We are trying to figure out the best child care solution for our situation. We need to find something for now, just for a few hours to be able to attend meetings and seminars at the institute, and something a bit more extended (but not too much) for when I will return to Canada without S. after Christmas.
As I said before, there is Kelly, the wife of another postdoc, who does babysitting at the moment, but unfortunately the schedule of meetings was changed last week and now it doesn't fit with Kelly's schedule anymore. She was able to help us this week though. We left Rajiv at home with her twice, for about two hours each time, and things seemed to go well. He didn't seem to be scared of being with a stranger, I think he is too young for that kind of reaction. I left some of my milk in a bottle for him both times - the expressing and storing milk part of leaving him with someone else is more difficult and stressful than I would have imagined - but he didn't seem to be interested. The first time he drank only half of the small quantity of milk I had left for him and the second time apparently he didn't want to drink from the bottle at all. Of course these were very short separations, but this is going to be quite important if I decide to leave him with somebody else for longer periods of time.
We might still use Kelly's help in the future, but we need to find some other solution as well, so we are looking into daycare centers, with no luck so far. Typically one needs to be on the waiting list for a couple of years before being accepted by one of these centers and most don't seem so attractive to me anyway. They have things like diaper changing schedule, meaning that all children are changed every so many hours at the same time. So what is "something" happens five minutes after the changing time? They sit in it until it's time again?
Small home childcare centers are also an option, but we haven't found anything good yet. We were referred to one lady who is apparently very experienced and accepts infants but she still has to return my call after a few days and anyway the same person who gave me her name now seems to have changed her mind and is actually discouraging me from choosing this solution. Apparently when she was checking out the place last week a child fell down the stairs... lovely.
The institute is supposed to help us sorting this out, but I think that our situation is quite unlike others they have had experience with. They promised to come up with some suggestions by next week, so we will have some updates then. For the moment the conclusion is that finding good daycare is very very hard and finding not so good daycare is very very hard anyway... :(