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  • Writer's pictureTanya K

Talking to Infants

Is it OK if I change your nappy?

For many this questions seems silly. Why do we ask permission to change a nappy? Especially with a young baby who can not respond with language.

It is all about respect. Even the youngest child needs to be treated with respect. This is part of the work we do at Growing Minds ECE. We don’t just lift up a child from play (at any age) and whisk them for a nappy change. We stop ask and let the child know this will happen. Often as a child is older they decline. We will then come to an agreement and return in 5 minutes to retry.

Why do we do this?

Firstly this is about respect. It is the cornerstone of our care.

Magda Gerber spent studying infants led her to disagree. “Being exposed to circumstances we cannot anticipate nor understand, and in which we cannot actively participate, makes us feel helpless, like riding on a perpetual merry-go-round. Anticipating a change, on the other hand, gives us a feeling of being prepared, of being in control,” she wrote in Dear Parent – Caring For Infants With Respect.

How does this work in practice?

It takes a little time to find a rhythm with our babies. Even in the giddy, chaotic, sleepless first days with a newborn, we can begin by getting into the habit of telling our infant what will happen next. “I’m going to carry you to the diaper table. Then we will unsnap your pyjamas.” Soon our baby learns what he can expect. He feels more participatory in experiences he can predict and anticipate for himself. “After I drink milk in the morning, we usually go outside to my playpen under the tree.”

The importance of language and talking to a child (of any age)

Let’s work together to ensure your child’s transition to our centre is the best it can be.

Growing Minds is a loving early learning environment with a team that will support your child. This is in line with our philosophy set out in Te Whariki. Participation and collaboration in these moments are an important part of children's learning experiences - enhancing their sense of identity and belonging. Te Whāriki, the national early childhood curriculum of Aotearoa, recognises the importance of these things and guides us in our planning.

Well-being – Mana Atua The health and well-being of the child are protected and nurtured.

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