With an eight-month-old at home, I’ve dreamed of a guidebook that would help me navigate that tricky first year.
Now there is! And it’s delivered straight to my cell phone!
Expectant and new parents can now sign up for text4baby, a free mobile service that promotes better health for both mom and baby. Text4baby is a program of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition, supported by a public-private partnership of the government and of organizations nationwide, including the National Center for Parents as Teachers right here in St. Louis.
Said Julie Mainer, marketing communications manager for Parents as Teachers, “The National Center for Parents as Teachers became involved with the text4baby program because its purpose of reaching new and expecting moms aligns very nicely with our own mission to provide information, support and encouragement parents need to help their children develop optimally during the crucial early years of life. Parents as Teachers has a broad national network of families with young children and we're excited about this new text messaging technology as a means to distribute parenting information.”
Text4baby messages are timed to a due date or a baby’s date of birth, guiding mom through her pregnancy and baby’s first year. In addition to topics like birth defect prevention, safe sleep and immunizations, mom also gets tips for staying healthy both physically and mentally through that joyous, yet confusing, first 12 months.
According to Mainer, because more than 500,000 babies are born prematurely and an estimated 28,000 children die before age one, providing moms with critical health information is essential. But why use cell phones? “Mobile phones are the most personal technology device; they are almost always with us, making them a great tool for improving an individual's health by reaching and engaging the broadest possible cross section of the population.”
Receiving your free texts is simple. Just text BABY (or BEBE for Spanish) to 511411. That’s it. Within days, you’ll start receiving the hits and tips you need to make your life – and that of your little one – happier and healthier.
By Nicole Plegge, Lifestyle blogger for SmartParenting
Metro East mom Nicole Plegge is the lifestyle and pop culture blogger for STL Parent. Besides working as a freelance writer & public relations specialist, and raising two daughters and a husband, Nicole's greatest achievements are finding her misplaced car keys each day and managing to leave the house in a stain-free shirt. Her biggest regret is never being accepted to the Eastland School for Girls. Follow Nicole on Twitter @STLWriterinIL
Explore the St. Louis Zoo after dark at Boo at the Zoo. Bring your little ghouls and goblins to this non-scary celebration designed just for kids. Though this is not a trick-or-treating experience, costumes are encouraged, and each child 12 and under will receive a treat bag when they leave.
Engage your young scientist in science-related learning at the Saint Louis Science Center's Preschool Science Series. Through interactive stories and hands-on exploration, children learn about science, as well as language, problem-solving and social skills.