The Northern Health and Social Care Trust recently launched a new parenting group called Your 1st Year which is for parents of children up to the age of one, living in Ballymoney and the surrounding area.
Parents are invited to the group which meets every Wednesday from 10am until 12 noon in the ‘Parentcraft Room’ at Ballymoney Health Centre (entrance via Knocklayde Park).
Parents can come along and leave when it suits them and their baby.
At group meetings parents will learn about their baby’s milestones and development, play and speech development, sleep, feeding and diet, behaviour and home safety.
Rosemary Morton, Nurse Manager for the Northern Health and Social Care Trust explained: “Studies indicate that brain development and long term social and emotional wellbeing are strongly influenced by children’s experiences in the first few years of their lives.
“I would encourage parents to take advantage of this new social outlet, and the professional advice and support available in the new group. The group is an ideal place for parents to meet others who are at the same stage of parenting as themselves and to swap stories in an informal, relaxed and fun atmosphere.
“Common parenting issues related to feeding, sleep, immunisations, safety and so on, will be discussed at the group, the main aim would be to address the concerns of those parents present”.
The parenting group has been set up in response to a survey of local parents carried out in 2013 by the Ballymoney Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership. Parents indicated that they felt the need of a group where they could gain information and guidance on parenting issues and also benefit from interaction with other parents of young children.
Any parent of a child, aged 0-1 year, including fathers, will be warmly welcomed at the group – as indeed are grandparents or others who care for children in this age range.
Further details are available from your family health visitor.