Program For Infants 12 Weeks Through 12 Months
Welcome to the Infant Room at Small Savers Montessori!
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 Montessori pedagogy. We believe that each baby is an individual and develops at their own pace.
The Infant room has one Lead certified Montessori teacher and three Assistant teachers. We have a max of twelve children in the environment. We operate under a primary caregiver system. Each teacher is primarily responsible for three children, though 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 progress through written reports. 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 staff works as a team and the other three teachers can help you as well.
Each child's daily activity is based on his or her evolving pattern of playing, eating and sleeping. We follow the child, just like Maria Montessori, when the child is hungry, sleepy, or in need of a hug, we are there to meet that need. Everything is "on demand." There are no set schedules in the Infant Room.
The teachers in the Infant Room recognize that many families value the continuation of breastfeeding through the first year. Our teachers understand the challenges that working mothers who continue to breastfeed face, and they are extremely supportive. They take extra care in handling pumped breastmilk, assist in organizing frozen breastmilk in the Infant Room freezer, call nursing moms for feedings if requested and provide rocking chairs for moms who come to breastfeed during the day.
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 understand that children can better learn about their environment 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. 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 an emergency situation. Therefore, we ask that you do the same. 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
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 want to call ahead to make sure your child is awake.
During your child's 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 herself".
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.
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. Our room parents will also communicate this information in their class emails.