March 30, 2023 11:23 pm

Local News

New Parent Guide Helps AZ Parents Meet Challenges of Having a Baby

iStock

Alex Gonzalez

The Arizona New Parent Guide is a resource that is intended to help new parents meet the challenges of having a baby and support their baby’s health and development within the first year of life. The guide is available fully online and in Spanish, and was put together by Arizona’s early childhood agency First Things First, which saw a need for it to be digitized. 

Kat Willard, senior director of family support and literacy for First Things First, said parents in Arizona need a centralized place to go for a wide-variety of information that is quick and reliable.

“Today’s new parents are including Generation Z, which has never known a world without the internet or the cell phone. And First Things First did some field studies, and they realized that most knew parents are gathering information from the internet or from friends or family members, Willard said. 

Willard said with so much information out there, new parents can struggle in determining what information is valid. Along with providing reputable information from area experts, the guide also provides Arizona parents with a diverse set of resources and support. From knowing who to call if someone needs help installing a car seat to inquiring about child care to meet their needs.

Willard said the resources in the guide are available statewide so it is applicable to all Arizona families. While the guide’s target audience is first-time parents, she said it also is great for second- or third-time parents who may have forgotten some of the newborn or infancy phases. First Things First has prioritized having materials available in Spanish and understands that for a state like Arizona, it is key.

“It is so important for information to be available in Spanish. If we aren’t including information in Spanish, we are missing so much of our population,” she said. 

Willard encourages soon-to-be parents to prepare as much as they can before their baby arrives, and hopes parents will use this resource to do just that.

This story first appeared in Public News Service.