Families across Merseyside invited to access free baby brain and bonding NSPCC tips
To mark Infant Mental Health Awareness week, the NSPCC is inviting parents across Merseyside to take part in its campaign to help families build stronger bonds with their babies.
Article date: 16 June
Over the past couple of years, the NSPCC has been concerned that babies had become hidden victims of the pandemic, not just because of their vulnerability to abuse and neglect, but also because of the profound negative effects that isolation and parental anxieties could have on a young child's development. Extensive evidence shows that early experiences can have profound effects on a person's lifelong development.
Earlier this year, the NSPCC launched a new partnership with councils in Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral, with support and funding from Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership, to promote the charity's Look, Say, Sing, Play campaign. This offers free support to parents and to help give babies a great start in life.
Look, Say, Sing, Play is open to anyone who helps to look after a baby in Merseyside. Parents and carers can sign up to receive free, weekly tips which have been designed to strengthen the bond between carer and child and help young minds develop.
Parents and carers are encouraged to Look at what their baby is focusing on and how they react, Say what they're doing and copy the sounds their baby makes, Sing along to their favourite tune and Play simple games and see what their baby enjoys.
Councillor Nova Charlton, St Helens Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: "Every time you talk, sing or play with your baby, you're not just bonding, you're building their brain which is crucial at such a young age as it will influence a positive development.
"We're delighted to show our support to such an important campaign, as it's an opportunity to shout about the fantastic work that we are doing through our own council services, like in our libraries and children centres, which play their part in helping set young children up on their way to have the best start in life."
Mubashar Khaliq, NSPCC local campaigns manager for the North West, said: "The first years of a child's life are critical to their development, and we know that when parents are facing difficulties such as the cost of living crisis and coping in the post-pandemic world, it can be easy to lose sight of the importance of fun or silly games with your young ones.
"The tips are based on brain science, but incredibly straightforward and simple - you don't need any special toys or equipment, and the games and techniques can be done while you're changing a nappy, shopping, in the park or sat on the sofa. It's easy, it's free, and the science proves it can not only make a positive difference to your child's development, it can help build a stronger bond for you too."
To find out more or sign up to Look, Say, Sing, Play in Merseyside, go to www.nspcc.org.uk or search online for 'Look Say Sing Play Merseyside'.