Today I want to write about the things I have learnt between the difference between a Nanny and a Infant Care.
It has been 3 days since my little bubbly went to school! Before I touched on that; I will talk about the Nanny.
My nanny took care of my little bubbly 5 days a week from Mon to Thurs 9pm-3pm, Friday 12pm-6pm for a whole of 10months.
I think back and I am absolutely thankful to God that we were given a great nanny. Our nanny is a friend's mom. So I was very extremely relived when I could entrust my son to her. She is experienced and she is good. Why do I say she is good?
First of all, if you can find a nanny who is your friend's mom, you know she is not crazy. So you know that at the least, your son will not be ill-treated. My nanny dotes on my son much. At least I feel enough.
If you have a nanny, it is good if the nanny communicates much with your baby. I noticed that Samuel was very quick to learn many things in these 10 months. When he was less than 5months, he could high-five, wave good bye (depending on his mood), he can raise his hands or point his fingers whenever we told him to.
He could recognise items by their noun. Eg; teddy bear, pacifer (zhu-zhu), hot and cold etc... and he started talking and greeting us since he was 5months old.
I didnt give much thought initially and always just merely thought that my son is very clever. (Haha... proud mom, you see?)
But as I begin to observe, I noticed that the nanny communicates with him alot by speaking to him on the very little items in their day to day activity. And she often will ask (test) my son; 'wheres the bowl?' 'Wheres the water?'
These communication actually helped your baby grow. Of cuz, my son's personality is very smiley and quite chatty as a person. Since he was a few days old, he has eyes which will make you question your actions. (Stresss.... )
The only struggle is; if your nanny does not in-still discipline on your baby, your baby will go free-range. Babies are very clever. They DO KNOW how to behave correctly in-front of different individuals. So my son is a free-range horse at the nanny's. The nanny is like a grandmother to him and I believe that the nanny also treated him like a grandson (to some extent). As such, the discipline on napping etc wont be so strong. So more often than not, like all grandmas... she get 'bullied' by my little bubbly.
So the struggle of napping became very real for our nanny, esp; when she is feeling tired and does not feel like she has any more strength left to constantly carry my son around.
So make sure that discipline is also in-still at the nanny's.
Due to the short hours at the nanny's, my hubby and I will always need to arrange pickup for my son. Hence, I will always commit my 3pm-7pm to my son. I will arrange activities for him after 3. On 2 days of each week, I will bring him to swim, once a week I will bring him to the park. Other days, we mostly stay home to have playtime, read or basically just spend time. (Thank God for flexible work hours).
Because of spending much time with him each day, though he was close to the nanny, he has a even stronger relationship with my hubby and I. And this is; -absolutely BLESSING.
Now at his nearing 11months old, we decided to enroll him to a infant care. Honestly, I have alot of reservations. My reservations comes by not because of the stories that people tell me about how children fall sick so easily etc... or how they wont be properly taken care of.
SO in one of my post, I wrote about the 4 infant cares I visited. Out of which; I selected Learning Vision.
What have I learnt and observe through these visitations?
First of all, the number of teachers is very important. I have visited schools where they have 1teacher: 3-4children. Although they will always say to you that according to the Government ruling, it is allowed 1teacher:5children, and they will all capped it at 1teacher:4children only.
But honestly, as a parent, if you only have a baby like me, do you feel busy? YES! So essentially, 1teacher:3Babies... VERY VERY BUSY.
As such, I noticed that the infant care babies displayed either quietness/ daze in their eyes, or they are very friendly to strangers. Basically, they are very sociable.
Find a infant care where the teachers and children ratio is healthy. Learning Vision is good for us because their ratio is 1:2. And they will put in alot more attention on the new babies. Learning Vision (LV) @ CET is very good. They allowed my husband and I to stay through to transit him for 3 days. And if he is still not too settled, we can extend perhaps a few more days.
And they will take note of not just the babies' diet restrictions or quirks, they will also listen to us parents on how the baby is like day to day, how they are usually set to nap, drink or etc... LV has got really patient and passionate teachers. I realised that this is because within the teachers they have a functioning system which requires team work. I know that they have team lead (very subtle) but they will take turns during the day; to be in-charge of different tasks. Like today, one will be in-charge of food, one will be in-charge of washing toys halfway through the day, there is one teacher in-charge of taking the babies' temperature 3 times a day for all of them.
They will also take pictures of your babies and also load it up on the app for you to see. Of cuz, they cant load on the spot or on the day because the needs of the children will come first. But the teacher actually loaded Samuel's progress over the weekend.
However at a infant care, for the fact that the teachers not just have to ensure that the babies are well-taken care of, they also need to perform their own tasks. As such, they might not be able to keep doing repetition teaching on your babies all the time like for eg; when I was having a nanny. The nanny was 1:1 and was always teaching my son.
Although, the school will have a structure but in the structure, the babies need to be taught and be given freedom to express themselves. The one thing I have observe is the teachers are not physically very active. But really I do understand that they work 12hours shift everyday and they do need to conserve energy. If they are like very hyper in their activities, then they will be tired and drained easily. So really this one cannot be helped.
So, what will I do? I continued to pick my son up at 3pm. I allow him a fixed indoor structure from morning to 3pm, allowing him to have friends and teachers' exposure. Allowing him to learn to play together or etc, learn some songs etc and then after 3, I bring him out to have outdoor fun. Or activites which allows him to be play wildly and freely. Which makes outdoor activities really very important. I know that to continue to allow him to be expressive as a child, he cannot be cooped 12hours or 10hours in the same space; going through a same motion.
My son somehow transited to infant care really pretty easily. 1st 2 days was like hell esp before nap time. He hated whenever the teacher wanted to shower him, and he will continue to wail; refusing to be placed in the baby chair to be fed by them.
So, I had to around. First day, I was the one whom put him to bed. 2nd day, I allowed a teacher to coax him to nap. He didnt sleep that that long but was still longer than what he did at the nanny. Then, we crossed over weekend, I thought that he will need to resettle. He actually remembers the teachers and friends and so, once I reached, his teacher carried him and all was history.
He transited well, I reckoned also because during the time with the nanny, he didnt managed to always be consistent in his timings. There were days, he will reached at 11am (dont ask me why), or days he wont even be able to go to the nanny because the nanny went travelling or was feeling unwell.
So, it was always unexpected for him whenever for the fact that he actually might just be staying back home.
And of cuz, because he is still a little baby thought 11months, so he transited somehow easier in comparison to an older child.
Looking back, I am very thankful that my son did not enroll into a infant care when he was just born. Because it would have played a big part on him as a person alot. But I am also thankful that the time is just right for him to be attending school, playing with his peers, and learning new things.
And of cuz, running my own business and time definitely will allow me to continue to spend quality time with by bringing him out for outdoor stimulations before his 7pm bedtime.
So from nanny to infant care? I encouraged that your baby will have a one to one caregiver till 6 months of age. Then after, you can send your child to a good infant care. But ultimately, the parents' presence and active communication with the baby is very important. I always cant help but to feel that my son is so smiley because I always try to make him laugh and play wildly.
I hope that this is a great note for all you parents out there!