You'll find hundreds of files on cleft lip, cleft palate here on widesmiles.org.
This one is about: Answering the Question of Day Care
(c) 1996 Wide Smiles
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WIDE SMILES asked the question, "How do (or did) you handle the question of day care on a regular basis and after surgery?" Many parents responded. The following answers are representative of the responses given:
"About the day-care question, I am a stay-at-home mother. I feel that the single greatest thing I can do for my kids is be there for them. It takes longer to feed my son with his bilateral cleft palate. I know that he is getting all the nourishment he needs because I am giving it to him. I would always wonder if someone else would take the time necessary to feed him, or would she just get frustrated and give up? You never know."
"I had made very careful child care plans while I was pregnant, but after my son was born the sitter I had chosen backed out on me! She said she didn't want to take the liability of a "disabled baby". After that I found that it was nearly impossible to find another day care for my infant because waiting lists were do long everywhere - and here my baby had a cleft lip to boot! I finally just quit my job and got a family day care license myself. Now I stay at home with my son, and I am earning an income too! This is not easy work, but I've found it very rewarding, I'm happier than I ever was in the work-a-day outside world."
"I don't know what I would do without my family. They have always been so supportive. I work and must be away from home three days a week. My mother takes care of my kids for me when I am gone. I know she loves them, clefts and all."
"When Hannah was little I would invite any prospective sitter over to meet her before I ever left them alone with her. I took the extra time to teach them how to use the bottles, how to feed her, etc. I found that the sitters were more tan happy to get the little 'tutorial', and I know I felt better. By the way, I always paid them for the time they spent learning about Hannah. In the end, I think I had some of the most enthusiastic baby sitters ever!"
The final count was just about even between those who stay home and those who work outside the home. The overwhelming consistency was the concern that each parent had for quality care for their children, wherever they may have found that care.