'Babies are great fun and parents can have fun too!'

Research demonstrates that young children progress further and are happier when early years practitioners engage and work with parents, and share information about ways to support and extend children's learning (Athey, 1990). The Early Years Foundation Stage (DCSF, 2008) supports this. Sylva et al (2004) identified the importance of the home learning environment in giving children an advantage in both intellectual and social development. The home learning environment is a strong indicator of outcomes for children in the UK education system.

A key finding from their research is how parents interact with their children and the experiences they provide for them being more important than parents’ educational level, occupation or income. They suggest that it is how parents engage with their children that will make a difference to outcomes for children. This is vital from birth. The home learning environment includes: levels of interaction between adults and children; availability of books; levels of emotional containment.

Our innovative Parents Course builds on these key findings and supports parents to respond appropriately to the emotions and needs of their baby.

Session Aims:
Babies' Brain Development
By being knowledgeable about early development and learning, parents can be alert to the importance of paying close attention to the potential of their babies. Learn how every experience shapes the brain and the brain adapts to the enviroment it finds itself in. Actively being with people is what babies want. They want YOU.
Babies' Emotional Development
By being aware of emotional needs, parents can respond with sensitivity to their babies and support them with loving and meaningful interactions. Understanding how crying a baby’s way of letting you know they are here and need you. How you feel and what you do can deeply affect your baby who can pick up on your emotional state.

“The idea that my being stressed can have a negative impact on my baby. I am finding new ways of de-stressing such as going outside with my baby, singing even though I can’t sing.” parent“Understanding babies brains: the crying; chemicals being released. I think I am better at understanding what her cries mean.”
Parent's comment
Babies' Playing and Laughing
By being in tune with individual babies, parents can recognise the huge impact early experiences have on holistic development for their babies. Learn that playing is learning. Laughing relieves stress. Singing releases ‘feel good’ chemicals in our brains. Ok to be playful with your baby! Playing with babies builds relationships. Any time can be playtime; feeding, nappy changing; sitting together as well as playing with toys.

“How do I know my baby is ready to play. I’ve never really thought about that, wow.”
Parent's comment

Find out about the manuals»

'The kind of parenting we get as babies makes a big difference to the brain we develop. If we’re nurtured lovingly, we thrive emotionally.’
Sue Gerhardt (2004) Why Love Matters
'All babies need to be safe, nutured and able to thrive.'
Cuthbert et al, (2011) All Babies Count, NSPCC
'Play reduces the stress chemicals in the brain which affects the child’s mental and emotional well-being.’
Shapiro (2003)
'Children deprived of playtime at school developed ADHD symptoms.'
Pellegrini (1996) cited by Marot Sunderland (2006) The Science of Parenting

Quotes from parents

"Great to see how parents are able to apply aspects of cognitive neuroscience to their baby's development and feel excited about it."

"I learnt lots from the project DVD and now look at my baby differently! Every time she learns something new, I think 'Wow' her brain cells are connecting."

"I found the class to be really interesting and great to be able to share experiences with other mums. I also find myself really thinking about my son's brain development and has made me more aware of his surroundings."

"I have found this course so interesting and useful, especially the age of my little boy during the course. I feel I can promote helpful experiences to help his brain development and avoid damaging ones. It has been great getting my brain working again as well."

"Parents feeling nurtured, knowing their babies were safe with us and being listened strengthened the messages in the project." Crèche Practitioner

"It’s not just my baby – it’s the stage she’s at and all babies go through it."

The Northamptonshire Baby Room Project© Parents Course was devised by: Veronica Lawrence, Specialist Senior Educational Psychologist Early Years Claire Stevenson, Early Years Consultant Northamptonshire County Council


Contact The Northamptonshire Baby Room Project ©

Email: vlawrence@northamptonshire.gov.uk
Write to: The Northamptonshire Baby Room Project, One Angel, Angel Square, Northampton NN1 1EDE
Telephone: 01604 364770
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