Today was my first day with the babies. I was a little nervous about it because I haven’t worked with babies before. The only baby I’ve had any experience with was my nephew, but that was years ago and pretty limited. The infant room only has one teacher and she seems nice. Soon after I got there, the youngest baby who is three-months-old started crying. He wanted his bottle so she gave him to me. It was awkward at first because of the way I had to hold him and the shape of the bottle. I don’t know how to explain the shape of the bottle other than it was arched. You have to tip it up higher than regular bottles. After he ate, I had to burp him, but he wouldn’t burp. Then it was time for him to go to sleep which he didn’t want to do either. He was fussy until we put him in the swing. I know some people don’t really like swings and other equipment for babies, but it really helped in this case. After he fell asleep, the other teacher put him in his crib.
During the time when this baby was hungry, another baby started crying from the other room where the cribs are. His story is he didn’t sleep much last night and he was cranky today. Sometimes he cries himself back to sleep, but after a while the teacher realized he wasn’t going to do that this time. He was fussy during his changing and then he wouldn’t settle down. It was a challenge with both babies screaming. One waiting for a bottle and the other waiting for who knows what. After a while, the second baby calmed down after he was put in a squishy seat with three sides. The front is open so he could crawl out if he wanted to, but he’s not quite there yet. The sides are made out of material they make mats with. He likes this seat and will sit there with a toy or two for long periods of time. There wasn’t anymore screaming after the first baby was fed and the other was in the seat.
There are six babies enrolled right now, but on Wednesdays, there are only five. The oldest is fifteen-months-old. The youngest is three-months-old and the others are between eight and ten months. When I walked in, the oldest one said hi to me. That’s pretty much the only word she knows. She loves books and kept walking around with them. Some of them were heavy for her, but she didn’t give up on carrying them. I looked at books with her and she became interested in some of the other toys on the shelf. The other teachers were surprised by her since she is at that age of stranger anxiety, but she came right over to me. Another baby came in mid-morning and he’s a crawler. He comes over to sit in your lap for a few seconds, but then he’s off again. He spends a lot of time by the gate probably wondering how he can make his escape. He likes to play with a telephone on wheels. He moves the dial, but bites the phone instead of talking on it. He also likes one of the exercisers, but he’s too heavy to sit in it so he likes to walk around the edge while holding on to it. He finds the toys interesting and I wonder why he always picks this one instead of the other one. It’s funny how they already have preferences. Maybe it’s because this one is a little taller and is perfect for him to hold on to while standing.
The baby who loves the seat was put into one of the exercisers which he really enjoyed. He loves to jump up and down and play with all the toys hanging from it. He could investigate each toy for a long time without getting bored with it. He especially liked this toy that when you pull it down, it vibrates and goes back up by itself. His problem was that he isn’t strong enough to pull it down so for now, I was doing it for him. Each time I’d pull the toy, he’d try to pull it down himself when it got back to the top. Later, he went back to the seat where he played with some larger rattles and a toy with a mirror. He likes to drop his toys over the side, but his arms aren’t long enough to reach them. I picked them up for him, but I’d put them just out of his reach on the seat so he’d have to move forward to get the toy. He’s pretty vocal. He makes a lot of sounds to get your attention, but doesn’t have any words yet. He’ll probably be a big talker later. He spent a lot of time cuddling with me and he had a fascination with my hands. He kept pulling them, scratching at them, squeezing them etc. At one point he scratched me pretty hard. His little nails are sharp enough to leave scratch marks. I scratched his hand lightly so he’d see what it felt like, but I’ve forgotten that babies repeat everything you do and it probably felt funny or good to him so he kept doing it. I wasn’t trying to hurt him and obviously he wasn’t trying to hurt me. Then I told him that his nails were sharp so he’d have to be gentle and I started playing with his hands gently.
We also had another lesson about being gentle today. The crawling baby and the same baby in the seat often interact. The crawling baby comes over and likes to check out the toys that he is playing with or just take them for himself. Sometimes, he’ll practically sit on him. Whenever he’d come over, I’d tell him to be gentle. He likes to get in the other babies faces and will grab them. When the other teacher told me this, I’d touch the first baby’s face gently and then touch the second baby’s face gently so they’d know what to do. It seemed to have worked for today because they played side-by-side for a little while with no problem. We have to watch this closely since one baby is bigger and more mobile than the other.
Finally, in the late afternoon, the last baby came. She’s a girl who is nine-months-old. I only got to spend about an hour with her which most of it was spent in the exerciser. She enjoyed herself looking at the toys and jumping. At the end, I took her out of the exerciser to hold her for a few minutes. She was a happy baby; always smiling. They tell me she’s always like that. All the babies seemed happy.
I enjoyed myself today and will work with the babies again next week.
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