A content baby, a happy family
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 keep a baby occupied and content while the mother is working. 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. What things do you do to keep the baby content?
Have you seen babies that are not content? Why do you think that baby was not content? What words or sounds can you say to the baby to make them more content?
section 5 / 10-12 months • meeting 30
“How to occupy the baby” We are coming to share suggestions of activities that we have used to keep our babies occupied and content.
What we’ll need: • Flip chart • Markers
WHAT WE’LL DO: Make a list of ten activities that mothers do daily as part of their responsibility as mother and housekeeper. • Ask participants to share suggestions (in a brainstorm style) of things they have found helpful to keep a baby occupied and content while they are working. • Write the suggestions on the flipchart and at the end of the meeting read them all as a reminder • Discuss any of the activities that might be dangerous. OTHER SUGGESTIONS: • Make sure everyone’s voice is heard and participating when you ask for suggestions • The facilitator can suggest or demonstrate a few activities for babies, such as: • Show the baby how to take objects in and out of a large bucket • Allow the baby to look when you hide a cookie under a sheet, then invite the baby to look for the cookie. When he/she finds it congratulate him/her and give him/her the cookie as a prize. • Space to crawl. Choose a place in the house where it is safe for the baby to crawl around, place objects (chairs or tables) around the area so that the baby can’t get out of the safe zone. Inside the area place pillows on the floor for the baby to crawl on and spread objects around the area, showing the baby to go from on object to another. • Give the baby some plastic cups of different sizes for him/her to play with, show them how one can go inside the oth • In every moment, show the baby the 3 “A’s”: Attention, Aceptance and Affection
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?
19 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:
Tell the mothers to talk to other mothers that were not at the meeting, and ask them for suggestions of other activities that they do to entertain the baby while they do house work.
Basic information for the facilitator: Learning more about a content baby, a happy family: 1- “Content” can have different meanings depending on the cultural context. For some, a
quiet and calm baby can be considered a content baby, however, quiet doesn’t necessarily mean that the baby is content. A quiet baby can signify that the baby is not being stimulated enough or that they are sick. Some babies are cheerful and happy and have been that way since their birth, while others are more serious and cry more. Both of these are natural it just depends on the babies’ personality. Some factors that influence is a baby is content or not are: • The baby might be colicky. Colic can affect babies for several hours every day for several months. • If they are hot or cold. • If they are hungry or thirsty • If they feel lonely. • If they are sick • If they are tired
2- There are several practices that can be used to keep a baby content. However, there are also
several factors at play that affect how effective these practices will work. The physical and mental health of the mother and baby are inseparable. Since the mother is generally the primary care giver of the baby in the first year, her general wellbeing directly impacts the wellbeing of the baby. Due to this it is important to make sure the mother is content and happy so that the baby will be as well. To make sure this happens, it is very important that the other members of the family help care for the mother by helping out with household responsibilities while she is taking care of the baby.
section 5 / 10-12 months • meeting 30
20 During a babies’ first year, they establish relationships with those that take care of them. They learn about the world through the way they are taken care of, in how they are spoken to, how they are played with, massaged, changed and feed. This way of learning is unique to the relationship of the babies’ primary care giver. If there are several people taking care of the baby this might cause confusion and bother the baby. From the very beginning of a babies life it is crucial to show them respect as it signifies that you have the babies feelings in mind. This means treating the baby like the little person that they are, with needs and desires, with likes and dislikes. If you treat them with respect and let them know what you are going to do with them it shows that you aren’t just taking care of them because it is necessary but you are showing him or her that their feelings are important. By showing them what your are doing, even when they are very young, and always using the same words with a voice that inspires confidence and safety it will help them understand what it to follow in their routine. Sometimes adults shake babies so they will stop crying. Unless you shake them gently, shaking a baby will just make them cry more. It might be that they quiet down but the baby will probably remain anxious. Looking at their face you should be able to tell if the baby is comfortable or not. Parents and those in charge of caring for the baby sometimes are alarmed when they see their baby, that is usually friendly, become frightened. These emotions are normal and should simply be taken as a sign that the baby is developing alertness. These fears are a clear indication that babies are establishing a bond. It’s important that parents (or caregivers) know their feelings and what they need, so that they can respond in a useful way. For the entire first year of life an ample amount of discoveries and new concepts are part of the babies experience. The manner that parents (or caregivers) respond to these essential needs of this new little human being are ways to determine if the baby is content.