Daycare

Does your son go to daycare?

Our Daddy MD Guide’s reply: My son was in daycare by nine months of life. I am actually a big fan of daycare. This might sound funny coming from a pediatrician, given that a daycare setting is a major risk factor for almost every illness we encounter, but there are many major positives about having your child in daycare.

First, there’s no better developmental stimulation, especially social, as well as speech and motor skill-wise. At daycare, your child is forced to demonstrate communication skills to “get that toy or share that cookie,” where as at home, he or she will get everything on a silver spoon thanks to Mom, Dad, Grandma, or Grandpa. Furthermore, daycare decreases a lot of the social anxiety that comes with starting school when one is older if the child is socially insulated early on.

Sure, putting your child in daycare might cost you a couple of extra visits to the pediatrician’s office for a runny nose, but in my opinion it’s well worth it.

Zeyad Baker, MD, a dad of a 20-month-old son with one on the way. He is the chief pediatric officer of the Riverside Pediatric Group in New Jersey.

Q&A by Wyatt Myers