Lukas is now in his 3rd week of daycare - 2 days the first week, 3 the second. He seems to be getting over the initially shock to his senses from the sheer chaos that can perpetually surround him with 8 other infants and 3-4 care providers all crammed into a space the size of our living and dining room and all in various states of emotional turmoil!
I have to admit that he looked a bit shell shocked after the first few days. And a bit overwhelmed with trying to nap in that environment after the pains we took to make sure he was insulated from most loud noises while napping at home. I am not sure that in the end we did him a great service by not making him nap with more at-home noises during his first 8 months. Our son is a champ at rebounding and adjusting to his environment however, and he does seems to be doing much better this week and really seems to be enjoying himself. He has a few buddies now, and the noise and chaos may, in the end, be good for him. I have personally experienced him yelling for joy with the other babies!
However, the noise and chaos were not the only issues that Lukas had to overcome at daycare last week.
A caveat before the rest of the post. Our daycare came HIGHLY recommended. We did our research and talked to other parents and the caregivers and were very happy with our choice. We also had to register and put down a deposit 15 months in advance in order to reserve a spot. When Mrs. LIAYF was only 2 months pregnant. Seriously. So, this is a good daycare and hard to get into.
So, Mrs. LIAYF and I were shocked, and honestly, a bit angered when we found out last Friday that the daycare staff decided to forgo offering Lukas his bottle of nature's finest (breast milk) to instead offer him a big bowl of oatmeal cereal in the afternoon. The only fluids they had offered him all day was a 40z bottle of milk in the morning! That came the day after he only had 5.5oz all day. (He had been averaging at least 10-12oz a day at home).
Lukas was so dehydrated and stuffed with solids that he didn't poop for three days, and Friday night he was awake off and on all through the night crying. This was extremely out of character for him. His mother couldn't and wouldn't abide by our 'no nursing after he goes to bed' policy and she nursed him during the night to calm and hydrate him!
Really, come on, this is not Rocket Science! Babies his age need more fluids than a bowl of oatmeal provides, and to not offer any to them for 5-6 hours is asinine!
His primary care provider was out sick on Thursday and Friday - the days when he had less breast milk - but we had both expected more sense from the rest of the care providers. We ended up having a meeting and firmly (but nicely) told them he was to have a bottle every time he woke from a nap and no more solids during the afternoon until he had drank at least 12oz of milk. To their credit, they apologized for the confusion and adjusted without complaint. Lukas has averaged drinking 17oz a day this week at daycare just with the change in feeding schedule! And, he's eating solids as well.
An 8-month old baby can't survive on oatmeal and his looks alone (although Lukas can come close). They do need to have some liquid protein mixed in for proper brain development. In the end, Lukas is thriving and we have learned that we need to assume nothing about how caregivers will treat your child. Messages about your child's needs may be lost in translation and care providers are sometimes out sick. I don't relish being the squeaky wheel, but if it means Luke gets the attention he needs, so be it.