Tips for Teaching the Cradle Roll
- Use lots of variety in the kinds of visuals - flat pictures, felts, plastic fruits, puppet animals, plastic animals, things hanging from ceiling, wind up objects, Little Bibles, small babies wrapped tightly in cloth, Fisher Price family set, etc. Think variety!!!
- You may have a wide variety of ages in one nursery class. Be aware of the developmental differences; there is a big difference in a 2-month old and an 18-month old!
- Maintain an upbeat attitude and keep smiling! Babies will pick up on your emotional state. If you are "down in the dumps,” or angry or impatient, the babies will pick up on that and class time will be a disaster.
- This is a Bible class, not a visiting hour. Do not visit with other adults in the room.
- Learn to sing the songs with the teacher.
- Don’t try to "help” too much or take over teacher’s class. Always give the teacher the right to settle the baby first and then ask your help if needed.
- If a child simply WILL NOT settle or there is an obvious health issue developing, take the baby to the mother. She needs to know she can trust you to do this. Be aware that with a trained teacher and/or efficient helper, this is rarely necessary.
- IF you change diapers before giving babies back to Mom for worship; promote modesty.
- Be sure to dispose of soiled diapers properly to keep lingering odors from developing.
- Wear tunic or apron to protect your clothing.
- Don’t allow a baby with a fever or obvious illness to come to class.
- Strap the babies in to the seats or use old men’s ties to tie them into a chair. If a mother objects, explain that it is for their safety just like strapping them into a car seat.
- Cleanliness cannot be over-emphasized. When class is over, EVERYTHING that the babies touched must be wiped with Clorox wipes. Don’t forget the surface of the table and the chairs as well.
- Teachers and helpers should wash hands before holding babies and use sanitizer as needed.
- Be cautious in the choice of objects for babies to hold. Be aware of sharp edges, choking hazards (loose pieces, etc.), lead paint, etc.
- When it comes to feeding a baby in class, each situation has to be evaluated individually. Babies aren't machines (i.e., perfectly regulated) so you have to be sensitive to their real needs. Sometimes, a mother will start to make a practice of needing to feed her baby in class. Try to re-train that mom by helping her understand that you are conducting a Bible class and if she will feed baby before coming, you will be better able to do so.
- Stretch out an anxious child as long as possible. Don't automatically think that fidgety requires feeding. Don't reward tears with food. Do everything you can to keep him happy and, if not possible, get mom to take baby out to feed.
- Never under any circumstances should you give the baby anything other than what his mother brought for him. Especially avoid honey or anything with nut oils.