Today I went to the centre again...*Oh Ya* you guys didn't know what happened since my last pract, right? Well, I will put it here later.
Anyway, the group leader and assistant for the pre-school class I was supposed to go today were away. Before being *dispatched* off by my Professional Experience lecturer, Alice, she told me to get ready some activities to do with the the children. So, the evening before, I had gone to the uni library to borrow a story book.
When I arrived at the centre this morning, I spoke to the director of the centre. I was then re-assigned to the nursery class. There were 5 infants that came in today. Queensland legislation states the ratio of 1 adult: 4 infants. Any more infants than that requires the aid of an assistant.
I enjoyed working with the infants. They were mostly crawling, crying or just putting things in their mouth. This is probably the Oral Stage, as Freud allegedly states that all infants will go through in his PsychoSexual Theory.
Anyway, among the OHS rules & routines of the nursery are
1) No student is allowed to stay with the room alone with other infants without the group leader or assistant present. This is a health & safety procedure.
2) Nappies are to be changed every 2 hours.
3) Sleeping infants have to be checked on every 15 minutes to prevent the occurence of SIDS (Sudden Death Infant Syndrome).
4) Feeding times and nappy change times are recorded down each time for every infant.
The assistant showed me how to change the nappy. It looked easy to do. By afternoon, I was *itching* to do that... anyway, by legislation, the group leader had to be there to supervise me. It was easier said than done. The male infant I had to change was having a great time squirming and freaking me out. He had a surprise poo waiting for me.....
The nappies were changed every 2 hours. Their nappy change times were recorded down each time. To change nappies, we were required to use different coloured gloves. If it was a dry nappy, we used a transparent plastic glove. If it was soiled, we had to use a thicker blue glove. Wet wipes were used to wipe the infants' bottoms. The gloves were removed from inside to out, so that any excretion would not get onto our hands. Then the "mat" where the infant was rested on their back, would be sprayed with disinfectant, and wiped. A separate bin for nappies was provided.
The director came in halfway to check on my progress. She grossed us out with stories of "poo" and how some of the children in her experience had wiped poo all over the wall or were playing with it....*GROSS*!!!
I also learnt how to feed the infants with the milk bottle. The group leader, Emma, said that the "tit" of th bottle where the infant's mouth feed on, has to be constantly filled with milk. The reason for that is also because the infant could get colic, which is air in their tummies, which causes indigestion. After their feeding, the infants have to be burped. Unlike adults, who are capable of doing it by ourselves, but not so with infants. The way to burp an infant is to rub the infant's back or tap it gently a couple of times until the infant burps.
I understood of how important it is to ensure that the infants do not have colic as it so happened that day, I had a case of "colic", where I had a tummy ache, which I realised that it was mostly "air" as well, so I was constantly trying to burp itself out. It took me almost half a day to do that!!
I also learnt how to carry the infants. I have always been afraid of carrying babies and infants, in the case I might drop them or some frightful thing might happen. It was really great and fun just interacting with the babies, as they really give you their full attention.
Unlike older children, they are not as mobile at to just run off and do something else in the next minute. But with babies, I could just sit with them there and they will pay attention to you without the thought of doing that. One of the activities I did with was to roll the ball to them, and the infants would roll it back. It was something you could with infants, but not pre-schoolers!
Anyway, as I have said, I borrowed a book from the library. But I have since, not read it to the infants. They obviously do not have such a long-term attention span, so I have returned the book and borrowed other more "younger" children friendly books. I enjoyed interacting with the group leader and the assistant, as they had more time to interact with me due to very fact that there aren't as many children running around and they didn't always have to be constantly on the move like at the preschooler's room.
I intend to spend more time at the nursery, as I would like to learn more about the infants and how to handle them. It is not to say that I do not learn anything being with the babies, as one of the supervisors originally thought so, but as I now realise, IT IS because I do not know as much about babies and infants, that I do have actually more and can learn from them. :-)