Every infant has particular preferences, rituals and routines, but there’s one thing they all have in common: a need for consistent, responsive caregivers. At Gretchen’s House, we don’t try to make infants comply with a daily schedule that is convenient for teachers. Rather, we follow infant’s cues and allow them to eat and sleep on demand. Somewhere between three months and six months of age, most infants begin to develop a more predictable daily rhythm. We provide older infants with a smooth routine that balances active and quiet play, thereby reducing stressful and abrupt transitions.
Each infant has a primary caregiver who spends the most time with him or her, records activities on the daily log, and does most of the communicating with parents. Teachers in a room share care of all the children, however, so that all caregivers are a familiar, comforting presence to both children and adults. The teacher-to-child ratio in our infant rooms is 1:4. For younger infants, we strive for 1:3 for much of the day.
Infant activities include tummy time, supported sitting, and free movement all with access to colorful, safe toys. We also do art and music activities such as fingerpainting, dancing, and musical instruments. Infants go outside every day, as do children in all our programs.
Infants have their own crib in an attended room. We practice Safe Sleep as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Cribs do not have bumper pads and infants are put on their backs to sleep in SleepSacs. Bedding is washed weekly or more frequently, as needed.
Diapers and Feeding
We use disposable diapers at the centers, but families who use cloth diapers at home can bring their child to the center in a cloth diaper and we will put the child in a cloth diaper to go home.
We are happy to feed your child your breastmilk at the center. You can read about our guidelines in the Infant Feeding Purple Page.
To learn more about how our programs target infant development, please click on the appropriate Active Learning Brochure below. Remember that milestones for each group are averages. The age group brochure above or below your child’s actual age may be more appropriate for your child and this is still perfectly normal development.