Professionals from across Gloucestershire have come together to hear about a new local campaign which is helping parents build their baby’s brains right from birth.
The campaign, based on the NSPCC’s ‘Look, Say, Sing, Play’ approach, has been launched across the county in partnership with NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Gloucestershire County Council, Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust, Home-Start in Gloucestershire, Peter Lang Children’s Trust, and The Friendship Café.
The campaign aims to encourage parents to take a look at what their baby is focusing on and how they react, say what they are doing and copy the sounds their baby makes, sing along to their favourite tune or play simple games and see what their baby enjoys.
During launch events at Cheltenham Pavilion and Gloucestershire CCG on Thursday 27 February, professionals learned more about the brain-building science behind the campaign, heard from other local partners supporting Gloucestershire parents and families and were handed campaign resources such as leaflets, flashcards and posters to share with new parents.
The NSPCC’s Local Campaigns Manager for the South West, Emma Motherwell said: “I am delighted to be working with local partners and professionals to bring this campaign to new parents across Gloucestershire.
“Look, Say, Sing, Play will complement the great work already underway locally to support new parents and provide a range of ideas and activities for parents that will help to build their child’s brain as well as having lots of fun!
“Parents and their children interact all the time but we have found that if you make a conscious effort to do so, you can give your little one the best start in life during a crucial part of their development.”
Programme Director for Children’s Mental Health and Maternity at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Helen Ford, said:
“Providing high quality support to new mothers, newborns and their families is crucial to their ongoing wellbeing in life and is a high priority in Gloucestershire.
“We are really pleased to be working with the NSPCC to help new parents understand the importance of having purposeful and meaningful interactions with their babies.
“This isn’t always easy, particularly in the early months, and we hope that giving parents practical tips will enable them to have rewarding and positive interactions which lead to stronger bonds with their baby.”
Health Visitor for Gloucestershire Health and Care, Rachel Baker attended the launch and said: “The content from the launch was excellent and has given us really clear tools to use with parents.
“These tools will help build relationships between parents and their babies, which is a wonderful thing to have as a health visitor.
“This will help us give parents what they need to really enjoy their children.”
To sign pp for weekly tips, parents can sign up to an email from the charity through the campaign page. Each tip will provide a fun, age-appropriate piece of advice that can easily be introduced into a daily routine.