Infant Care (6 weeks – 12 months)

Babies are totally dependent. The present adult is responsible for meeting their every need when they demand it. They will learn to trust based on how you respond in meeting their needs. Babies need to feel secure, have lots of one-on-one attention, cuddling, and be talked to. An infant’s day will revolve around eating, sleeping, observing and playing. They need safe open spaces in which they can move and crawl.

Tummy Time: While awake, and on a clean, safe surface, infants are placed on their tummies at least twice a day for 15 minutes to strengthen the neck, back and shoulders. During this time, provider/supervising staff will interact with the infant (gentle stroking, talking, singing, calling attention to colorful toys on the left, the right and straight ahead). As the infant gets older, placing toys just out of reach will encourage reaching and crawling.

Ways used to help calm a crying baby:

  • Check to see if diaper needs changing.
  • Feed slowly, stopping to burp often.
  • Offer their pacifier.
  • Hold infant check-to-check against bare skin.
  • Rock your infant using slow, rhythmic movements.
  • Play soft, soothing music.
  • Take infant for a walk in a stroller.
  • Talk softly to infant.
  • Teething infants are given cooled teething rings which are sanitized after each use.

If the infant won’t stop crying, check for signs of illness. Call the parents/legal guardians if the infant shows sign of illness.

Pacifiers without attachments are allowed:

  • Parent/legal guardian will provide at least two new pacifiers (labeled with their child’s name using a waterproof label or non-toxic permanent marker) as needed for their child to use.
  • Each pacifier will be inspected for tears or cracks (and to see if there is unknown fluid in the nipple) before each use.
  • Infants will not be forced to take a pacifier.
  • Pacifier will not be coated in any sweet solution. 
  • Pacifier will be cleaned with soap and water.
  • Cleaned pacifiers will be stored open to air; separate from the diapering area.

Feeding: Infants will be fed on demand unless written instructions stating otherwise are provided by the parent/legal guardian with doctor’s signature. Infants will be allowed to eat their way – much or little, fast or slow, steady or start-and-stop. It is not necessary to finish off a bottle, container of food or food on the plate. This will support the development of understanding personal fullness cues. To avoid waste, feeding will start with small amounts and add more if the infant indicates they are still hungry.

Infants will be held with heads slightly elevated while bottle feeding. Bottle propping is never allowed.

  • When infants can hold their own bottles, they are held or placed in a position that supports good feeding.
  • Bottles and sippy cups are used by infants as skill indicates.

Infants will eat from plates and utensils on appropriately sanitized surfaces, such as feeding station tables and high chair trays.

  • Cups and spoons are encouraged by 9 months of age.

Once solid foods start they will be chosen to provide key nutrients and help infants meet their energy needs. Foods will only be introduced within the program after they have been introduced at home without reaction. Solid foods in pureed form are provided in consultation with guardian (usually by 6 months). Chopped, safe, table foods (no larger than 1⁄4 inch cubes for infants and 1⁄2 inch cubes for toddlers) are encouraged after 8 months of age again in consultation with guardian and as child’s ability with food indicates.

  •  Goal is introduction of a variety of foods by the end of the first year.

Children under 6 months of age will only have breast milk or iron fortified infant formula to drink unless under written direction by their physician. After 6 months they will be introduced to a small amount of water after feedings. Efforts are made to support families in their personal decisions regarding breastfeeding their infants.

  • A private comfortable space is available for breastfeeding or pumping.
  • Expressed breast milk needs the child’s name and date clearly labeled on each bag/bottle brought into Country Fun Child Care.
  • Microwave ovens and crock pots are not used to heat formula, breast milk or baby food.
  • Frozen breast milk is thawed overnight in the refrigerator and the bottle is warmed in a cup of warm water just before feeding.
  • All unused, filled bottles will be returned to the parent at the end of each day.
  • For infants taking formula, the formula will be provided by provider as a normal food, unless there is a special dietary need. -Special formulas are provided by the individual parents.
  • Powdered formula cans will be dated when opened and stored in a cool, dry place for up to one month.
  • Medication is never added to breast milk or formula except with the written instruction of the health care provider.

Sleeping: Infants will have a morning and afternoon nap time of length appropriate for their age and development.

  • Back to sleep—Babies up to 12 months will be placed on their backs for sleep, unless the child’s health provider has completed a signed waiver indicating that the child requires an alternate sleep position. (Child that self turn will not be repositioned.)
  • No positioning devices will be used unless required by the child’s health provider, and no other items in a crib except a pacifier.
  • Infant’s head will remain uncovered at all times.
  • Only one infant in each crib.
  • Lighting in the room allows for infants’ face to be seen, to view the color of the infant’s skin, and to check on breathing and placement of the pacifier (if used).
  • Cribs are located away from windows, wall hangings, electrical and window- covering cords, and other dangerous items.
  • Temperature in the room is comfortable for a lightly clothed adult, check the infants to make sure that they are comfortably clothed and bibs, necklaces, and garments with ties or hoods are removed.
  • If an infant falls asleep in any place that is not a safe sleep environment, they will be immediately moved to their crib and placed in the supine position.
  • Swaddling infants when they are in a crib is not allowed.
  • Ongoing direct supervision of sleeping infants by sight and sound

Parental Communication: Verbal communication of the infant’s day and activities will be provided daily upon pick-up. Written communication of an infant’s feeding, voiding, sleeping and general activity each day, will be provided if requested by the parent/legal guardian and form is provided.