Infant Program

UnityPoint Health - Meriter Hospital Children's Center

Welcome to our Infant Program!

In our Infant programs we focus on the total child and we make ourselves "totally available" to meet each child's individual needs. We invite parents to come and see us and their children throughout the day. (Temporarily this has changed with covid-19) We are available at any time to address any comments and concerns as they arise. Please feel free to call or stop by at any time during the day to find out how your child's day is going.

Curriculum and Classroom Schedule:

We cater to the individual needs of the infants' schedules based on when they need to be fed, diapered, snuggled, and napped, with time for play. When your child gets a little older, you will notice that they begin to transition to more of a toddler schedule, with set meal times and naps. We greatly encourage you to share information about your child's morning or day, before arrival at the center. We want to do everything we can to make the transition between home and school a smooth one, and your child's day happy and comfortable. During the day there will be time for them to learn and explore. In our infant programs we focus on doing activities that support them meeting their developmental milestones. You will see this reflected in activities that include strengthening their core, working on head control when they are younger, and moves into more sensory activities and other learning activities designed to support their approach to learning.

What to Bring?

As your child starts in our Infant Rooms, we just want to remind you of the items you will need to bring from home to help facilitate your child's days at school.

We ask for each child to bring and clearly labeled:

  • Diapers (disposable or cloth) check frequently to ensure we have an adequate supply. If using cloth diapers – a lined bag will need to be brought from home and taken home and emptied daily. We are required to change the wrap every diaper change so please be sure to bring plenty.
  • Bottles labeled with your child's name. (please label all pieces of the bottle)
  • Any lotions, powders, creams or ointments your child uses – a completed medication form will need to be kept on hand for these items.
  • A sleep sack or swaddle – we provide sheets for the cribs in the infant rooms. Feel free to bring in a special stuffed animal or snuggly from home – however we cannot let them have these items in their cribs until they reach one year of age. Swaddles are only used up until your child is 4 months of age or rolling over. Whichever comes first.
  • Extra clothes – we ask that you please keep 3-4 extra outfits in your child's cubby here at school. Please check often to make sure the clothes are the appropriate size and season.
  • Any outdoor gear – we will try to make it outside on the days that weather permits.
  • 2 Pacifiers – if used.

Breastmilk, Formula, and Introducing Solids:

  • Breastmilk: We ask you to bring in the amount of milk you anticipate your baby will have for the day in at least 3 bottles. If you would prefer to bring it in bags we just ask that it is thawed and ready to be warmed. Please feel free to leave bags of frozen milk in the event we need extra for the day. We ask that bottles or bags come in labeled with child's name and date of milk.

*We recommend a name label that stays on through the dishwasher; these can be found for under $10 on amazon: Baby Bottle Labels, Self-laminating - Great for Daycare by Whoozems

  • Formula: We provide pre-made Similac brands of formula at no extra cost. You may also bring in a different brand of formula to use as we recommend keeping the formula the same type and brand at home and school.
  • Introduction to Solids: We will work closely with you as you start to introduce solids to your baby. Please let us know when and what types of solids you wish to start with as you try them at home.

We offer the Gerber Stage 2 Fruits and Vegetables, and Rice or Oatmeal Cereal. Once you start introducing solids at home we can begin to offer them at the center. We understand that many families also choose to bring in additional foods and/or provide all solid foods. Foods brought from home will need to:

  • Be labeled in a container with your child's name and date.
  • Have been offered to your child already at home to minimize allergic reactions.
  • Contain no nuts, tree nuts, or honey.
  • Come ready to serve in manageable size pieces.
  • Hard foods such as carrots or apples should be softened for gums to mash.
  • Foods that may pose an increased risk of choking (ie celery, whole tomatoes, raisins, popcorn, etc) will not be offered to infants or toddlers.

*Our classroom has a no outside or "street shoes" policy. Please remove shoes upon entering the room or slip on a pair of blue hospital booties over your shoes located right outside our classroom door*