Wash your hands before handling the baby or use hand sanitizer because their immune system isn’t strong. Support your infant’s head and neck. Never shake your baby in play or frustration. Ensure your baby is securely fastened into the carrier, stroller, or car seat.
Bonding and soothing are important for their emotional and physical growth. Babies, especially babies with medical problems or premature babies may respond to infant massage. Babies usually love vocal sounds, such as talking, babbling, singing, cooing, and reading.
Have all of your supplies ready at the changing table. To prevent or heal diaper rash, change the baby often, especially after bowel movements. If the rash continues more than 3 days or gets worse, call your doctor.
Sponge baths to start and then a bath 2-3 times per week in the first year. Use gentle soap and make sure the temperature is only a little warm. Neve leave them alone.
Newborns should be fed on demand. Your baby may cue you by crying, putting fingers in his or her mouth, or making sucking noises. Be sure to burp your baby after they drink their bottles.
Newborns sleep about 16 hours or more. Always place babies to sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) Do not use blankets, quilts, sheepskins, stuffed animals, and pillows in the crib. Do not share a bed with a baby, but sharing a bedroom for the first year is fine.
Many newborns have their days and nights “mixed up.” One way to help them is to keep stimulation at night to a minimum.
Do you have a license to care for children? In Texas it is illegal to operate a daycare from your home without being licensed, registered, or listed with the state. (this includes people that babysit multiple unrelated children regularly in their home) Beware, anyone can say they have a home daycare. In Texas, they must have their License or Registration with the state on display or you can ask to see it, too. If they don’t have one, they are not qualified and you are putting your child at risk.
How many children do you care for, and what are their ages? This gives you an idea of the population of children your child will be with and the adult to child ratio.
Are you CPR Certified and trained in first aid? This is a requirement for all registered and licensed homes.
How do you put infants down for a nap? Infants should be put down on their backs to help reduce the chances of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. (SIDS)
What kind of sleeping environment do you provide for infants? Asking can be reassuring that your provider is following the rules and regulations the state has provided to protect your infant.
Do you have a background check? If childcare is in Texas, background checks are required for all Registered and Licensed daycares to operate.
Who else is in the home? Anyone else living in the childcare home must also pass a background check for your child’s safety.
If you would like more information on the minimum standards for childcare in the state of Texas, please visit https://www.dfps.state.tx.us/child_care/search_texas_child_care/. It has all the information that child care providers and interested parents should know.
It provides a Day Care Search by area and it also provides you with provider qualifications.
A solid relationship with your provider, built on mutual trust and respect, is key in making your child care agreement work out well for everyone. Keep these tips in mind as you begin to build your relationship. Keep communicating on a regular basis. Let your provider know if there is something going on in your child’s life that may be affecting his behavior. Know the program policies, and honor them. Respect the drop-off and pick-up times, and call if you are going to be late for any reason. Express interest in your child’s development and the program they are enrolled in. The more you participate, the more your provider will feel appreciated.
Here are some ways to foster daily communication with your provider: Tell your provider how your child’s morning or weekend went, if he had a hard night, or if anything special happened at home. If there is a change of plans, let your provider know who will be picking up your child that day. At pick up time, ask your provider how she napped, slept, or ate. If you have in depth questions or concerns, set an arranged time to discuss them. If there are changes in your routine, let your provider know where they can be reached. Always keep them updated with all of your contact information and any changes in your child’s health.
Arrive on time, as there may be limited time. Discuss your child’s development and make the connection between home and school. Be prepared and have some notes written down. Find out what you can be doing at home to enhance their learning and development. Stay connected to the teacher. Be open to discussing difficult issues. If you put off a discussion, it will make it harder to bring it up later. Avoid confronting the provider in front of others and never discuss a problem when you are feeling angry or upset. Conflicts are a normal part of relationships, they can usually be resolved when both parties are willing to compromise.
A healthy part of normal child development is for toddlers and children to become f=more independent. Childcare providers and parents should allow and encourage them to take responsibility for themselves whenever possible. When they practice self-help skills such as feeding and dressing themselves, they practice their large and small motor skills, gain confidence in their ability to try new things and build self-confidence.
There are four main types of self-help skills:
Self-Feeding: Allow and encourage infants to practice feeding themselves. Begin by offering finger foods. Introduce a spoon and a fork give plenty of time for practice. Let children be as independent as possible during mealtime. Provide them with small cups and utensils, handles and spouts. Encourage them to do as much as possible without allowing them to become frustrated.
Independent dressing and grooming: Encourage children to dress and groom by themselves; just provide minimal assistance. Encourage older infants and toddlers o help pull socks on and off, pull up pants after diapering and help put their arms through sleeves. As children get older, encourage them to dress themselves but help with zipping and buttoning.
Hygiene and toileting. Look for readiness signs. Encourage children to use the toilet to climb on and off the seat, pull clothing up and down, and wash their hands independently. Also teach them to brush their teeth after meals.
Helping with daily chores like picking up toys after playtime. Encourage children to help with clean-up early on. Give toddlers responsibility for placing napkins or utensils on the table. Ask them to take their plate to the sink after meals.
Kids develop at different rates and spend varying amounts of time at each stage. Remember, if you have any concerns, please talk to your child’s doctor, teacher, or the reading specialist at school. Early intervention is key in helping kids who struggle to read.
Parents and teachers can find resources for children as early as pre-kindergarten. Quality childcare centers, pre-kindergarten programs, and homes full of language and book reading can build an environment for reading milestones to happen.
Infancy (Up to Age 1)
Kids usually begin to:
· learn that gestures and sounds communicate meaning
· respond when spoken to
· direct their attention to a person or object
· understand 50 words or more
· reach for books and turn the pages with help
· respond to stories and pictures by vocalizing and touching the pictures
Toddlers (Ages 1–3)
Kids usually begin to:
· answer questions about and identify objects in books — such as "Where's the cow?" or "What does the cow say?"
· name familiar pictures
· use pointing to identify named objects
· pretend to read books
· finish sentences in familiar books
· scribble on paper
· know names of books and identify them by the cover
· turn pages of board books
· have a favorite book and request it to be read often
Early Preschool (Age 3)
Kids usually begin to:
· explore books independently
· listen to longer books read aloud
· retell a familiar story
· sing the alphabet song with prompting and cues
· make symbols that resemble writing
· recognize the first letter in their name
· learn that writing is different from drawing a picture
· imitate the action of reading a book aloud
Late Preschool (Age 4)
Kids usually begin to:
· recognize familiar signs and labels, especially on signs and containers
· recognize words that rhyme
· name some of the letters of the alphabet
· recognize the letters in their names
· write their names
· name beginning letters or sounds of words
· match some letters to their sounds
· develop awareness of syllables
· use familiar letters to try writing words
· understand that print is read from left to right, top to bottom
· retell stories that have been read to them
Kindergarten (Age 5)
Kids usually begin to:
· produce words that rhyme
· match some spoken and written words
· write some letters, numbers, and words
· recognize familiar words in print
· predict what will happen next in a story
· identify initial, final, and middle sounds in short words
· identify and manipulate increasingly smaller sounds in speech
· understand concrete definitions of some words
· read simple words in isolation (the word with definition) and in context (using the word in a sentence)
· retell the main idea, with details (who, what, when, where, why, how), and arrange events in sequences.