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section 3

Hygiene in 4-5 month-olds

4-5 months



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? Good hygiene habits for 4-5 month-old babies.

Let’s talk about it! We are going to look at some pictures so we can talk about what we know about this topic. How do you bathe a four to five month old? Tell us about it. How often do you think a four to five month old should be bathed? Why?

¿What can we do to make bath-time enjoyable for the baby?

section 3 / 4-5 months • meeting 18



“Caring for every part” We are going to learn how to clean all the different parts of a baby.

What we’ll need: • A doll

WHAT WE’LL DO: • Small pieces of paper each with Start by reviewing what the group had discussed one part of the body written on it in Meeting 12 about the correct way to bathe a 0-3 (see below): month-old. • Then pass around a bag or hat with the papers • Things you need, to give a baby a in it, ask each participant to pick one and ask bath. the participants to start thinking about what the best way to clean the body part they picked is (they don’t have to say anything yet). • Next pass the doll around and ask each participant to explain, using the doll, how he or she would clean the body part that he or she picked. Tell the rest of the group they can decide whether they agree or not and offer suggestions. You can also clear up any doubts the participants might have. • When everyone is done, ask a few people to mention something they learned. Parts of a babies’ body to put on the pieces of paper: • Face • Eyes • Ears • Behind the ears • Nose • Mouth • Hair • Neck • Hands • Nails • Bellybutton • Girl’s private parts • Boy’s private parts • Buttocks • Back

Facilitator’s Manual

Other suggestions: • If the group is too big it can be divided in to several groups to do the same exercise. • One of the biggest problems that poor families face is a lack of water for cleaning, bathing, cooking and drinking. You may want to ask the families how they get their water and if there is a way to improve the water situation in their community.


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.)

To do at home:

• Parents should make sure there is enough water for all the families’ needs. • Make sure they are applying the hygiene tips they talked about in the meeting.

Basic information for the facilitator: Learning more about hygiene in 4-5 month-olds: 1- Hand washing during critical times:

• Infants between 4-6 months, begin to put objects in their mouths. Around six months of age they begin to crawl, which means they risk putting germs into their mouth, nose and eyes. • Unclean hands add to the risk of diarrhea episodes in infants which can lead to malnutrition. Malnourished infants do not grow well and their height and weight are stunted. • Infants should have a clean place where to learn to crawl and have their hands clean after crawling.

How to clean hands: • Remember the correct technique to wash hands is by rubbing both hands with soap and running water. If there is no soap, ashes or sand can help getting rid of germs in the skin. To wash hands properly families need: • Plenty of clean running water • Soap: if possible babies should be washed with baby’s soap • Short, clean fingernails

section 3 / 4-5 months • meeting 18


2- Conditions and materials needed when giving bath to a baby: • • • •

Wash your hands properly before bathing a baby Give the baby a bath everyday Make sure the place for the bath is warm and not breezy Have available: baby soap, lukewarm water, a clean towel to dry the baby and a cloth to wrap the baby in after the bath • Check groins and bottoms for skin irritation/infection • If there is a skin irritation, seek the help of a health worker

3- How to give baby a bath: • • • • •

Wash your hands properly before bathing a baby Hold baby with head up higher than the body Water should not get into the ears and eyes Wash with baby soap and running water especially the groin and armpits Dry with clean towel and wrap whole body

4- Prevention of skin infection and how to get help when skin infection sets in:

Skin infection in infants is common when feces and urine are left in contact with skin. This can happen when diapers are not changed often enough. • A skin infection looks red, is painful and the infant will cry and appear to be uncomfortable. • When skin gets irritated, it is easily infected by germs which can pass through the skin and cause generalized infection. • To prevent this, mothers need to change their baby frequently and clean the baby’s skin properly with enough water and soap. • If the skin looks red and is painful, look for help from the community health worker.

Facilitator’s Manual