lotrimin, however, brought about no change and my mother, a RN, was visiting, so I asked her opinion. She thought it looked like “contact eczema” and suggested we change laundry detergents.

This change seemed to do the trick at first, but it wasn’t long before what came to be called “itchy spots” in our house started popping up all over my son’s arms and legs and occasionally his back and stomach. All of these spots were circular in nature (similar to ringworm), not like the eczema photos I’d seen on posters in the doctor’s office, and daycare was concerned that this was some type of fungal infection and therefore contagious. So I did some research and saw a pediatrician and it turned out eczema appears in more than one form and the form my son had was Nummular Dermatitis or Nummular Eczema which is often misdiagnosed initially as ring-worm due to its circular appearance. So, no ringworm (phew), but still the unpleasant “itchy spots” remained. Typical eczema remedies – cortisone on the “itchy spots” when they were red and Aveeno when they were not, no use of soap (just Aveeno bath wash), free & clear laundry detergents, and no bubble bath became the routine at our house. Still, for a long time my son would go through periods where he had these horrible “itchy spots” that he would often pick at and worsen. The crease on the inside of his elbow was particularly bad and I had difficulty getting the eczema to clear from that area. Of course, this is also an easily accessible spot to itch, so I took to covering it with Band-aids to keep my son from picking at it.

ScratchingIn the meantime, I kept researching and came across a link between eczema and milk protein allergy. I spoke with the pediatrician about the possible connection between that two, but was told that it was unlikely and there was no proof of a connection (the same thing I was told about my son’s reflux and a possible milk allergy) and so, we just continued our “itchy spot” routine. It wasn’t until this year, as my son’s “itchy spots,” all-but disappeared and then were gone, that my daughter (who is eczema free) was diagnosed with a milk protein allergy. When we saw the specialist regarding this, the conversation with him resulted in the following conclusions:

1. According to the specialist, it was surprising that my daughter did not have eczema given the obvious milk protein allergy.

2. Milk protein allergies are often the cause of night-waking (something my son has always struggled with).

3. My son likely had a milk protein allergy which caused or at least aggravated his reflux and eczema and was no longer struggling with it because he had outgrown the allergy (as most children do by the time they are six) or reduced his milk intake to a level where it was not affecting him.

Having one of those, “if I had only known then” moments, I wished I had just taken my son off dairy a few years ago to see what happened despite the pediatrician’s assurance that a milk allergy was not likely. It certainly would’ve been nice to ascertain a connection between the two four years ago, but hindsight is always 20/20. Still, I would be curious to know how many out there have found an obvious connection between their child’s eczema and a food or other allergy. I also encourage any of you dealing with eczema to explore the possibility of it being caused from a food allergy – and follow your instinct even if your doctor says there is little chance…see a specialist or try eliminating dairy. It might be worth it.

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About the Blogger:

Hi! My name is Shawna. I am a married mother to two adorable children and love being a mom. My children throw me unexpected surprises more often than I can count, but I wouldn’t change that for the world. Thanks for reading!