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Chaldean Moms Give Great Advice
By Latifa Seeba :: Wednesday, March 11, 2009 :: 83504 Views :: Article Rating :: 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.

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St. Thomas, MI USA

St. Thomas Chaldean Catholic Church
6900 Maple Rd.
West Bloomfield, MI 48322
Tel: (248) 788-2460
Fax: (248) 788-2153

Founding Pastor:
Rev. Hanna Cheikho

Current Pastor:
Rev. Frank Kalabat

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Emmanuel Rayes, Retired  


Rev. Frank Kalabat
 

Rev. Frank Kalabat was born in 1970 in San Diego, California and entered St. Francis Seminary of San Diego, California.  The admission to the Catholic seminary made him the first born U.S. Chaldean to enter an American seminary.  In 1992, Fr. Kalabat continued his studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan.  In July 1995, shortly after graduation he was ordained as priest by His Excellency Bishop Ibrahim N. Ibrahim.  

Fr. Frank chose Mother of God Parish in Southfield, MI. as his first assignment serving the Chaldean community as an associate pastor for half a decade.  In 2001, Fr. Kalabat was elected to serve as Pastor of St. Tomas Parish in West Bloomfield, Michigan where he remains today.   

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim

Rev. Jirjis Abrahim was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1942. Upon graduation Fr. Abrahim was admitted to St. Peter Chaldean Seminary in Baghdad, Iraq.  After a decade of studies and numerous degrees, Fr. Abrhim was ordained a priest in 1967.  He chose to continue ministering in Baghdad, Iraq.  There he was appointed the headmaster of the catechism at Mother of Sorrows Cathedral.  Fr. Abrahim also assisted St. Therese Church in Baghdad until 1978.  Afterward he was asked to assist St. Joseph Church in Baghdad and was appointed Parochial Vicar from 1978-1992. 

In 1992, Fr. Abrahim was called upon to assist the growing Chaldean population in Michigan.  Upon his arrival he was assigned to St. Joseph Church in Tory, Michigan.  Two years later Fr. Abrahim was asked to become the pastor of a Parish community in Windsor, Canada  where he remained the parish pastor until 2001.

Continuing demographic changes in Michigan required Fr. Abrahim to return to St. Joseph Parish in Tory as a Parochial Vicar, where he remained until 2006.  In 2006 he was elected to St. Thomas Parish as Parochial Vicar in West Bloomfield, MI. where he currently serves the Chaldean community.

 

Rev. Emmanuel Rayes

Rev. Emmanuel Rays was born in Araden, Iraq in 1930.  He studied at St. John Dominican Seminary and was ordained to the priesthood in 1954.  The Chaldean catholic ambassador ministered in northern Iraq from 1954-1963, in Syria and Lebanon from 1963-1980, and in the United Stated from 1980 to the present day.
 
Form 1980-1983, he was appointed associate pastor at Mother of God Parish in Southfield, Michigan.  From 1983-1989 he served as pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Detroit, Michigan.  During the early 1990’s he ministered to the Chaldean community in Farmington Hills and was at St. Joseph Parish in Tory where he was Parochial Vicar until 2000.

Although Fr. Rayes retired in 2001, he remains active in serving the community.  He is the author of many articles in Arabic and is the editor-in-chief of the Al Mishal and Al-Tariq magazine.  He has translated and continues to translate many books from French and English into Arabic.