Three Questions To Ask Before Enrolling Your Infant In Childcare
Going back to work after having a baby can be a difficult prospect for parents to face. Knowing that your infant will be in a caring and supportive environment can go a long way to giving you peace of mind throughout the workday. Doing your due diligence when choosing a daycare provider can help give you that peace of mind. Here are some essential questions to ask before enrolling your infant in am infant child care program.
How Do You Nurture Development?
It's important that your infant do more than spend time in a crib or high chair while you are away. Ask about how the school works to nurture development with the infants in the room. This might include story time, tummy time, and playing with toys that feature unique textures and colors. While a young infant may not be able to do much independent playing, he or she can still take advantage of playful learning in the right environment. If possible, ask to observe the children already enrolled to see how the staff engages with the infants.
How Is Nap Time Structured?
For some infants, having a set nap routine during the day is essential for good sleep at night. This also means that having the proper naps during the day for your infant can help you sleep better at night as well. Discuss how naps are addressed so you can be sure that your infant is getting adequate sleep on a schedule that works for both you and the daycare staff. Each baby should have his or her own crib to sleep in, and you should feel confident that the cribs and bedding are safe for your child.
How Do You Address Feedings?
Infant childcare rooms may be set up with babies from as young as 6 weeks all the way up to 1 year of age, though this depends on the facility. With children at various stages of development in the same program, feeding needs may be vastly different. Discuss how your infant will be fed, and make sure that the school can maintain a proper feeding schedule. You'll also want to make sure that solid foods are not introduced until you are ready for them to be. In some cases, the school may provide baby foods, or you may need to bring them with your infant when he or she is old enough. Check to make sure that there are adequate refrigerators to hold breast milk or formula for your infant so he or she gets fresh, safe bottles at every feeding.
Once you are comfortable that you've found the right infant childcare program, introduce your little one to the staff and the room. You'll be able to see his or her reaction to this new environment, and you may even feel more confident after the visit that you've chosen the right facility to care for your infant.