Before my daughter was born, my husband and I had just joined a new gym. He was working a lot at the time so going to the gym together was one of the best ways we could still hang out. Unfortunately, the gym we chose did not have on-site childcare. We had committed to a year-long membership and vowed to join a different gym with childcare once it ran out. We were so happy with the gym we ended up joining next because their childcare was fantastic. There is no reason to not try the free childcare at the gym. The benefits to yourself and your child can be substantial.
This Reddit commentor is skeptical about gym childcare and of course, all parents should suss out any situation they are about to put their child in but with gym childcare, you are going to be on site. I think it’s a great solution for parents who need to work out but have no other choice for childcare:
The answers from Redditors were all very encouraging, as I suspected they would be. If you tour a gym before joining and are interested in the childcare, just tour at a time when they have hours and check out the vibe for yourself. Ours holds to strict standards as far as teacher to kid ratios and has toys and games for a wide age range. They also have big windows in the front so teachers and kids are visible at all times. It’s always clean and relatively quiet considering how many kids are in there. The teachers always have excellent control of the group and the kids are happy.
The best part, as I mentioned before, is that you are right there. If you have never used a babysitter for your child before, this is probably the best way to start out. I know some gyms even have special beepers or bracelets the parent can wear so they can be notified if their child is upset or needs them for something. I wish our gym had that when my son was a young toddler because he definitely had his moments where we had to run back in and comfort him.
We haven’t used the gym daycare as much since our kids started school. My husband and I tend to rotate when we go so one of us is home with them. Since they are already in school all day, we feel bad having them go to daycare instead of doing homework and relaxing in their own house for a bit. But when I was a stay-at-home mom, gym daycare was an absolute lifesaver for me. Even on days where I had no playdate plans and was kind of lonely, I could get out of the house and do something for myself while knowing my kids were safe and close by. I can’t imagine why any parent would be apprehensive to use it when the benefits can be so great.