When you become a parent, it’s normal to start searching for the instruction book. Surely they have one next to every bed in the maternity ward. No?
Then maybe they’ve got them stashed behind the nurses’ desk? What if I beg?
If, like me, you’re entering parenthood without knowing how to change a nappy, let alone soothe a crying baby to sleep, then breathe a sigh of relief because help is at hand.
Courses for new parents can be tricky to find, but they do exist, and if you get completely bamboozled, you can always turn to one-on-one education services. Here’s where you’ll find them:
Child and baby health clinics
This is called different things in different states, but the basic idea is that you and your baby visit a nurse who is located in your community. The nurse, usually a midwife, checks if your baby is meeting development milestones, and can assist with parenting advice and information. They can also look out for potential issues, such as post-natal depression. Some of them also run parenting courses. Ask the hospital or birthing centre for details of your local clinic.
Family care cottages
This is for parents with complex concerns that can’t be solved in a short consultation or who may need more hands-on help. Family care cottages usually offer a day stay clinic and home visits. The idea is that the nurses can observe the interaction between parent and child, and offer advice to resolve the parent’s concerns. Some family care cottages also offer courses for parents to attend during their visit. Access to these services usually requires a referral from a doctor, or Child and Family Health Nurse.
Residential stay centres
These are similar to family care cottages, but offering longer, overnight stays. Like family care cottages access to the service is usually by referral. Details of residential stay centres, state by state, are below.
These are small businesses, usually run by a midwife or early childhood expert. Most often they’re focused on one-on-one consultations, but sometimes they also offer parenting groups or workshops.
- Frugal Living