Sunday, November 17, 2013

Ideas for a HUG Your Baby Class

Every teacher has her own style and every class has its own personality.  Some teachers will want to use the PowerPoint slides and script.  Others will prefer a more conversational approach to teaching a class. Below are several ideas about teaching a HUG class.  Pick and choose what is best for you and your class.  We have included a "test" for parents, HUG blogs and handouts which you could pass out, read or discuss. 

Introduction - Have parents introduce themselves:
Have parents introduce themselves
"When are you due?"
“Have any of you been parents before? What was your biggest surprise (both good and not-so-good)?” 
"Did you grow up around babies?"
"What are you most looking forward to?"
"What is one worry you have about being a new parent?

These questions can be used to introduce basic information about a newborn's abilities and behavior NOT to test the knowledge of the parents.  You might go through the questions in one of the following ways:
1) have couples review the questions together
2) break the group into smaller groups to review the questions
3) ask the questions as a group and gets everyone’s ideas

(Answers to Learning About Babies:  1.B; 2.A; 3.D; 4.C; 5.C; 6.A; 7.A; 8.D; 9. C; 10. B.) 
Consider discussing some of the answers with the topics below. You will not have time for all, so choose what seem best for the class you are teaching. Most teachers like to show the DVD in at least two parts. This gives parents an opportunity to discuss what they are seeing. You can always send parents home with resources such as:

The link for the free HUG E-Newsletter for Parents

For Question #1:  When do babies develop their personalities or temperament?
Introduce idea of a baby's temperament and personalities
Babies are different.  They are born with individual temperaments and personalities. Some babies by nature are quiet and relaxed. Some babies are active and energetic. Some babies are sensitive to their surroundings while others are not.  You cannot not "make" your baby's personality, but instead, discover who your child is and how best to respond. 
Though babies are genetically wired with certain personality traits, they are learning even in the womb. Getting to know your baby is part of the bonding process.   Bonding does not happen overnight.

For Question #2:  When can a newborn begin learning about the world?
Introduce idea of the importance of a baby's early learning.
Here is a fun HUG blog about how baby's learn in the womb. You could tell this or read it to your class.
Handout article for parents on importance of parent-child interaction for brain development: Healthy Minds: developing your child's mind from 0 to 2 months. 
Here is a HUG blog about baby's learning you might want to let your class know about.

For Questions #3:  Who is the number one resource for understanding what a baby is going on with your baby?
Introduce reading baby's body language:
"We are here to learn about how babies communicate and how to read our babies body language.  In years past professionals believed that babies came into the world like a lump of clay, ready to be formed into a person by her parents. But, 50 years of research has shown us that babies are unique and capable individuals from the start. We are going to look at how babies 'speak with their bodies'. We are going to learn to talk 'Baby Talk'!"

For Questions #3:  When do mothers and father bond with their baby?
Introduce bonding as a process. Getting to know your baby is a process. A mother's experience at birth or her previous experience having a baby can impact bonding. Just like with courting a partner, some people experience love at first sight. Others spend more time learning about that new partner and find themselves over time growing very much in love. Either way of bonding with a newborn is normal. 

For Question #5:  What mothers develop post-partum depression?
Review some information or pass out a handout on post-partum depression.
Post-partum depression is a biological/hormonal condition. A history of depression is a risk factor for post-partum depression, so if this is your case, discuss this ahead of time with your doctor or midwife. This subject could consume much of a class. I would recommend mentioning this briefly and handing out a brochure or HUG blog.
Here is an interesting HUG blog.

For Questions #6: Can a parent tell when a baby is over-stimulated?
Review SOSs
It is no surprise that babies will eat and grow better if they are not over-stimulated. The womb is a relatively quiet and peaceful place compared to the stimulating outer world. Babies born early have more difficulty adjusting to the normal sounds, sights and sensations after birth. Babies speak with their bodies and call tell us when they are over-stimulated. We will see a baby "send out an SOS - Signs of Over-Stimulation" in this DVD.
Watch the HUG DVD introduction and chapter on Zones and SOSs.
Pass out DVD Handout that goes with this DVD.

For Questions #7:  Why do babies cry?
 Review normal crying patterns, how to comfort and crying baby and how some babies contribute to their own comforting.
Crying is communication. Some babies my nature "have a lot to say"! Other babies are a bit more laid back and easy to comfort.
Watch HUG DVD.
Here is a good blog on baby contributing to comforting.

For Questions #8:  How can you tell if a newborn is hungry and ready to eat?
Review early feeding cues.
It takes a few days to learn your baby's cues for when she's ready to eat. We teach new parents to respond to early cues such as: bringing her hand to her mouth, starting to wiggle, or rooting. Once mother's breastfeeding is well established and the baby has regained her birth weight by about two-weeks of age parents can start to notice the difference between hunger and a baby transitioning to active/light sleep.
Here is a HUG blog on breastfeeding.

For Questions #9:  How do babies act when they are sound asleep?
Review active/light and still/deep sleep.
Just like adults, babies transition between active/light and still/deep sleep. However they make this transition about every 45-60 minutes. In a couple of weeks you will be able to notice active/light sleep.
If you have a light-hearted student you might ask them to demonstrate how active/light and still/deep sleeps looks. Everyone enjoys this and quickly gets the point.

For Questions #10:  How much can a newborn see and hear?
Review some of the amazing abilities of the newborn
Babies can pick out a picture of their mother when 4 hours old! Babies will turn to Dad's voice more quickly than to another man's voice.  Babies can imitate her parent - stick out your tongue several times slowly and a baby will do the same.

© HUG Your Baby 2016