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section 2

0-3 months

Calming your baby



Let’s review:

Once the meeting starts, welcome everyone and ask the participants: • Who can help us remember what we talked about in our last meeting? • Who was able to do the activity at home that we asked you to do at the end of the meeting? How did it go? • Does anyone have questions or concerns after doing the activity?

What are we going to learn? How to recognize the different ways your baby cries and how to calm him or her down.

Let’s talk about it! We are going to look at some pictures and talk about what we know about the topic.

What are a few things that make a baby get agitated and cry? What can you do to calm down a baby? Does it work?

What do you think a baby needs to stay calm?

section 2 / 0-3 months • meeting 11



“Hush little baby” We are going to discuss different ways to calm down a crying baby.

What we’ll need: • 2 case studies on note cards

WHAT WE’LL DO: • Big sheets of paper • Divide the group in two and gives each group a • Markers story (case study) about a baby who won’t stop crying. Ask each group to read the story and then decide what should be done in the situation. • Next, ask each group to share their ideas with the other group. Ask: how do we know if a baby is crying because it is sick, hungry, wet or agitated because of something else? • Put a big sheet of paper on the wall and explains the various ways to calm down a baby. Example of a case study… “My baby won’t stop crying” My baby’s name is Thomas and last week he turned 8 months old. He is very naughty and crawls all over the house. So I put him in a playpen that my husband made for me and is in a corner of the house. But even though I put all his toys there, he screams and cries every time we put him in it and won’t stop until I take him out. But I’m busy and can’t follow him around all the time. So in the end my husband John and I decided to:______________________

Summing Up:

What did we learn today? Now, we’ll review what we discussed today. • How do you feel after this meeting? Why? • What are the two most important things you’ve learned today? • What will you do differently based on what you learned during the meeting? • What did you like the most? Are there things you didn’t like? • Do you have any remaining concerns or questions about what we talked about? To finish, , what would you recommend to improve today’s meeting when we do it again with another group. (Explain that answering this question will help the meeting be even better in the future for parents with small children.)

Facilitator’s Manual


To do at home:

The mothers should try two new ways of calming down their baby, using the techniques they discussed in the meeting.

Basic information for the facilitator: Learning more about how to calm down a baby: The first 3 months of a baby’s life are crucial for her development. It is the beginning of her adaptation into the family and a new living place very different from the mother’s womb. During the first month of its life, the baby experiences the movement of its body; stretching much farther then it could in the womb. The family should avoid wrapping the baby up too tight as it will restrict the baby’s movement and development. Tradition sometimes says that it is good for the baby to be wrapped up tight so it won’t be afraid, but this is not a good idea. The baby in the first month of its life should have clothes that keep it warm but it shouldn’t be restricted in its movement. During the second and third month of its life, a baby who has been permitted to move around will be able to move its arms and legs with greater ease. For this same reason, the baby should be allowed to move around during its bath as this will strengthen its arm and leg muscles.

1- Stimulation.

During the first month of the baby’s life, it should receive 15-minute body massages. This stimulates the central nervous system which in turn stimulates the baby’s brain. The baby should be placed on its back and gently massaged with two fingers starting at the feet and moving up the legs to the waist, then to the back, then the arms and then turned over so that the massage can be repeated on the other side. The head can be gently massaged as well. It is not necessary for the baby to be naked, as long as its clothes are not too thick. It is not recommended that the massage be done right after a meal as it could make the baby vomit. During the massage, speak to the baby in a soothing voice to stimulate his hearing and trust at being touched. During the first 3 months of the baby’s life, whenever the baby wakes up or gets it’s diaper changed, do this exercise: grasp the baby’s ankles and move them gently one at a time, toward the stomach (like the baby is on a bicycle) or move both ankles at the same time. These exercises help strengthen the baby’s legs and keep the intestines moving.

section 2 / 0-3 months • meeting 11


2- Calming the baby.

During the first month, it is hard to tell the difference in the baby’s cries. He will sound the same if he is hungry, tired, scared or in pain. The best way to comfort him is to hold him close to you, so he feels safe. You can rock him gently while talking to him in a gentle voice and at the same time try to figure out what is bothering him. If you listened to a certain type of music during the relaxation and breathing exercises you did while pregnant, that same music may help the baby to calm down when you are carrying him or resting together in your room. During the second and third month, the baby’s cries begin to sound different and you can tell what is causing him to be upset. But, the best way to calm him is still to hold him close, you can lay him on top of your stomach so that he can hear the same sounds he heard when he was in the womb. Do this while listening to music and breathing calmly. It is important in these early months, to avoid loud sounds from machines or shouting voices. These kinds of sounds will startle the baby because he has come from a place (in your womb) where sound was muffled. The room where the baby sleeps in the first few weeks should be quiet and not too brightly lit. The baby will adapt more quickly to bright light than to loud sounds, so you should protect him from sound at least through the second month.

3- Space for mother.

During the first three months, and especially the first month, it’s good for the mother to have a similar space to rest as that of the baby so that she can relax and eat well and in this way be ready to take good care of her baby. The mother’s body is going through hormonal, chemical and emotional changes, so it’s very important to support her in this time since her attention to the baby is key for its growth and development. Another way to support the mother of a new baby during this important time is for other adult family members to take care of any other children she may have.

Facilitator’s Manual


meetingsection2 Let’s review: What can you do to calm down a baby? Does it work? Once the meeting starts, welcome everyone and ask the parti...

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