Research shows that 79% of new parents feel they don’t have the practical skills necessary to care for their baby, Professor Robert Winston launches innovative parenting DVDs
The Essential Baby Care Guide was launched on Wednesday by world-renowned scientist, Professor Robert Winston, featuring impartial, practical, and potentially life-saving advice for new parents, from top experts in their field, as well as anecdotes from parents. To date, these subjects have not been covered elsewhere in such detail via a format which is scientifically-backed, yet simple to understand. Professor Robert Winston launches The Essential Baby Care Guide, a series of four DVDs for, in his own words, “today’s new parents [who] often don’t have access to the same practical support network enjoyed by earlier generations, and as a consequence are desperate for good information.”
Research conducted amongst new parents throughout the UK reveals a clear hunger for practical, effective and up-to-date parenting advice: 75% of those questioned said that new parents are more isolated than ever and felt that previous generations had stronger support networks. In addition, 78% felt “overwhelmed by the amount of information available on the internet and in books or magazines” – yet many of them had never witnessed a family member or close friend perform essential parenting tasks before having their own baby. Indeed, looking back to before the birth, 61% of new fathers and 44% of new mothers admitted they were more confident changing a light bulb than changing a nappy. In Northern Ireland, 67% of new parents questioned had never seen a family member or close friend breastfeeding; and, in the east, 42% had never seen a bottle being safely sterilised and made up.
The Essential Baby Care Guide has been welcomed by healthcare professionals and experts closely involved with new parents. “The Guide is excellent, and my team will be showing excerpts of the DVDs to student doctors. They offer an excellent overview of key milestones in everyday care and health, as well as development of the infant, which will be helpful for all parents,” says Dr Deborah Hodes, a Fellow of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, and a Consultant Community Paediatrician for the London Borough of Camden, and University College London Hospitals.
The Essential Baby Care Guide was the brainchild of two mothers who both experienced difficulties caring for their own babies during the first year. Award-winning film maker, Diana Tracey-Hill, and Dr Rebecca Chicot, who has three children and holds a PhD in Child Psychology from the mother-infant attachment laboratory at Cambridge University co-founded The Essential Parent Company to help parents enjoy the first year of their children’s lives. The Essential Baby Care Guide DVDs are its first product and will be available as a set or individually from John Lewis stores nationwide, johnlewis.com, Amazon and from The Essential Parent Company www.essentialparent.com.
The research carried out around the launch and shows the prevalence of ‘parenting anxiety’ demonstrates parents are aware of the importance of ‘get things right’ during the first year – an ambition shared by Professor Winston: “When a child is born, they immediately start making connections in their brains that will last their whole lifetime. In the first year of life, a baby learns more, and at a faster rate than they will ever do again. Early experience is pivotal in making us who we are as adults. The importance of nurturing young children makes it both a joyous, and anxious experience. Today’s new parents often don’t have access to the same practical support network enjoyed by earlier generations, and as a consequence are desperate for good information. Having worked with the team behind ‘The Essential Parent Company’ on several BBC documentary series, I know the huge amount of research that has gone into making this important and highly accessible guide for new parents.”