Overstimulated Toddlers: Is Your Child In a Loud Daycare?

Posted on Mar 15, 2010 by 1 Comment


Have you ever noticed how babies fall asleep when there is too much commotion, only to wake up and be fussy after? This enviable skill impresses me – oh how I’d love to just shut out the world sometimes. However, I could skip the fussy part. Unfortunately, now I seem to just skip to the fussy part.

Our world is super stimulating! You know how tired you are after going to a big box store, like Costco? Those harsh lights. All that packaging to look at. The bad muzak. I’m always in such a bad mood after a trip to a superstore and just want to tune out the world. Now, what does this have to do with children?

I’ll tell ya – my daughter’s day care. It assaults my senses. When I first walked in I was completely overwhelmed with all the colors, the patterns, the stuffed animals, the alphabet posters, the this and the that…it was like the room was yelling at me, you know, how a deaf person yells. Not angry or even particularly excited, just loud.

Now, why, you ask, did I put my daughter in this day care? Simple. Had to. Our situation at home quickly became untenable – staying at home with two kids is hard. When one of those children is a newborn and you’re breastfeeding, it’s downright impossible. I was out numbered.

Plus, I needed to sprout at least 2, if not 4, more hands. Picture this: one mom, one baby attached to boob, one (maybe) free hand to play with, discipline and otherwise look after a toddler…well, you’re starting to see my dilemma.

Add a dash of sleeplessness and a pinch of a short fuse and now the picture is getting clearer. Not a good situation for any of us.

So, back to daycare…my daughter’s playmate attends this daycare. The playmate she sees multiple times a week. The playmate she spontaneously announced that she “loves.” Can you imagine – my little girl, in love at age 2 (OMG! I’m gonna have my hands full).

Said playmate makes her feel comfortable and I needed something in her life to make her feel comfortable since our home life makes her feel decidedly uncomfortable right now (a new baby will do that) Plus, the director of this daycare is lovely, a good cook and very good with children.

It’s just her aesthetics I abhor. Is that terrible, to let aesthetics dictate my choice of daycare? I mean, aesthetics can guide a decision about a bed, a stroller, even a car seat (as long as the safety issues are well researched). But a daycare?

Yes, a daycare.

For now, my child is very happy at this daycare so I’m not changing her. But, you can bet your sweet patooty I’m taking aesthetics into account when we apply to preschools! I’m not even kidding.

There are, in fact, scientific reasons why aesthetics should be taken in to account when deciding about your little one’s environment that I won’t get into now. It’d just sound like rationalization. But, suffice it to say, I’m opting for a more calm and quiet approach when it comes to our long term child care/education plans.

photo credit: kevindooley

Posted in: Health, Mommy Stuff, Parenting

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  • http://shsAgency@gmail.com M. Hartford

    I hear this comment a lot from parents who are considering a nanny rather than an institutional daycare. Every daycare center I have visited is loud, chaotic and very busy visually. I think the number of babies and kids make it loud but other factors like the visual stimulation can also be overwhelming.

    Obviously, there is much to be said for familiar and calm surroundings in a home setting, but like the post author’s viewpoint, I was particular about the school environment when my children entered preschool. Whether intentional or not, I was looking for visual calm in addition to a great curriculum and staff from a private school.