Little Company Introduces Baby TALK
We are proud to announce that Little Company of Mary is now one of the newest hospitals in the area to include Baby TALK Newborn Encounter program for families who deliver their babies at the hospital. On September 30, 2011, five volunteers from Little Company of Mary Hospital participated in Baby TALK’s Newborn Encounter Training. The LCMH volunteers learned all about newborn capabilities and milestones and how to use this knowledge to capture the engagement of parents in observing their newborn. The objective of the program is to help parents learn and discover how to interact with their newborn baby, learn about the needs of the family, affirm the parents in their role with their child, and offer resources and referrals to the family as they raise their baby.
Baby Talk is a national model for supporting families with training, consultation, curriculum and parenting materials to promote early engagement and discovery. The mission of the program is to positively impact child development and nurture healthy parent-child relationships during the critical early years. LCMH volunteers visit new moms during their stay at LCMH and spend time observing the new family interact. Our trained volunteers assess and provide families with the educational training resources to engage parents in a healthy encounter. Important training techniques are then passed on to the new family to promote building a relationship from day one (birth).
Tracking and imitation is one of the techniques shared during the Baby TALK encounter program. Tracking promotes the baby’s Sensory brain usage. Tracking helps stimulate the brain’s Sensory experiences (hearing, seeing, touching, feeling, tasting) and teaches the brain cells it key function. Our volunteers teach parents how infant’s can track a rattle or a red ball with their eyes. Infants can also hug your fingers if placed on the palm of their hand or even foot. These are important experiences for an infant as a lack of sensory experiences results in brain cells failing to make connections and eventually dying off. If a baby lies in a crib all day, he/she is experiencing a limited number of sensations. The baby will not have many new experiences through which he/she can establish new brain connections. The connections must be made during infancy. LCMH Volunteers also teach parents how to get their baby to imitate their facial expressions.