My husband and I were both born in the US but we are comfortable in conversational Mandarin since our parents raised us in a Mandarin speaking environment. We recently had a baby and I’ve been speaking to her only in Mandarin (he has as well when he’s home with smatterings of English) and it’s important to us both that she can learn the language. We’ve also been trying to practice speaking Mandarin to one another (though not perfect, we’re more comfortable in English).
My dilemma is that I am considering returning to work when she is close to 5 months old. I worry that if we have a caretaker or daycare that is English only and she only hears Mandarin at home when I come back from work and weekends, it’s not enough for her to learn the language, since the site says that 30% of her waking hours should be immersion. Sadly, we don’t have any family or grandparents around that can speak to her all the time.
What are some things I can do to ensure that she can still learn it and be fluent — or is it best if I stay at home?
We also considered a nanny that speaks a third language, but we also worry another language that is not familiar to my husband or me might not have added benefit. Does anybody have any thoughts?
Thank you for your help!