From the moment your baby is born, this tiny human will change your life forever. The bond between you and your baby is immeasurable, and you start planning your child’s future before he can even crawl.
Before you know it, however, the clock ticks and your maternity leave comes to an end. Work beckons and you have to consider what the best infant care options may be for you and your child.
Choosing the Infant Care Route
One of the hardest decisions a parent can make is handing your baby over to a suitable caregiver. Some tap on grandparents or a domestic helper to care for their babies, but an infant care centre in Singapore may be a good fit for you.
As a new parent home with your infant, you may think that a baby does not require much. Lying on the mat to watch a few toys dangle over baby’s face seems easy, so why pay for infant care to “babysit” your child?
This misconception fails to address the skills that an infant can develop with the right guidance. The benefits of having your baby in a specialised environment designed just for infants are numerous.
Key Skills Your Baby Can Pick Up From an Infant Care Centre in Singapore
1. Social Skills
Never underestimate the power of early social interaction in babies. Turn-taking is an important skill for a child. They learn to be patient and respectful towards others and not simply snatch a toy from another baby’s hands.
Observing how other infants interact with their surroundings is also another good skill to have. Observation is a way of communicating with other children to discover their connection with people and their environment.
Learning to observe a person’s facial expression is part of picking up social cues too. Infants who are often cuddled and spoken to will learn to mimic their caregiver’s expressions and understand simple cues – a smile along with a high-pitched voice in speech expresses happiness; a frown with a low-pitched voice expresses frustration. These slight interactions may not mean much to us, but for infants, it is their way of understanding how the world works.
2. Fine Motor Skills and Visual Cognition
Do you know that learning to hold a toy in an infant’s hand is not as easy as it seems? Even the act of holding their own hands together is a milestone, as well as various skills like a pincer grasp or being able to stack blocks. Crossing the midline torso is a vital development to ensure that both sides of the body are coordinating with the brain.
Other than fine motor skills, babies learn to develop their visual cognition through the shapes and colours of their environment. For example, they learn to associate that a ball is round and resembles a circle. As they explore their surroundings, they also pick up the colours that they can see when their teachers verbalise it for them. A ball is not just a ball – it is a red, round ball. Using keywords that relate to the objects can reinforce their visual cognition.
The best infant care centres in Singapore will ensure that your baby is taught these skills through their nurturing environment. Trained teachers are there to help your babies and guide them to pick up these skills at their own pace.
3. Linguistics Abilities
As parents, your child’s first word and subsequent speech development are exciting moments. Their words give you an insight into their little minds and allow you to understand them better. For most children, speech comes naturally to them as they interact with their surroundings and their caregivers.
Learning to speak is also not about communicating, but also responding to what is said. Infants can respond to what you say to them through their coos and smiles. When they are immersed in an environment that fosters that interaction, they are motivated to pick up speech. Observing their peers could also propel them to imitate the different sounds they hear, which also contributes to their linguistic development.
4. Emotional Development
Loving, nurturing relationships give young children a strong sense of comfort, safety, and confidence. It is through these positive relationships that help them to develop the skills they need to socialise in future.
At an infant care centre, babies learn to self-soothe with the help of their teachers. A crying infant who is being cuddled will learn that he is safe in the arms of his teacher and soothe himself to sleep.
Music can also be used as another form of self-soothing technique where infants calm down upon listening to the gentle sounds. Self-soothing is a huge emotional development in infants. To see that they are in control of their own emotions empowers them to express their emotions in an appropriate manner.
5. Exploratory Skills
At our Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse campuses that offer infant care services, we pride ourselves on the campuses’ setup to encourage exploratory learning. Exploratory play is where the infants use all five senses – see, smell, touch, taste, hear – to engage with their surroundings. The purpose of such activities is to create a sense of curiosity in the infants to reach out and discover new information for themselves.
When the infants are promoted to playgroup, this skill of exploration is carried into their new environment. Our curriculum is designed in such a manner to encourage the development of these skills throughout their preschool education.
You Are Ready…What’s Next?
Now you are ready to book a tour with one of the many preschools in Singapore. Where do you start?
Take a look at the infant care centres in Singapore, such as the programme available at Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse in Singapore. With a firm belief in exploratory and inquiry-based learning, our trained teachers are there to nurture your infants using the C.A.R.E (Communicative, Attentive, Responsive, Engaging) framework to establish a positive and responsive relationship with your children.
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