Weaning and meal times:
At the Mulberry Bush the quality of food provided to children is of utmost importance. This starts with their very first experiences of solid food. All of our meals are freshly prepared in our kitchen using the very best ingredients. Please click on our Healthy Choices section for further information.
In Blueberries the babies are seated in low level seats for meal times, in small, sociable groups. Their meals are adapted to their stage of development.
Blueberries: 3 Months to 1 Year (approximately)
The Blueberries is a calm, intimate and welcoming space specifically designed for our very smallest babies, offering them a gentle start to life at the Mulberry Bush. With a minimum ratio of one adult to every three babies, there is always lots of support for each child whatever their needs. We invest in specifically selected toys and facilities that are ideal for encouraging the children of this age group to develop physically, mentally and socially.
We use carefully thought out colour schemes to help achieve a calm but productive atmosphere. Green is a colour that runs throughout the nursery but that we particularly focus on in the Blueberries room. Green is “symbolizing nature and thus promotes a serene and calming environment. Associated with health, healing and wellbeing, green has a soothing effect on the body and mind, reducing anxiety and promoting concentration.”
June McLeod – Colour Expert author of ‘Colours of the Soul’
Blueberries growing and developing:
As the babies start to become mobile they love to use our specially designed pull up mirror to help learn to stand independently. We also have a fabulous hiding cube, designed to allow the children to feel that they are in their own secret den but allowing them to remain in sight at all times, excellent for helping to encourage independence and communication skills. As well as all the fun things to play with there are also lots of cosy cushions to snuggle up on for a story and a cuddle.
Blueberries in the garden:
The Blueberries and Strawberries have their own garden space specifically designed for even the littlest Blueberries so that they can have plenty of fresh air and their own outdoor experience in safety, even when the more mobile children are out at play. We have a large sun shade to ensure that the children are able to spend lots of time outside whatever the weather. The Blueberries are not restricted to this space and are encouraged to use the larger garden area whenever they would like, but here they have a space all to themselves.
Blueberries in the sensory room:
Another important resource for the Blueberries is their sensory room. The babies love the different sounds, sights and sensations that the sensory room presents to them. We are lucky enough to have a dedicated sensory room for each room so the facilities are specifically designed to meet the interests and needs of each age group.
Blueberries transition to Strawberries:
The Blueberries and Strawberries have separate spaces but often combine the groups at appropriate times of the day. It is very important that the younger babies are given access to the older children and vice versa. The little babies emulate the older children and the older learn to be gentle and kind to the younger children. It is a vital part of their social development. It also means that the babies are used to mixing with the older children and being in the Strawberries environment, this makes their process of transition between the age groups as smooth and stress free as possible. The transition between Blueberries and Strawberries takes place at approximately 1 year but, as with all other elements of their care, it is very much dependent on each child’s needs and is something that will be discussed with you as the time approaches. We will not move a child on until they are absolutely ready to do so.
Settling In and the Key Person System:
We know that leaving your precious baby for the first time can be an anxious time. It is important for us to help you and your child to feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible throughout. We achieve this through a settling in process guided by your child’s key person. Please see our Inductions and Key Person section to learn more about this process.
The Blueberries and Strawberries have their own peaceful sleep room. This has air conditioning for the summer months. The sleep room has a viewing window so that, as well as regular checks on the children, staff can keep a constant eye on the babies as they rest. We provide fresh linen daily for each child although you are welcome to supplement that with any individual sleeping items, sleeping bags, comforters etc that are helpful for your child.
We have used colour carefully in this space too, focusing on baby blue in the sleep room for little snoozing Blueberries. This shade of blue is considered “nurturing, cooling” and particularly “calming for babies under 6 months”.
Naomi Coe & Gerri Panebianco of ‘Little Crown’