Infants in Child Care

Infant sleeping and smiling

Infancy is one of the most important stages in a child’s life. Child care providers need to understand how infants develop in order to provide sensitive, responsive child care programs that meet the needs of individual infants. The following articles give child care providers some basic information about infant development.

What Child Care Providers Can Expect in Infants' Social and Emotional Development

Baby and mother smiling at each other

Babies start forming attachments with the important adults in their lives from the moment they are born. They learn to trust their parents, child care providers, and other important adults, and learn that other people will meet their needs. During the infant years, child care providers can help babies build a sense of trust and security by being responsive to each individual infant. Responding consistently to babies’ cries, spending one-on-one time with each infant, observing and responding to babies’ cues, …

Tips for Child Care Providers to Soothe a Crying Baby

Crying baby close up

Caring for a baby who cries constantly can be exhausting and overwhelming for child care providers. It’s easy to get frustrated and angry when nothing you do seems to calm the baby down. Here are some ways to calm a crying baby (or several babies) in a group setting. But never shake a baby! If you shake a baby you can cause permanent damage or death. Babies have large heavy heads and weak neck muscles. When a baby is shaken, …

What Child Care Providers Can Expect in Infants' Physical Development

Baby crawling on stomach

If you are a child care provider working with infants, you may be amazed by how quickly the babies in your child care program grow. By the time they are 1 year old, babies have almost tripled their birth weight. They learn to control their head, arms, hands, legs and feet, eventually start crawling and may even take a few first steps.

Child care providers help infants develop physically. Providing nutritious foods, encouraging their growing motor skills and providing safe …

When Should Toddlers Stop Taking Pacifiers, Blankets, and Other Security Objects to Child Care?

Pacifier

Many young children bring pacifiers, blankets, stuffed animals and other security objects to child care. Objects like pacifiers can provide comfort when a child is feeling insecure. And they can help children make the transition between home and child care.

Many parents and child care providers wonder when children should stop taking the blanket or pacifier to child care. There’s no hard and fast rule. Some children are ready to give up their security objects by age 2 or 3. …

Art Is a Valuable Learning Experience for Young Children in Child Care

Watercolor paint set

Art activities might appear to be “just messy,” but creating art is a valuable part of a child care curriculum. Art opens up new worlds for children and gives them a variety of important experiences. Crayons, markers, paint, clay and many other art materials are the tools that can help children:

  • build strength in the arms, hands and fingers
  • practice hand and finger control, which helps improve writing skills
  • practice coordination of the hands and eyes
  • explore textures, colors and