Infant Room - Philosophy
Welcome to the Infant Room at Small Savers Child Development Center! Our goal is to make your experience here as enriching and positive as possible.
You may notice that there are several things that Small Savers may do a little differently than other centers. Most of these differences revolve around our core philosophy of individualism. We believe that each baby is an individual and treat every child as such. This is a theme that runs throughout every aspect of our program, from feeding and sleeping to general development.
We operate under a Primary Caregiver system. While each teacher is primarily responsible for three children, we all care for every child. Your child's Primary Caregiver, however, is more in tune to your child and will track his or her Daily Report. When you have specific concerns or questions regarding your child, feel free to talk first with your child's Primary Caregiver. Keep in mind that the Infant Room works as a team and the other three staff members should be able to help you as well.
Caregivers in the Infant Room recognize that many families value the continuation of breastfeeding through the first year. Our caregivers understand the challenges that working mothers who continue to breastfeed face, and they are extremely supportive: taking extra care handling pumped breastmilk, frozen breastmilk may also be stored and used in case of emergencies, calling a nursing mom for feedings if she requests, providing rocking chairs for moms who come to breastfeed during the day, etc.
As stated in the Small Savers Parent Manual, "Each baby's daily activity is based on his or her evolving pattern of playing, eating and sleeping." While your child may be eating right now "on schedule" every "x" number of hours, it is extremely difficult to maintain that schedule in a school setting. We feed babies when they are hungry and put them to sleep when they are tired. Everything is "on demand." There are no schedules in the Infant Room.
Another big difference between Small Savers and other centers is that we do not put children into positions that they cannot put themselves into. For example, we would not leave a child sitting up who could not get into that position by herself. We do not use "boppies" or other infant chairs, swings, or bouncy seats. We feel that children can better learn about their environments when given the opportunity to use their own bodies to explore.
When it comes to bottle-feeding, we never allow children to eat while in the supine (on their back) position. Their Eustachian Tubes are not fully developed (i.e., they are smaller and more horizontal than adult Eustachian Tubes) and drinking in this fashion can sometimes contribute to ear infections. We keep all infants at a 45-degree angle while feeding. We also do not bottle prop. While we encourage infants to hold their own bottles, we never leave them unattended with a bottle.
At Small Savers, we believe in the importance of sleep. In order for infants to grow and thrive, they need to be well rested. While all infants know how to sleep, they often do not know how to fall asleep or stay asleep. We help the children learn how to fall asleep in their cribs by rubbing their backs or gently rocking the cribs. We do not put children to sleep on their bottles, in the rocking chairs, or in the pen. We do not wake the children up for anything but a fire drill or other emergency situation. Therefore, we ask that you do the same. While it may seem harmless at the time, waking babies up tends to throw them off for the remainder of the day. If you would like to come for a visit, we are more than happy to call you when your child wakes up.
If your child takes a pacifier, please be aware that we only allow the children to use pacifiers in their cribs when they are going to sleep or when they are on walks. We believe that children (with our assistance) can learn to soothe themselves and should not become dependent on the pacifier. Also, when they are in the pen, it is too tempting for their friends to grab it out of their mouths!
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to talk to us about them. We want you to feel comfortable leaving your child in our care.
Communicating About Your Baby
At Small Savers, we understand the important role that communication plays in supporting your baby's needs. We also know that this is a very overwhelming transition time for parents. Please feel free to call or visit anytime. We have an open-door policy and encourage you to visit throughout the day. While we do not require you to call before coming, you may decide you would like to call to make sure your child is awake. As stated earlier, if your child is sleeping, we are more than happy to call you when he is awake. Someone is always in the classroom (unless we've all gone out on a walk or are at a school event) to take your call.
During the first few days in the Infant Room -- as well as periods of changing development -- your baby's routine may vary considerably. We appreciate flexibility in meeting your baby's needs and will do everything possible to ensure that your baby is happy and content. We will call and consult with you whenever our normal interventions and support are not working, or if your baby doesn't seem "quite himself".
In the Infant Room, we use several methods to ensure clear communication regarding your child’s needs:
- Clipboards: When you arrive in the morning or leave at the end of the day, we strongly encourage you to write notes for your child's Primary Caregiver on the small clipboards located at the end of the counter. Please let us know when your child last ate, last slept, if you will be visiting during the day and when, and your approximate pick-up time. Also, please note if your child has any special instructions, prescriptions, doctor's appointments, or a change in mood that we should be aware of. Even though you are writing this on your Primary Caregiver's sheet, every teacher reads and is familiar with your child's schedule.
- Daily Reports: We keep track of your baby's information regarding napping, bottles, eating (how much, when, and which types of foods), walks and fire drills. At the end of the day, your child's Primary Caregiver will write a brief synopsis of your baby's day.
- Small Saver's Bi-weekly Newsletter: Our Newsletter is sent via email about every other week to every parent who would like to be included on the list. The Newsletter includes sections from each classroom and the Director about upcoming events, current projects, field trips, reminders, your child's accomplishments and Wish List items. Hardcopies of the Newsletter are also available.
- Signs/Email: For any meetings, health alerts, potluck events, etc., we will post signs on the front and back doors of the Center for parents to read. We will also try to send this information via email.
- Bulletin Board: In the front of the Center, there is a bulletin board that often contains news articles, conferences, or other related information. Be sure to check it out a couple of times a month.