A Caring Place for Your Infant
What to Look in an Infant Program?
As you speak softly to your baby, countless connections are being made inside the young brain. We explore the incredible capacities of infant's every day. Lights, sound and new people evoke various responses in their surroundings. Babies express their feelings through their expressions, movements and noise they make.
It is very challenging to care for infants on a day-to-day basis and opens opportunities to promote children’s learning. Parents want a place, which feels safe and comfortable for their children along with fostering their emotional, social, physical, and intellectual development.
When infants are exposed to kind, caring and compassionate adults early in life, stronger connections are developed which last a lifetime.
Physical abilities of infants are present from the initial months. Starting with the gain of control of their hands and feet to developing coordinated and purposeful movements like grasping, reaching, releasing and kicking. Babies discover how their bodies’ move and feel, as they roll, scoot, rock, and bounce. They start responding to music and pleasant tone of voice.
Babies often follow objects and people with their eyes, but they do not search for them. They want to be around people and feel the need for constant attention. Babies respond separately to a friendly and sad tone of a person. They respond in their own individual ways to the emotions of people around them. Caregivers play a major role in the development of babies.
Good teachers and caregivers understand that babies learn best when they feel secure. That’s why it’s necessary for adults to respond consistently. Infants develop trust and security with their teachers only when they know that their teachers will be right there to help if they are hungry, wet, or uncomfortable.
Caregivers must be aware of the circadian rhythm of the child along with their likes and dislikes. For example, when infants start to walk and run around they may not like being held and cuddled. Good training and experience of teachers in understanding the developmental milestones of infant helps them to take good care of children. Once the babies start communicating it becomes important to encourage their attempts to use words and build a healthy relationship with the baby. A collective effort of teacher and the family to understand the growing needs of the child helps to improve the growth of the child.
As the baby grows we observe change in behavior from stranger anxiety to making new friends and becoming independent
Babies are more comfortable if there is stability between the atmosphere of home and day care surroundings. This occurs when there is a discussion between parents and teachers, on a daily basis regarding their routine activities. The trust between families and teachers will grow when their communication is thorough and consistent.
Teachers develop strong bonds with the babies during their interactions like while playing, eating and dressing. Teachers should be aware of the mother tongue and up bringing styles of the parents. Parents should feel comfortable in case of any disagreements or misunderstandings with the teacher.
Adapting to new surroundings
All babies respond differently to a new care setting. Some adapt easily while others show strong resistance to the new surroundings. Sometimes babies fear that their parents are not coming back when they are left with strangers. Combined efforts of skilled teachers and parents help babies through this critical period of adjustment. This period may not be easy for both the child and parents. Child’s age is a major factor controlling their period of adjustment. As they grow they learn to enjoy the company of other babies and will barely notice when parents leave.
The goals are to satisfy the needs of the parents and to assure them that their baby will be safe, secure and comfortable with their new surroundings.
Parents can find in advance how a program functions. A gradual separation of the child from the parents is needed to make the transition smooth. Skilled teachers help parents to cope with transition and reassure that there is no substitute for a parent’s love. Babies will adjust more smoothly if adults demonstrate trust and respect for one another.
Author: Dr. Pragnya Rathod Pediatrics Ophthalmologist and Squint Surgeon MBBS, DNB, FICO (UK), FPOS