Daily Observer (Jamaica)

Par­ent­ing a new baby in COVID times

- Child Health · Lifestyle · Social Media · Family · Parenting · Lifehacks

Shar­ing is car­ing

•Use so­cial me­dia, phone calls and any­thing at your dis­posal to reach out and con­nect with oth­ers.

•Take turns with oth­ers to care for your baby. Take time

for YOU.

•Sleep when your baby sleeps so you have en­ergy.

Com­mu­ni­cat­ing with your baby

•Fol­low your baby’s lead by copy­ing or mir­ror­ing. •Re­peat and re­act to their bab­ble or words.

•Use your child’s name when you speak to your baby.

•Use words to describe what your baby is do­ing.

Learning with your baby

•Make their en­vi­ron­ment in­ter­est­ing.

•Ba­bies re­spond to stim­u­la­tion.

•Let your baby ex­plore the world through the five senses.

Ba­bies learn through play

•Get to your baby’s level and make sure they can see and hear you.

•Play peek-a-boo, sing songs or lul­la­bies, stack blocks or cups.

•Make mu­sic to­gether: bang­ing on pots, play­ing with rat­tlers, shak­ing jars with beans.

•Share books to­gether — even at a very early age! Describe what is hap­pen­ing in the pic­tures. Let your baby ex­plore books with all of the senses.

When ba­bies cry

•Re­spond to your baby im­me­di­ately.

•Check to see what is mak­ing your baby cry. •Swad­dling or gen­tly rock­ing can help calm your baby. •Singing a lul­laby or play­ing soft mu­sic can be sooth­ing. •Keep calm and take a break! You can place your baby in a safe place on their back and then walk away. Be sure to check on your baby ev­ery five to 10 minutes.

•If you think your baby is in­jured or ill, call a health ser­vice provider or visit a clinic.

Be gen­tle with your chil­dren as they learn, but also with your­self as the par­ent!

Just be­cause some­thing didn’t go well to­day or you lost your tem­per, this doesn’t de­fine who you are as a par­ent. Re­mind your­self of the things you did well to­day, even if they may seem small.

Here are some tips for keep­ing your chil­dren safe on­line dur­ing COVID-19, pro­vided by UNICEF.

On­line risks

- Adults tar­get­ing chil­dren for sex­ual pur­poses on so­cial me­dia, gam­ing, and mes­sag­ing plat­forms.

- Harm­ful con­tent — vi­o­lence, misog­yny, xeno­pho­bia, in­cit­ing sui­cide and self-harm, mis­in­for­ma­tion, etc.

- Teens shar­ing per­sonal in­for­ma­tion and sex­ual photos or videos of them­selves.

- Cy­ber­bul­ly­ing from peers and strangers.

Tech fixes to pro­tect your chil­dren on­line

- Set up parental con­trols.

- Turn on Safe­search on your browser.

- Set up strict pri­vacy set­tings on on­line apps and games.

- Cover we­b­cams when not in use.

Cre­ate healthy and safe on­line habits

- In­volve your child or teen in cre­at­ing fam­ily tech agree­ments about healthy de­vice use.

- Ex­plore web­sites, so­cial me­dia, games, and apps to­gether.

- Talk to your teen on how to re­port in­ap­pro­pri­ate con­tent.

Keep your chil­dren safe with open com­mu­ni­ca­tion

- Tell your chil­dren that if they ex­pe­ri­ence some­thing on­line that makes them feel up­set, un­com­fort­able, or scared, they can talk to you and you will not get mad or pun­ish them.

- Be alert to signs of dis­tress. No­tice if your child is be­ing with­drawn, up­set, se­cre­tive, or ob­sessed with on­line ac­tiv­i­ties.

- Cre­ate trust­ing re­la­tion­ships and open com­mu­ni­ca­tion through pos­i­tive sup­port and en­cour­age­ment.

Note that ev­ery child is unique and may use dif­fer­ent ways to com­mu­ni­cate. Take time to ad­just your mes­sage for your child’s needs. For ex­am­ple, chil­dren with learning dis­abil­i­ties may re­quire in­for­ma­tion in a sim­ple for­mat.

 ??  ?? E spend a lot of time in­doors with a young baby, and COVID-19 makes it much more in­tense. It is com­pletely nor­mal to feel iso­lated, over­whelmed, anx­ious, and scared for you and your baby, and these par­ent­ing tips from UNICEF should help.
E spend a lot of time in­doors with a young baby, and COVID-19 makes it much more in­tense. It is com­pletely nor­mal to feel iso­lated, over­whelmed, anx­ious, and scared for you and your baby, and these par­ent­ing tips from UNICEF should help.
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