Taking care of your baby’s health
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?
We are going to learn more about hygiene and the importance of regular checkups for your baby with a doctor or nurse at a health clinic. LET’S TALK ABOUT IT! We are going to look at some pictures, so we can talk about what we all know about this topic. Who in your family is in charge of the baby’s hygiene? How do you take care of a baby’s hygiene?
When do you think a baby should be taken to see the doctor? Why do you think it is important to take the baby to the doctor?
What kinds of food should the baby eat at 10-12 months? Why?
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“It’s time for our baby” We are going to make a calendar with activities that we should do in order to ensure a baby’s good development and health.
What we’ll need: • Calendar for 3 months on flipchart paper
WHAT WE’LL DO: • Colored markers Start by asking one of the mothers to volunteer by showing the group her 10-12 month old baby. Then ask the group of participants to point out a few of the baby’s characteristics, including some of the characteristics that are different from that of a 6 month old baby. (Can the baby sit? Crawl? Make sounds to communicate? Etc.) • Remind the group that each new ability the baby has depends on their growing in a healthy way, with good hygiene, nutrition and stimulation. All of this is a huge responsibility of the family. • Then divide the group into 3 small groups and assign each group a topic: 1) hygiene 2) health 3) nutrition. Each group should write a list of activities to do with a baby of this age surrounding their topic. It can be a daily, weekly or monthly activity. • Place a three-month calendar on the wall (You can make the calendar before hand using a piece of flipchart paper for each month). Then each group should write their activities from each area on the calendar. They can use different symbols for daily, weekly and monthly activities. • At the end review the activities and choose which ones could be optional (cut the babies’ hair every month? bathe daily?) and which ones should not be changed (dates for vaccinations, vitamins, measuring height and weight). OTHER SUGGESTIONS: Another aspect that can be discussed is budget: • What cost factors do you have to take into account for the activities mentioned on the calendar? • What can a family that doesn’t have the necessary funds do to make sure they are covering all the health and nutrition activities?
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?
3 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:
• H ave parents make their own calendar and budget for the baby for the next three months. • Ask parents to discuss how they can save or set aside the financial resources needed to insure the health of their baby.
Basic information for the facilitator: Learning more about taking care of you baby’s health: 1- Regular check ups: Taking the baby to the trained Community Health Worker (CHW) or health
facility to be checked by a nurse or doctor is very important as they will check on the following: • Weigh and measure your baby to make sure he or she is growing at a healthy, steady rate. • Give your baby his next round of immunizations (if the child has not completed the protocol for his/her age). • Ask all the questions you have about vitamins, if you want your baby to have them. • Address any of your concerns about your baby’s health, including how to treat colds, coughs, cuts, bumps, and falls. • Offer information on how (and how not to) discipline your child. • Make sure your baby is continuing to learn new skills and not losing old ones. • Give some insight into your baby’s development, temperament, and behavior. • Check your baby’s eyesight and hearing.
Immunization scheme children should have the following according to their age: BCG: given at birth DTaP: the DTaP vaccine protects children against three diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (whooping cough). This vaccine is normally given at 2, 4 and 6 months of age. Then booster doses should be given between 15 and 18 months, between 4 and 6 years old and 11 or 12 years of age. These booster doses help the body keep enough defenses to fight back these diseases. OPV: given at 2, 4, 6 months of age and a booster dose before entering school. Many countries combine now the DTaP, polio and HiB or hemophilus influenza vaccines in one. Hib: the Hib vaccine protects the child from a germ which can cause severe swelling in the throat that makes it hard for the child to breathe, a serious form of lung infection and a disease
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4 called meningitis. Recommended doses: at 2 months, at 4 months and 6 months; booster doses between 12 and 15 months. • MMR: the MMR vaccine protects your child against three diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella (German measles). Rubella can cause congenital (birth) defects when the disease affects a pregnant woman during the first three months of pregnancy, when the organs of the baby in the womb are being formed. Hence it is particularly important that girls are immunized against it before they get pregnant. Many parents now choose the MMRV vaccine instead of the MMR. MMRV is the same as MMR, except that it includes protection against the varicella virus, which causes chicken pox. It should be given between 12 and 15 months and the second dose between 4 and 6 years old — although the second dose can be given at any time as long as it’s at least 28 days after the first.
3- Nutrition: It is important to follow the following advice and feed infants 6 to 11 months old as
described below (WHO Infant and Young Child Feeding):
Responsive feed: • Feed infants directly and assist older children when they feed themselves. Feed slowly and patiently and encourage children to eat, but do not force them. • If children refuse many foods, experiment with different food combinations, tastes, textures and methods of encouragement. • Minimize distractions during meals if the child loses interest easily. • Remeber that feeding times are periods of learning and love - talk to children during feeding with eye-to-eye contact. Infants 6 - 11 months: • Continue breasfeeding • Give adequate serving of: • Thick porridge made out of maize, cassava, millet; add milk, soy, ground nuts or sugar • Mixtures of pureed foods madre out of matoke, potatoes, cassava, posho (maize or millet) or rice. Mix with fish, beans or pounded groundnuts. Add green vegetables.
Give nutritions snacks: egg, banana, bread, papaya, avocado, mango, other fruits, yogurt, milk and puddings made with milk, biscuits or crackers, breador chapati with butter, margarine, groundnut paste or honey, bean cakes, cooked potatoes.