Some of you may know we had a beautiful site exclusively for infants and toddlers over in SE Portland in 2019/2020, and there is likely still some advertisements up that will direct you to that location. Due to the financial impacts of the COVID 19 pandemic, we made the heartbreaking decision to close the infant/toddler site permanently and the Washington St. site will no longer be a part of Wild Pear. We do have limited amount of infant/toddler spots at the Milwaukie site, and you are welcome to look through our enrollment tab and email us if you would like your little one to be a part of our program. Keep reading below to learn more about our approach to infant and toddler care.
Our schedule is meant to provide children with a reliable rhythm during their time with us. This allows children to know what to expect ahead of time and focus on the learning at hand. We also know that children’s needs and focused learning fluctuate and so you may find that we make modifications. Children under 12 months will have their own individual schedule for meals and rest. One year olds will be transitioning from their individual rhythms to the large group schedule, while the two year olds will use the large group schedule regularly.
Family preference and the USDA food program requirements will help guide our approach to offering children milk and food. We will use the baby led weaning approach with solid foods to help children be as independent as possible with their food consumption. As they are able to join, children are served healthy, homemade family style meals for breakfast and lunch. They’re also offered a protein rich morning and afternoon snack.
The food which is typically vegetarian, is cooked onsite by the teachers and seasonal, local and organic food is prioritized as well as food grown onsite. We eat “family style” and children assist in setting the table, serving themselves and clearing their place when they’re finished eating. Meals are a social time, when teachers eat with children and everyone in encouraged to enjoy the food and time together.
During meals, children always get to decide which foods they try and how much they eat. At each meal we learn about the the foods being served, including the nutritional benefit of choosing to eat it. We always encourage children to listen to their bodies, especially when it comes to eating and feeling full. Everyone helps clear their own space after meals; composting uneaten food, stacking dirty dishes, cleaning up spills and washing their hands and faces.
Infants will be held for bottle feeding- formula or breast milk are welcome! We will work closely with families as children transition into solid foods, using baby lead weaning to safely encourage children to be as independent as they are able to be.
We will work together with families to make a plan for any child that has a dietary restriction due to allergies, medical conditions, moral or religious exemptions.
Engaged learning can be exhausting! Children under 12 months will have their own individual sleep plan, while two year olds will shift into a single afternoon nap. One year old children will make the transition between these two very different sleep schedules, often taking one morning nap along with one afternoon nap. We will follow the state safe sleep practices for infants and will not swaddle babies, place them on their bellies, or put them in a car seat/swing/bouncer to sleep. Once they are able to crawl, children will transition out of a crib and onto a cot.
From the earliest diaper changes teachers will gently explain to children what is happening with their bodies and encourage them to be an active participant in the diaper change. We practice Elimination Communication (EC). Human waste will be discussed as a normal everyday part of life and children will learn about elimination as a biological response to the many functions of our amazing bodies. We will use the actual names of body parts involved with elimination including penis, urethra, vulva, and anus. As children gain confidence in their ability to stand, we will transition them to stand up diaper changes which allows them to better see and participate in the action. As soon as they are interested in the toilet they will be invited to flush, lift the lid, climb up and sit down, and eventually let their pee and poop in to the toilet too.
We will also respect the complicated task of mastering the use of the toilet and will never respond with disgust or an attempt to shame or embarrass children who are still working towards consistent toilet use.
We believe that children of all ages need time to learn and explore outside everyday, rain or shine.