Infant care in Singapore accepts infants aged 2 months to 18 months old. All centres registered to provide infant care in Singapore have to follow strict regulations. Infant educarers need to be certified in infant and toddler care, trained in infant first aid and have at least two years’ of experience in a similar setting.
Apart from daily routine care like feeding and diapering, infant educarers at MindChamps Infant Care follow a curriculum with activities to track and promote each infant’s developmental skills.
Educarers of infant care in Singapore are equipped with the essential knowledge to develop your baby’s skills
As one of the providers of the best infant care in Singapore, MindChamps Infant Care uses the S.M.I.L.E.S.™ curriculum where activities are carefully structured using the ‘6 tick’ method. Each activity is designed to promote the six S.M.I.L.E.S. components – Sensory, Motor, Intellectual, Linguistic, Emotional, Social that together, assist infants in reaching their developmental milestones.
Key skills your baby will master at the best infant care in Singapore
Environmental elements play an important part in building sensory pathways (neural connections in key brain areas processing input). An environment which provides infants with ample opportunities for both self-directed and facilitator-led learning like MindChamps Infant Care is the key to building a confident young individual.
Here are some developmental milestones which your infant should ideally meet in their first year and useful activities that you can reinforce with your baby at home.
1. Able to self-soothe with rocking, touching and gentle sounds (4 months old)
Activity 1: Baby Swing
The carer holds the baby firmly and gently swings him to and fro, and up and down over her head, as she sings and/or talks to him.
This activity stimulates the vestibular system which controls his sense of movement and balance. Singing and speech are foundational experiences in the acquisition of language. The educarer’s firm grip helps the child feel secure.
Studies have shown that babies calm down when picked up and cradled or rocked gently. This is because foetuses in utero sleep on a reversed schedule and are coaxed to sleep by the swaying of the mother’s uterus when she moves about doing her daily activities. Swinging the infant gently mimics the swaying and provides a sense of familiarity.
2. Reaches for and grabs objects (5 months old)
Activity 2: Eye Tracking
Dangle a brightly coloured toy or rattle about 20 cm to 30 cm from the baby’s eyes. When she focuses on it, move the object in an arc. Do this when she is lying down in her cot. Watch her track the toy with her eyes. You can also do it when she is propped up in a sitting position.
This activity helps infants in their visual development as they start to focus their eyes and strengthens their eye-hand coordination which involves focusing, looking, reaching, touching, grabbing, lifting and throwing.
According to child psychiatrist Dr Richard Woolfson, if you move a toy before your three-month-old baby, “she will watch the object as it slowly moves within her line of vision, and if she thinks it is close enough, she will stretch out her hand towards it.”
3. Listens and responds when being spoken to (5 months old)
Activity 3: Rambling Rattle
Carer shakes a rattle softly from different directions – to the left, right or directly behind the baby. Encourage him to look towards the sound and reward him with a huge smile and a cuddle when he does.
You can vary this activity by replacing the rattle with other noise-makers – like bells or a funny horn. Or perhaps you can try calling baby’s name from different directions. It is, after all, the most important sound in the world to a child.
Children are born with the ability to process all language sounds and a wide range of non-language sounds and their brains establishes neural-recognition patterns for the sounds most common in their environment.
Stimulating the auditory senses of infants can invoke a response to language and teach them about the patterns and rhythms of that particular spoken language.
4. Investigates shapes, sizes and textures of toys and surroundings (7 months old)
Activity 4: Texture Time
Access simple mittens made from materials such as wool, satin, silk, velvet or fur. Putting on the different mittens, rub them gently across the baby’s hands, allowing him to grasp them, and feel the texture. Rub the mittens across his stomach, face and up and down arms and legs, and keep up a constant stream of description.
Try to choose material scraps which are brightly coloured, and as well as rubbing the textures across the baby’s skin, move them side to side and up and down in front of her eyes.
Watch to see when he begins to follow the movement. It shows that the neural networks to the visual cortex are strengthening. Adding bells or rattles to the mittens, or attaching them to your wrist, creates another opportunity to strengthen auditory networks in a child’s developing brain.
Strengthened neural networks increase the child’s ability to complete complex learning tasks. Tactile sensory activities invite children to investigate and explore the different textures and shapes of the toys. The benefits of sensory play are endless – it supports cognitive growth, fine and gross motor skills and problem-solving skills, among others.
5. Explores and examines an object using both hands and mouth (8 months old)
Activity 5: Training Taste
Let the baby smell different foods, then taste them to sample different flavours. That way he can learn to associate the smell with the taste. Watch to see if he shows any preferences, and build on them.
Though carers can begin this process in the first six months, it is a game that can be played with a child right up until school age – with both smell and taste.
Taste and smell are closely related. Smells are strongly associated with emotions and memory. Therefore, it is possible to enhance learning and recall via association with different scents. This skill is invaluable for infants to differentiate between unpleasant and pleasant smells.
The above activities are structured with infants in mind to help them meet and go beyond their developmental milestones.
Written by Jamie Koh