Since you are reading this article you should be in a situation where you must make a decision about who’s going to look after your infant. Some first options for many parents include leaving the baby at her grandparents, hiring a helper, or send her to a nanny or infant care centre.
For many parents, the most convenient option is the last one and today we’re going to be talking about how to make the whole transition process as easy for your baby as possible.
According to Child Care Aware, children can tell if a parent is not comfortable leaving her in the infant care centre, so they become anxious if the parents are anxious. This effect can be reduced by keeping the childcare transition positive and explaining to your baby why you are leaving and when you will be back.
There are many things that parents can do to ease their children into childcare. Following are some tips to get you started:
- Focus on the fun
One way to start is to read stories or draw pictures about day care to your child. Also, set up play dates with kids from the centre to get them familiar with their new peers.
- Visit the infant day care
Going together to the infant care centre before the first day is helpful in getting your baby acquainted with the place.
- Don’t sneak away
Some parents prefer to sneak away instead of saying goodbye. They run the risk of jeopardizing the child’s trust. It is always better to offer the security of explaining why must you go.
- Bring special items from home
It has been found that having a special object from home, such as a stuffed animal or a cushion, helps children during the introduction to a new infant care, especially during the goodbye transition.
- Floor design
Ideally, the bath/changing area, the food preparation area and the main area of play should be in different rooms, or at the very least, in different sections. But some baby day care centres have all of these in one room.
It is not a good thing to have the changing area sharing space with the food. As you might have guessed, the smells of diapers can get in contact with the food, which is never a desirable thing.
To close the list, we wanted to include some well-being related factors. These should not be overlooked:
- Air quality
Some people purposely choose non-air-conditioned centres as they feel that germs will spread less readily there. Possibly it is true. But that does not eliminate the presence of germs at all.
Instead, what you should be looking for, is an air purifying system. An air purifier in the infant care will dramatically reduce the exposure of your baby to all kinds of pollutants and dangerous particles that roam in the air.
It complements the air-conditioning to provide better air circulation and ensures that the air indoors is clean. Remember this the next time the PSI 400 strikes.
Read more about Air conditioner and air purifier
Some parents have been told that infants in an infant care fall sick more easily than those who stay home. This is true to some extent, says Dr. Chan Poh Chong, a senior consultant with the Division of General Ambulatory Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine at the National University Hospital. Young children can catch infections easily because of the constant exposure to fluids and secretions (which may contain viruses) in a confined space.
The centre must pay attention to the diaper changing practice and the handling of urine and poop spillages. Teachers should wash their hands with soap thoroughly.
Best practices include sanitizing the equipment regularly and using air filters to ensure clean air is being circulated.
Read more about Indoor air quality