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While becoming a parent is one of the most exciting milestones in life, new parents are faced with unique challenges and lifestyle adjustments.

The day-stay program has helped Stacey Sprunt with son Sid, five months, and Sarah Jefferies with daughter Autumn, three months. Story: Jenna Bishop Photography: Julie Mercer

Day stay is the way Program leader Rosemary Rutledge said the program offered a day-stay which assisted parents with feeding, sleeping, and behavioural issues. “The reason we do that is we can observe what’s happening the whole day, with two feeding and two sleeping sessions,” Ms Rutledge said. Attendees also receive plenty of information throughout the day, and have the opportunity to talk with other participants or health professionals. Mother-of-two Stacey Sprunt, 32, took fivemonth-old Sid to the day-stay clinic after he started catnapping during the day, and then getting into irregular sleep patterns. 38

| OCTOBER 2012

“It was concerning me because he wasn’t sleeping properly and he wasn’t happy, because he was so tired,” Ms Sprunt said.

It gave me back my confidence in resettling my baby . . .

FamilyCare’s Parent-Child Program is a free service that helps parents address such challenges and develop their parenting skills, with children from newborn through to four years of age.

Stacey Sprunt

Two weeks after the clinic, she said Sid was now sleeping through the night and went straight to sleep during the day, meaning she had more time to spend with her older child and for herself. She said she would highly recommend the Parent-Child Program’s day-stay to anyone having trouble with young children. “It gave me back my confidence in resettling my baby,” she said. FamilyCare chief executive David Tennant said

the program offered the foundations parents needed to cope with newborn children, and also gave them a chance to see that other people could face similar challenges. “The parent-child package is probably most important, because there’s no other time when new families face as many challenges,” he said. Ms Rutledge said the program also gave the participants the confidence to implement the changes and information they learned during the session in their own homes. “They’ll go home with a smile on their face,” she said. Ms Rutledge said mothers saw a marked improvement in their wellbeing, as well as their child’s, after attending a day-stay session. Access to the parent-child program is through referal service, Child FIRST by phoning 1300 854 944. ■


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