House Calls runs every other Saturday. Today's column is written by Sheryl Roeloffs and members of the Community Advisory Board.
You only want the best for your baby and so do the Del Norte Family Resource Center, First 5 of Del Norte and Sutter Coast Hospital.
It is very important to talk and read to your baby for healthy brain development. From the beginning, an infant's brain is like a sponge soaking up every word.
By attending Birth and Beyond Incredible Infants class, parents learn about a baby's brain development and how to take advantage of this critical time. Parenting is the most important job there is. Parents are their children's most important teachers. Every parent or caregiver has the power to impact a child's ability to learn.
The earliest years provide such an opportunity because 90 percent of
the baby's brain development occurs by the age of 3. Early relationships
and experiences shape how proficient a child becomes in his or her
native language. Researchers found that when parents frequently spoke to
their infants, their children learned almost 300 more words by age 2
than did their peers whose parents rarely spoke to them (Huttenlocher et
al., 1991; also, Hartand Risley, 1995).
Studies also show that listening to the television provides little
benefit to brain development. Infants need to interact directly with
other human beings for them to develop optimal language skills.
Babies don't come with instruction manuals, even though most parents
wish they did. Twelve weekly 1andfrac12;-hour classes are an opportunity for
parents to share experiences, make new friends and support one another.
Parents learn about infants' ages and stages of healthy development
milestones, practical answers to day-to-day life as a parent, child
safety and how to take care of themselves and their baby for a healthy
start for the whole family.
Topics covered include:
andbull; Building and strengthen your support network.
andbull; Developing skills for helping your baby view the world as a safe
andbull; Learning important developmental milestones for the first year of
your baby's life.
andbull; Learning infant CPR, taught by a certified instructor.
andbull; Learning how to understand, accept and respect your baby's
individuality, thus helping him or her grow.
andbull; Talking with other parents about how your life has changed since
the birth of your baby.
andbull; Exploring how your role as daughter, son, friend, wife or husband
has been changed by the birth of your baby.
andbull; Discovering opportunities and responsibilities that come with
creating a healthy play environment for your baby.
andbull; Learning the importance of healthy family routines and patterns.
andbull; Learning to create a "baby friendly" environment that meets your
baby's needs for active exploration while meeting your needs for safety
Parenting is the most important job! Birth and Beyond Incredible
Infants gives families a healthy start to ensure that infants are born
into healthy families and are raised in a supportive environment. With
support, resources and connections, families will be better equipped to
create a healthy atmosphere in which their children thrive.
This class will provide parents with tools to make this journey more
rewarding. Birth and Beyond Incredible Infants' goals are to see
thriving children, strong families and a more caring society.
The charge is $30 for the entire series of classes, however, if
someone is unable to pay scholarships are available.
Find out more by calling Jessica Mercado at the Del Norte Family
Resource Center 707-464-5500 ext. 160.
Email suggestions for future House Calls columns to Beth Liles at
Sutter Coast Hospital, firstname.lastname@example.org.