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Second place award goes to BabyKnow. Baby know is a speech-language pathologist, pediatric occupational therapist, professor, and two licensed early childhood, parent educators who have teamed up to develop an online video program focusing on infant growth and development.
The educational programming empowers parents to teach their babies activities, including speech, language & play, fine motor, gross motor, sensory processing development, vision, and general parent education.
The BABY KNOW program also provides parents with mindfulness and positive affirmation activities to do for themselves, with their babies, and/or with their families. The company, developed by Candi (Walz) Seil, MPP, Caitlin Raaz, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Bethany DeJarnatt, MOT, OTR/L, Wendy Walz, Early Childhood/Parent Educator and Cinnamin (Walz) Theisen, Early Childhood/Parent Educator is based in Shakopee.
A new course provides parents with confidence and activities during baby’s first year of life
A speech language pathologist, an occupational therapist, a wellness instructor and two early childhood / parent educators teamed up to create a new online course for parents of infants 0-12 months. The intended outcome of the course is for parents to feel confident as their baby’s first and most important teacher.
“We created this course because there is nothing like this in the marketplace, combining the skills of educators and clinicians to best support babies and their parents,” said Caitlin Raaz, PhD., CCC-SLP. “The BABY KNOW program provides parents with engaging activities to support their baby and meet important developmental milestones. All activities can be completed with household items and are easy to implement.”
The course is entitled, “BABY KNOW: Bodies, Hearts and Minds” with a focus on engaging the learner’s whole selves during the first year of life. Each week for 12 months, parents are invited to watch an online video whenever it’s convenient for them. The segments provide tips on developing an infant’s speech, language and play in addition to fine motor, gross motor and vision. Additional topics include play-based learning and parenting advice. The course also provides parents with affirmations for well-being activities to do for themselves, with their babies, or with their families.
“By including affirmations for well-being lessons, we are giving parents an opportunity to fill their personal well-being bucket to be the best parent for their baby,” said Candi Seil, the well-being instructor. “We also give parents tips to fill their baby with positive affirmations; for instance, by saying, ‘Baby, you have a beautiful mind,’ or ‘Baby, I love you just as you are,’ gives parents important reminders on how to strengthen their baby’s mind.”
Each BABY KNOW learning module opens with a mindfulness segment to give the learner space to be present to the lesson ahead.
“Opening with mindfulness provides caregivers a chance to settle in and prepare the mind
for learning, as well as giving parents a connection with themselves and their baby,” Bethany DeJarnatt, MOT-OTR-L, shared. “Parenting comes with a lot of changes and new demands so these short mindful practices encourage caregivers to have focused awareness to the present moment.”
Wendy Walz, one of the early childhood parent education instructors, has been an early childhood and parent educator for 37 years. She believes the BABY KNOW course is powerful because it reinforces collaboration between the medical and education communities, laying a foundation for family success.
“I am very excited to provide parenting tips in the BABY KNOW course. Through my years of work in early childhood, we know how essential parents are as their baby’s first and most important teachers. Coupled with this, parents have an impact on their baby’s development,” Walz said. “The education community offers a different and similar perspective to the medical community on parenting. I believe the BABY KNOW collaboration provides parents with the best of both worlds to teach their baby important skills during the first year of life.”
Cinnamin Theisen, the other early childhood parent education instructor in the BABY KNOW course adds, “Research shows that a baby’s brain is developed 90-percent in the first 3- to 5-years of life. By providing parents with education and learning tips for their baby, we are literally supporting the growth of babies’ brains and that is pretty exciting.”
Learners in the course are provided weekly activity calendars that correlate to the content being presented. Thus, learners will also receive 365 easy-to-implement ideas to engage with their baby and develop their personal well-being.
For more information or to register for the course, please visit: https://www.babyknow.org/. The instructors of the course do not want cost to prohibit learners from attending. If a discounted rate or free course is needed, please contact Candi Seil at firstname.lastname@example.org. It is the intention of the BABY KNOW team to give a course away for each course that is purchased.