Tips for Selecting Care for an Infant

A family should look for the following when selecting care for an infant:
  • Play areas are comfortable. Babies can lie or be held and read to. 
  • Space is arranged so children can enjoy moments of quiet play by themselves, have ample space to roll over and move freely, and can crawl toward interesting objects. 
  • Visual displays, such as mobiles are oriented toward the infant’s line of sights and effects are clearly visible when baby is lying on her back. 
  • Sturdy cardboard, cloth, and/or vinyl books are available to baby. Babies are read to. 
  • Toys provided are responsive to the actions: variety of grasping toys that require different types of manipulation; a varied selection of skill-development materials, including nesting and stacking materials, activity boxes, and containers to be filled and emptied; a variety of balls, bells, and rattles. 
  • Toys are scaled to a size that enables infants to grasp, chew and manipulate them (clutch balls, rattles, teethers, and soft washable dolls and play animals). 
  • Adults periodically move infants to a different spot (from the floor to an infant seat, from the seat to a stroller, etc.) to give babies different perspectives and reasonable variety in what they are able to look at and explore. 
  • As infants become mobile equipment is offered that promotes free movement and testing of large-muscle skills and coordination.
Infant Functions
  1. Reaching – activity box, crib gym, etc.
  2. Climbing – pillows, foam cushions, indoor slides, etc. 
  3. Pushing – popper, mower, market basket, stroller, boxes, etc. 
  4. Pulling – stringed pull toys, wagons, etc. 
  5. Grasping – clutch balls, beanbags, rattles, small blocks, etc. 
  6. Touching – textured items, feely books, water play, etc. 
  7. Turning – activity boxes, toys with turning knobs, etc. 
  8. Cause and effect – pop up flip box, jack-in-the-box 
  9. Target experience – shape sorter, stacking rings, giant pegs and peg boards 
  10. Reading exploration – cloth books, hard cardboard books, plastic books, etc 
  11. Looking – mobiles which are safely out of reach, hand held mirrors, pictures, action toys, bright colorful wall hangings within eye contact of infant, etc. 
  12. Talking – dolls, telephones, puppets, pictures, photographs, etc. 
  13. Listening – records and/or tapes with record/tape player, music boxes, rattles, squeak toys, etc.
* Information based on NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) Developmentally Appropriate Practices and CCC Provider Assessment