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Chaldean Moms Give Great Advice
By Latifa Seeba :: Wednesday, March 11, 2009 :: 67181 Views :: Health & Fitness, Community & Culture

“I was scared and worried,” says Ashley Michael.  “My baby would not stop crying.  It was late at night and I was so tired.  He was getting on my nerves.  Thank God we lived with my Mother-in-Law.  She helped keep me calm and made me feel that everything would be fine.  She was so kind and helpful.”

All babies cry. And at about two weeks of age, it is common for babies to develop a fussy period in the evening that can last for as long as two hours.  Fortunately for Mrs. Michael it is a Chaldean tradition for a new mom to stay with her mother or mother-in-law after giving birth for a few months.   

The reassurance, extra set of hands, and experienced advice can make all the difference.  So can a number of these helpful tips given to www.CHALDEAN.org by experienced Chaldean moms on how to soothe a fussy baby.  Try some of the following techniques, or perhaps a combination of them, to soothe your baby.

It goes without saying that moms should always check fussy babies and determine if they need to be changed, need to be fed, or are hurt and nursing an injury in some way.  Just remember, when trying to comfort your baby pay attention to what your baby is trying to tell you. Through trial and error, and with loving patience, you'll soon discover together which soothing methods work best.

Mari Hanoodi, mother of six, says babies like to be warm and snuggled like they were in the womb.  She suggests new Chaldean mothers try to:

  • The Chaldean tight swaddle.  Wrapping the baby tightly in a receiving blanket help keeps them warm and snug.
  • Use your body warmth to comfort the baby by holding the baby close. 
  • Place a heating pad in your baby's sleep area to warm the sheets before putting them down. Be sure to take out the heating pad and check the temperature of the sheets to be sure they're comfortably warm.
  • Lay your baby facedown over a wrapped hot-water bottle on your lap.

Ibtissam Salem, mother of eight and grandmother of twelve, says soothingly touches help them relax.  She suggests:

  • Massage firmly but gently your baby's back from the neck down to his bottom.
  • Pat or rub your baby on his back firmly.
  • In a warm room, lay your baby on their back on a firm surface and gently massage his tummy with clockwise strokes. If you think his discomfort may be resulting from gas, this can help move down the gas. Then gently press his knees into his abdomen to push out the gas. 

Amy Gessu, mother of three and singer in her church choir favors singing and speaking to the baby to help them relax.  She recommends:

  • Chaldean moms hum and sing familiar songs you enjoy.
  • Mothers should use reassuring words in a soft, low voice.
  • Moms can make a tape recording of a dishwasher, washing machine, vacuum cleaner or clothes dryer to let your baby hear repeated swooshing sounds.
  • A fan or humidifier in the baby's room can sometimes do the trick, as can a radio tuned to the static between stations.
  • Soft music like classical, soft rock, country, or soft jazz music is best. No heavy metal, rap, or hard rock - it makes babies nervous.

Movement and how you hold your baby is what mother’s Nehla Garmo, Christina Eisho, and Dalia Daoud suggest.  They advise:

  • Chaldean moms to hold their baby facedown over their forearm with their head at your elbow and your thumb and fingers wrapped around his thigh.
  • Hold your baby seated in your hand with his back to your chest and your other hand across his chest, wrapping your thumb and fingers around his upper arm and gently sway.
  • Holding the baby high over your shoulder so his stomach is being pressed into your shoulder bone and slowly bring them down to a firm hug.
  • Cradle your baby in your arms, holding him tummy-to-tummy tightly against you as you walk.
  • Swaying side to side or back and forth while standing up.
  • Rocking back and forth in a comfortable rocking chair.

Perhaps these tips will help keep your fussy bundle of joy sleeping through the night. If Chaldean mothers reading this article have other tips, please send them along to  info@chaldean.org.

St. Joseph, MI USA

St. Joseph Chaldean Catholic Church
2442 E. Big Beaver Rd.
Troy, MI 48083
Tel: (248) 528-3676
Fax: (248) 524-1957

Congregation Organizer:
Rev. Michael J. Bazzi

Church Constructing Pastor:
Rev. Sarhad Y. Jammo

Current Pastor:
Msgr. Zouhair Toma

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Ayad Hanna

 Current Pastor: Msgr. Zouhair Toma

Msgr. Zouhair Toma (Kejbou) was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1947.  He was ordained a priest in Baghdad, Iraq in 1968, and accepted his first assignment to serve the community of Baquba.  The Monsignor’s leadership skills and organizational talents along with his mastery of theology were immediately evident.  He later assisted Sts. Peter and Paul in Al-Salehia, and St. George in New Baghdad.

In August, 1978 Monsignor Toma was called to serve the growing community of persecuted Chaldeans finding refuge in Australia.   Being the fist Chaldean priest to arrive in Australia he quickly established a parish for the Chaldeans in Sydney to serve their social and spiritual needs.  The parish was named after St. Thomas the Apostle and built a rectory. 

In 1989, for his incredible work he was granted the title of Monsignor, Chaldean Patriarchal Vicar for Australia and New Zealand.  Continuing his passionate work to serve the Chaldean community the Monsignor moved the Parish Center to a more accessible location and built a large church campus featuring a modern community center, residence quarters, and administrative offices in 1995. 

In 2003, Monsignor Toma added a magnificent church to replace the previous one in order to serve the fast growing community and also opened two other centers.  The first was Our Lady Guardian of Plants in Melbourne, and the second was Mar Addai the Apostle in Auckland, New Zealand.  Mar Addai in New Zealand included two very large churches along with rectories and community centers.  Overseeing the Patriarchal Vicariate for 28 years, he managed to inspire six more priests to help minister to the fast growing Chaldean community. 

In August 2006, Monsignor chose to assist the St. Thomas the Apostle Diocese in the U.S. as more Catholic churches were being built in America and address the growing need.  On October 2006, Monsignor was incardinated and appointed Pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Troy.