Baby L – Starting Infant Care
It has been less than 2 weeks since Laurent started going to infant care and I am already missing the precious mornings we spent snuggling in bed (yes, even with his feet and hands all over my face), his excited squeals in the bathtub during his morning baths and hearing his cute little snores while I’m pumping during his naps.
I’ve had the privilege to spend 8 beautiful months with Laurent and watch him hit some of his major milestones during this period. Although not every day is a good day and there are times I get quite frustrated with the way things were, extending my leave beyond 16 weeks had been one of the best choices I’ve made.
I could still remember thinking to myself on the official last day of my maternity leave how thankful I am to be able to continue staying at home with my baby even though it meant that I will have no income the following month.
I’m really fortunate that my boss and colleagues had been really supportive the whole time so I could continue my leave for an extended period with a peace of mind.
And I’m extremely blessed to have a husband who respects and fully supports every choice I make. When we were making childcare plans for Laurent before he was born, I told Wayne I was considering to take no-pay leave for a few months to look after Laurent myself. But I wasn’t sure if things will work out on the finance side because we’re having a baby, we’re moving to a new place, we’re digging into our savings for renovation, etc.
So after I blasted a whole monologue at him about my internal debate as to whether I should go on no-pay leave, he simply said, “If that is what you want, we’ll do just that.” He reminded me to be faithful and assured me that things will surely work out.
Fast-forward 8 months later, things did work out. We survived, I still retained my sanity, the baby is growing well, and the last time I checked, we are not in debt. Hallelujah!
We decided to enrol him into the infant care partly because our initial childcare plan did not work out and by 6 months, while I enjoyed my time with him, I felt that both of us were getting a little bored at home. I thought he could learn more and have more opportunity to develop his social skills if he is around other children.
After visiting a few infant care facilities, we settled for our current one. Besides convenience, we wanted an infant care that is well-maintained, clean, has a lovely environment and teachers who enjoys what they do.
Ok, so after backtracking for a good part of the post, I’m extremely pleased (and yes, thankful, with the lack of a better word) that Laurent has transited really well into being at the infant care.
No baby drama and no crying mama.
On his first day, we reached the IFC around 10am to miss all the early morning hubbub so that the teachers have more time to focus on him.
He happily fell into the arms of a teacher who greeted us at the door but kept a close look to make sure we are still around. We could sense his excitement about the new place and new routine as he sat on the floor and turned his head in all directions, trying to take in all the sights and sounds.
We watched him take a bath and mingled with his new baby friends before Wayne and I left to have lunch nearby.
When we returned, he was about to have his lunch and was his usual greedy self, getting all enthusiastic about his food.
We left the compound after seeing that he has settled down quite well and only got a call close to 4pm that Laurent is getting a little cranky. When we arrived to pick him up, he was waving his arms around and getting all anxious to be picked up by us. I’ve never seen his so excited to see us before!
That night, he was up till 1am, playing peek-a-boo with his blanket, trying to crawl, refusing to lie down and just ‘talking’ non-stop. Must have been quite an eventful day for him!
To give the grandparents a peace of mind, we brought them to the IFC to take a look at the environment and how Laurent is adapting.
Over the week, we started to leave him there for longer period of time and yesterday, he was at the IFC from 9am to 6.30pm because we had something to attend to. The teachers said that he has settled down very well, he loves his bath time, he always finishes his food, he enjoys his singing and reading sessions and he is always chatting with someone. Anyone.
The only problem so far was that he developed some rashes on his body during the first 2 days at the infant care. We later realised that they were heat rash and it went away after we told the teachers that they don’t need to put on too many layers of clothes for him.
With him being at the infant care, we could see that he has picked up new things, became more active and even more chatty (I didn’t even know that was possible!). Having less time together also makes me cherish every single minute I have with him even more and I look forward to his weekend baths more than ever.
And he misses all of us more too! That’s how exhilarated he was when he went to my parents’ house after his first week at IFC.
I pray that he will continue to enjoy being at the infant care and the Lord will watch over him, protecting him, so that he continues to grow healthy and develop well.
Although I’m thankful seeing how much he has been enjoying himself at the infant care, it’s still a bittersweet experience because it signifies a new phase of his life. The beginning of a stage of learning and exploration, and the end of a much cherished stage of closeness and dependence.
You’re growing up so fast, my baby boy…