Becoming a Parent

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Parenting will be the most important job you will ever have. It can be an exciting time, but can also be hard. There is a lot to learn about taking care of your baby.

There are parenting classes to teach you how to be a great parent. They can teach you how to care for your baby and how to quiet a crying baby. You will also learn why it is important to talk to your baby. You will learn how to hold your baby and put him or her to sleep. The classes will help build your confidence in your parenting skills.

You could also learn parenting skills from people in your life that you are close to. Your mother, grandmother or others may have a lot of experience or wisdom in caring for children. Don’t be afraid to ask for their advice or help. Community based family resource centers are also great places to get advice and share, with other parents, your thoughts and problems.

For online parenting information and resources, go to:

PARENTING A CHILD WITH A DISABILITY

Having a baby with a disability presents special challenges, and parents need extra support. If you have a baby with a disability or if you are concerned about your baby’s development, contact Child Development Infoline at 1-800-505-7000. CDI manages entry into the Birth to Three program, the Help Me Grow program, and the Children with Special Health Care Needs program. CDI will also help you locate support and care services.

For a list of services for children with disabilities and their families, click here.

KINSHIP RELATIVES

Sometimes a kinship relative – grandparents, aunts, uncles – are called upon to take over the parenting of a relative child. There are programs to support kinship caregivers, including financial assistance programs.  To read about programs in Connecticut that focus on kinship parenting, click on this link.

FATHERS

Dads are essential to their children’s success! When fathers are involved, even if the father is separated from the mother, children are happier, do better in school, and have a better chance for success in life. For information about the importance of the father, and to learn how to be the best Dad you can be, go to:

WORKING PARENTS

If you are working or in training, you may need child care. 2-1-1 Child Care maintains the state’s list of licensed day care centers and homes. You can call 2-1-1 Child Care to ask about providers near you (800-505-1000) , or you can search online for providers. 2-1-1 Child Care can also talk to you about how to evaluate quality, what questions to ask, how to check licensing and complaint histories, and how to help your child have a successful transition to child care.

If you need help paying for child care, you may be eligible for the Care 4 Kids child care subsidy program. For more information about this program, call 1-888-214-5437 or go to the Care 4 Kids website.

For more information about becoming a parent and resources in Connecticut for you, talk to your child’s healthcare provider or dial 2-1-1. 2-1-1 is open 24/7.

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PREPARED BY: 211/lb
CONTENT LAST REVIEWED: February2015