Dear Mummy, Your baby will soon be apart from you for most of their waking hours, in an infant care centre surrounded by other babies and educarers. I know – how did all those weeks of maternity leave pass by like that? If only paid maternity leave could be a year long. However, you know...
Your baby will soon be apart from you for most of their waking hours, in an infant care centre surrounded by other babies and educarers. I know – how did all those weeks of maternity leave pass by like that? If only paid maternity leave could be a year long.
However, you know that quitting your job isn’t an option. Financial issues aside, you know that you need to have time apart to interact with other adults. There are only so many times you can sing “The Wheels on the Bus” before you lose your mind.
Therefore, with mixed feelings, you’ve settled your baby’s registration at infant care. And yes, it was the last available slot, too.
It’s the correct decision… right?
Then why do you still feel so uneasy?
Why leaving your baby in Infant Care in Singapore isn’t such a bad idea
For the past few months, you were the main caregiver. You’ve spent all your waking hours together. You’ve watched your baby grow from a newborn to a bubbly, cooing infant. Those unfocused newborn eyes that have now evolved into a fixed gaze that trail your movements. That sleepy little burrito that can now do flips.
The likelihood of not being able to witness your baby’s firsts makes you feel like crying, doesn’t it? How will the educarers know that your baby likes being sung and patted to sleep, or that your baby prefers to suck on his thumb to sleep instead of a pacifier? What if your baby becomes more attached to his educarers instead?
Mummy, I want you to know that all these flustered feelings are completely normal for a mother who is about to send her baby to an infant care for the first time. It is perfectly alright to even have a cry, but take heart – infant care in Singapore follows detailed standards set by the Early Childhood Development Agency to ensure quality care.
Take comfort in the fact that your baby will not lack attention, as there is a maximum ratio of five babies to one educarer with one assistant. The educarers are even trained in Infant First Aid in addition to their early childhood education qualifications!
The infant care centre will work around baby’s naps instead of having a fixed one for all babies – they know that at the earlier stages, babies have yet to regulate their sleep-wake cycles.
Worries over baby’s well-being in infant care in Singapore
If you are worried about your baby safety while he plays and explores, you’ll be somewhat relieved to know that infant care areas are segregated from older children at the preschool centre.
More than that, he will pick up new skills in an infant care programme too!
Babies don’t only attend infant care to sleep and drink milk as the educarers will gently introduce activities during their daily routines. In the infant care centre my baby attended, her educarer dangled a rattle and encouraged her to reach out for it, which not only let her use her senses but also developed her motor skills. It helped to build her language skills too when she babbled back to them!
I even have it on video, updated on the infant care centre’s app that I use to receive photo and video updates from the educarers.
Mummy, don’t feel guilty
Lastly, please don’t feel guilty. Children cherish quality over quantity and they enjoy having undivided time with zero distractions. We’re all doing the best we can for ourselves and our babies!
Do be strong and weather on for your baby’s first day of infant care and thereafter.
A fellow mummy
Written by Jamie Koh