Help New Moms Start Off Right

 
 
 
 
By Julie Johnson
Director, Welcome Baby Program
 

Tiffany* is a young single mom with one baby, and she is putting herself through college. When she signed up for home visits through the Welcome Baby program, she was so grateful for the diaper bag full of baby items she received on her first visit: diapers, wipes, clothing, and the first children’s book her baby had ever received. A month later, her home visitor arrived for the next visit, diapers and children’s books in hand. When Tiffany opened the door she burst into tears: she had put her last diaper on the baby the night before and had no idea where she would find the money to buy more because she didn’t get paid for another week. Because she was new to the program, she had no idea she would be receiving diapers every month. 

Megan was at a friend’s house when the friend’s home visitor arrived. Megan was expecting her first baby in just a few days and was very nervous about becoming a mother. She was able to sign up for the program and receive her first visit the day before her baby was born, getting information on how to take care of a newborn and a support system she hadn’t expected to have. 

When Julia’s first home visitor came, she was nervous about having someone in her home. The home visitor read books to her children, did finger plays with them, and sang nursery rhythms to them. They were instantly captivated, and Julia admitted she had never felt comfortable doing these activities in the past. The home visitor gave her the uncomfortable challenge to step out of her comfort zone and sing to her children, read them a book daily, and narrate their daily activities. At the next visit, she was so excited to share her success—her boys were now eager for bedtime books and singing. 

As director of our Welcome Baby program, I have known and served many new parents in these situations. These are the stories that change our participants from names on a paper to people in our hearts. These are families in our community who benefit from parent education and the support of a home visitor. Not every family has tight finances, but many would struggle even more if it weren’t for diapers, wipes, and baby supplies we give to supplement what they are able to buy themselves. 

Welcome Baby is a free home visitation and parent education program. We currently have 19 volunteers who go into our participants’ homes once a month, teaching parents about developmental milestones, sharing activities they can engage in with their children, and giving age-related parenting tips. Parents gain the tools they need to meet their children’s challenges and access community resources such as medical help, preschool options, and support groups. Because of generous donations from the community, home visitors take much-needed baby supplies into the home as well—diapers, wipes, baby blankets, baby clothes, children’s books, etc. 

Throughout the month of April, we are asking you, our neighbors, to hold a Community Baby Shower to support for these families. This can be as easy as asking your book club friends to bring diapers or baby items to your monthly meeting. You can also pick up a free baby shower kit from our office, which includes party invitations, shower games, suggestions for refreshments, and small party favors—turn it into a fun event and see how much you can collect!

Be part of the village that raises a child! Donate to the Community Baby Shower and make a difference in the lives of our community members in need. 

To request your free baby shower kit, email Julie Johnson or call our office at 801-399-5584.

You can also follow these links to download party invitations and a poster with a suggested donation list.

*Names have been changed.

 

 

 
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