I can still remember what it was like bringing our kids home when they were newborns, especially Dylan, our first. He was about three days old when I called a friend to ask how long I should let him cry. Her answer was, “Umm, he’s three days old! You don’t let him cry it out.” I’m horrified, still, thinking that I let him cry for any period of time but I really didn’t know what to do.
Are you a new parent or caregiver of a newborn, age 0-9 months? Do you have questions and concerns about how to parent or are you feeling a little overwhelmed? If so, you’ll be very happy to know the City of Woodland, Dignity Health, and Sweet Potato Pie partnered together to create a weekly meetup to help ease concerns and create a place where you can meet other new parents to share experiences and get help. Baby & Me Meetup will be held every Tuesday at 9:00 am at Sweet Potato Pie’s Lil’ Spud Patch room. The first meetup is next Tuesday, February 2nd. Reservations are not necessary and parents are encouraged to stop by. Show up even if you’re late because they know it is hard to get your baby AND you ready on time.
I recently sat down with Sweet Potato Pie owner, Janelle Dwyer, to discuss this much needed community event.
How did this concept start?
The City of Woodland and Dignity Health Care reached out to me because of the playgroups I’ve coordinated at the store. Dignity saw a need for this type of service from their own patients. They wanted to provide additional support to new parents, but in a comfortable setting. We’ve been brainstorming for the last six months and we ended up choosing the store because of the privacy of the back room (lil’ Spud Patch room).
Is this for newborns?
Ideally, it’s for 0-9 months. As new moms, dads, and caregivers, it is such a challenging time. You want to know you’re doing the right thing and that you aren’t alone.
What can a parent expect when they show up?
A place to meet other parents, to create friendships and really, to have a place where you can share either a success you’ve recently had with your baby or to learn how to cope with a difficulty you may be having. Dignity Health is providing a Registered Nurse facilitator to help assist and generate conversation and provide answers from a medical perspective and to give support and confidence to the parents that they are indeed doing everything right.
The room is set up for parents to bring their baby with them. I have a changing table and everything that they might need while there. It’s really meant to give the parents a small community to rely on, with a “we’re all in this together” type feeling.
When is the meetup? How do parents sign up?
We’re meeting every Tuesday morning, starting Feb 2nd at 9:00 am. There is no reservation or sign up required, we want parents to just show up. It is to be open and welcoming. There isn’t a “topic” of discussion, so if a parent is running a little late, that is okay!
This program is in your wheelhouse, that’s exciting!
Yes, it is refreshing to see it come together. I’ve had the playgroups going for a while and I’ve wanted to open the place up and expand the idea to get people to meet. To have the partnership with Dignity Health and the City of Woodland is exciting too. They are seeing the need and willing to work with me to make it happen.
How do you hope to grow the meetup?
The idea is that it will evolve as parents come and go, as their baby ages, and new parents come in. The ultimate goal is to grow it and we assume at some point we will grow out of my store. Which is great, because that will mean we have a bigger group of parents coming together. I’d like to see these parents become friends and do things outside the meetup, to build their own little community.
For more information, contact Janelle at (530) 662-8000.
Header photo: Giu Vicente