Children are capable of so much more than we usually expect. Independence looks different depending on the age of a child, but every child can show independence. Here are some benchmarks of independence for those in our Infant program (6 weeks to 18 months).


In an organized environment, infants can:

  • soothe themselves.
  • nap independently.
  • cooperate with dressing.
  • help wash hands.
  • sit on toilet.
  • feed themselves using hands or utensils.
  • drink from an open cup.
  • sit in a chair.
  • walk into class.
  • engage themselves alone for short periods of time.
  • eat while sitting in a chair.


In an organized environment, infants can:

  • help with cleanup of materials.
  • clean up spills with direction.
  • hand over plate and utensils when finished eating.
  • help slice soft fruit.
  • wipe table with sponge.
  • water plants with help.
  • put soiled bib in laundry basket.
  • help feed fish.
  • learn to be gentle and respectful with materials.


  • treat peers gently.
  • greet peers with wave or hug.
  • communicate feelings or desires using expressions and signs.
  • respond to basic verbal setting of limits.
  • participate in short group activities.
  • learn basic self control.


Children aren’t perfect, and neither are we. For children up to 18 months, it is OK:

  • if your child is not independent at times.
  • if your child needs to be carried sometimes.
  • if your child makes a mess. He can help clean it up.
  • if your child complains a bit about doing what she has been asked to do; stand your ground!
  • to be the parent and not a friend. “You have to love your child enough to let them hate you.” —Carol Burnett
  • if your child is crying or whining when he comes into class; just let him go and he will be fine. We will call you in the event he does not settle down.
  • if your child makes mistakes. It allows her to learn on her own.

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