(Closed) Family Member or Day Care? Opinions PLEASE!

posted 7 years ago in Babies
Post # 3
5388 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: December 2010

I would go with a family member. I knew some kids that were watched by a relative and it was fine. The mom would come home for lunch to check on them. It was such a safe and comfortable enviroment. I wish I could do the same for my baby. 

Post # 4
1667 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I’m not a mom yet, nor do I have a sister, so I can’t speak on the jealousy factor


But it seems that, as long as they are capable and willing, having a family member would be better than day care. Your child will be in a loving environment with family. And what if your child experiences milestones while at your sisters? She might have the forsight to document it for you, whereas a daycare would not take the time to do so.

Post # 5
2866 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I would definitesly go with your sister! At the end of the day, daycares are a business, people working there are employees and some could see it as “just their job” (not saying ALL childcare providers are like this). I think your sister would be able to keep a closer eye on your little one and probably make  him/her more of a priority.

Example: Our baby was in the NICU and the nurses were amazing but he had to stay an extra day because no one communicated that something needed to be done before he could leave – sure they provided great care but when you’re having a business care for your child there’s more of a possibility that something can slip thru the cracks.

Regardless of paying your sister or a daycare you’d still have the jealous issue to deal with so why not put your baby in the care of someone who will be able to devote more attention to him and probably would take photos and videos of big moments?

Post # 6
828 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

I hear you on the jealously thing! Darling Husband can work from home so when I go back after my 8 weeks (maybe 6) maternity leave, he’ll stay home with the baby. I’m so jealous that he gets to and I don’t – which is crazy silly, I know! 

I think I would ultimately have family watch the baby.

Post # 7
2427 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2009

Look at it from the other side, would you rather have your child bonding with a complete stranger or someone who will always be in their lives?  Given the choice, I would definitely go with a family member first.

Post # 9
2095 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Don’t forget to look at hte prices of infants in Daycare and what it costs. That might end up being the deciding factor.

Post # 10
404 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I nanny (part time) for my brother and sister in law. They have 2 little girls that I ADORE. I’ve also worked at a daycare, and I enjoy my current job SO MUCH more because both me and the kids are more comfortable. We all know the routine, and my sister in law loves it because I’m able to take pics with my phone to send her when they’ve done something super cute. I can also keep her updated much more frequently than when I was working at a daycare. It’s also great for me because whenever I have a kid, I’ll be able to bring them along too, so all the cousins can play together and “grow up” together! I can’t wait. 🙂

I definately say, family member! lol.

Post # 11
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

If I’m being honest, I’d rather have Addie in daycare than have her watched by a family member.  If you seemed more leaning toward the family member option, I would keep out of this thread, but since it sounds like you’re leaning more toward the daycare option, here’s my feelings.

There’s the jealousy thing you talked about: yes, I would totally be jealous that my mom, sister, SIL, etc… gets to spend all day with my daughter while I’m at work, especially since Addie would presumably see her caregiver outside of “work” hours.  It’s harder to draw the line of “parent” and “caregiver” when the caregiver is around nights/weekends/special events/etc…

Also, I think it would be a lot harder to communicate your wants.  If you are employing someone to care for your child, you get to dictate the care.  If a family member were watching Addie, and we disagreed on some parenting choice (e.g. my sister spanks my nephew, I won’t spank Addie), even if she “gave in” I would worry that she wouldn’t be doing things my way.  At daycare, I know exactly how Addie is being cared for because our provider has written rules/policies/procedures/etc… and if I don’t like it, I can take my business elsewhere without worrying about hurting a personal relationship. 

It works the other way around, too.  I have a Stay-At-Home Mom friend who was watching a friend’s daughter for a ridicuolously low amount of money.  She finally decided she needed to ask for more money in order to make the situation work for her, and now the friendship is non-existant.  Having a close personal relationship with your employee/employer complicates the business side of things.

Finally, I love our daycare.  Addie does way more at daycare than she could/would if a family member were watching her.  She gets socialization from the other kids, they go on field trips, they have party days, they do a ton of crafting activities, they have “guest speakers,” etc…  Plus, our day care provider is way more educated on child development and on early childhood eduation than any of my family members.

Our day care provider cares for/loves Addie just as much as a family member would, but it’s in a more controlled enviorment.  It’s a business-relationship: she’s the professional and I’m the mom, and I prefer it that way.

Post # 12
536 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2007

@Mrs. Spring:  I’m so glad you weighed in- I feel the exact same way.

I love my family, and they are AWESOME with my son and would totally watch him full time if they could. But even if that were possible, and even if money were no object, I’d still rather have him in daycare at least a few days a week.

I LOVE my daycare. It’s definitely not “just a job” to my son’s teachers (also, for the record, I’m much more cavalier in some ways with my kid than I am with my professional responsibilities. If I were to treat a child the way I treat my job, I would be a damn good caregiver). My son is currently in a classroom where there are three babies and two teachers. Every moment of their day is focused on the kids’ development- which is in pretty stark contrast to my weekends with him when I spend a fair amount of time trying to figure out ways to find something besides me to occupy his time and attention so I can get other things done! They work hard at making sure he gets all the different kinds of stimulation that he needs at this young age, and they’re great about talking to us about what we can do at home to help his health and development. Plus, when he’s a little older, I like the fact that he’ll be learning social skills through daycare as well, which is really valuable (check out http://ax.itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/npr-planet-money-podcast/id290783428 for some interesting thoughts on the value of preschool)

Plus, there’s everything that Mrs. Spring pointed out about the value of clarity in your relationship with your caregivers when you work with a daycare center.

Post # 13
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

@Lozza:  Everyone has a different situation, but I much prefer daycare over having a family member watch my daughter.  When we fired our nanny, my Father-In-Law spent 6 weeks with us, watching Addie while we figured out other care options (my mom did a few days, too, but FIL did the majority of the care).  He was wonderful with her, and I will be forever grateful that he spent that time with her, but daycare is so much better, imo.  My Father-In-Law did a fantastic job, but I’m much happier to turn Addie over to a professional every day. 

Our daycare is so good that my husband and I will probably continue to take Addie there twice a week, even after I quit my job.  She gets much better socialization there than I could provide her at home, and we agree that I will need some “child-free” time to work on my Master’s.  I hate not being with her, but I can’t deny how much daycare has benefitted her. 

Post # 14
5778 posts
Bee Keeper

Having been through both ways, I can say without a doubt my preference would always be family over daycare. No one will ever care as much about your kids as family will,period.

When my oldest was born, I went back to work FT when she was 6 weeks old. I was the sole provider, so I really had no choice. My sister was home with my neice who was a year old, so she saved me from going crazy trying to find suitable daycare. (In those days, there was NO infant childcare unless it was done privately in someone’s home, and in larger facilities, they weren’t even taken until they were out of diapers). Choices were limited. I worked 5 minutes away, so was able to go to her house for lunch and spend time with her as well as nurse, until she was 8 months old. Once she was old enough tho, I put her in a well known daycare…which turned out to be a nightmare.

I was secretly advised by an employee to pay a ‘spot visit’, as she thought there were some things I needed to find out for myself. My daughter was coming home with bruises (and one tiime a fat lip), she was always starving, and none of the clean clothes I sent with her were ever used. She was always sick, and until I stopped by unnannounced and found her expensive prescription shoes floating in the sink,I was totally unaware of how these kids were being treated. I immediately contacted the main office and demanded it be investigated. It was (also unnannounced) and the entire staff was fired.

I’m sure there are some great daycares out there, but I’d do some serious investigating and not rely on word of mouth recommendations before placing my child in one. For many providers, it is only a job, and it would be naive to think they really love your child as much as you do.


Post # 15
5110 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 2011

As much as that situation might make you jealous. I would go with your sister. No daycare is going to love your child like a family member would. When you work there are always going to bethings that you miss.. weather its you ran to the grocery store, or took a shower there is always something you may miss… but wouldnt you want that to be with someone that is blood, and someone that loves that child almost as much as you do? My vote is for the sister all the way!!! Not to mention you know howshe is you see her with her kids, you know her house etc and I hate to say it but you never know what goes on behind closed doors at a daycare… There are so many horror stories As rare as you may think it is that could eliminate the chances to zero. Think about it hard before you let jelousy get the best of you. 

Post # 16
6009 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009



I heard so many daycare horror stories when I was pregnant, which is why we initially hired a private nanny (who I, personally, extensively resaerched before hiring).  I was so resistant to daycare, up to even a few months ago, but now, there’s no way I would trade it.  Imo, the horror stories serve as reminder that human beings are fallible and no matter where you leave your child, you should always research the location/people to the fullest.  I’m very happy with my daycare, much more so than I would be with a family member, but not everyone has had the same experience.

The topic ‘Family Member or Day Care? Opinions PLEASE!’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors