Thoughtful Parenting: Newborn Network provides support in crucial early years | SteamboatToday.com

Thoughtful Parenting: Newborn Network provides support in crucial early years

Sharon Butler For Steamboat Today

Why Newborn Network? Because infants do not come with "instructions for proper care and handling."

In 1994, the above statement was the inspiration for the Family Development Center to create Newborn Network to offer education opportunities to families in Routt County with very young children. This year marks the beginning of the Family Development Center Newborn Network's 24th year of providing families with a variety of parent education choices.

Newborn Network's mission is to provide services and programs that support families in the crucial first years of their child's life. Parenting children from birth to 3 years old can present many challenges and possibilities for each family. Those who take advantage of Newborn Network's programming have access to unique resources that will empower them in their journey to build strong, thriving families and children who are ready for school and life.

Newborn Network's diverse menu of parent education options are available to all families who live in in Routt County during their pregnancy until their child's third birthday.

Parents will hear from community experts on a variety of topics and connect with other local families at our weekly group connections. Bright By Three home visits provide gift bags with age-appropriate child development and parenting information. Parents As Teachers monthly home visit program provides current child development, guidance and resource information in addition to activities to support their child's development. These home visits are delivered by trained home visitors and are individualized for each child and their family.

What do families say about Newborn Network?

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"I wanted to make sure I say Thank You, for all the time you have spent with my family and me.  As a Mom, things are really crazy, so I think I forget, but I am truly Thankful for the service you provide!!"

"I wanted to start off this email by saying thank you; your visits have provided an abundance of information that has truly made me a better mom and teacher for my kids." 

"Just wanted to drop you a quick thank you. I have really enjoyed our visits over the last year, thank you so much for all the work you do and for the resources you provide to make me a better mom!! Routt County moms are lucky to have you!"

"I wanted to write a letter of appreciation. We are so lucky to have such an informative program through the Newborn Network.  My daughter and I have followed the program since she was just a few weeks old. We are now in the toddler class. We have such a great group of people and an open place to share and learn.  The speakers are great and cover many topics."

Here is a complete list of Newborn Network's programming:

  • Group Connections — Weekly, education, networking and friendship building opportunity for families that are held at a variety of locations.
  • Bright by Three — A series of home visits: first to celebrate the birth of your child, then again around their first birthday and once more when they are 2 years old. A gift bag, which is delivered at each visit, contains materials and information about parenting, child development and community.
  • Lending Library — Books, DVDs, and CDs covering a variety of family, child and parenting issues.
  • "Warmline" — Get answers to parenting questions and information about community.
  • Parents As Teachers — A home visitation and parent education program with individualized home visits to provide families who are expecting a child or have a child less than 36 months of age with child development and parenting information.
  • Play and Learn — A joint caregiver-child session that meets twice weekly for 2 hours to engage in activities that promote child development. Currently held in Oak Creek. For all children from birth to 36 months and their caregivers who live in South Routt.

View a schedule of our group connections at familydevelopmentcenter.org or connect with us on Facebook at facebook.com/newbornnetwork.

Sharon Butler has been the program manager and a parent educator for Newborn Network since 2003. For more information, call her at 970-879-7330 or email newborn@familydevelopmentcenter.org.