Healthy Babies Healthy Children program
Learn about the support available while you are pregnant, after your baby is born and as your child grows. Read parenting tips for your child’s first months.
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About Healthy Babies Healthy Children
If you are pregnant or if your family has young children, Healthy Babies Healthy Children is a free and voluntary program that can help your family learn about:
- having a healthy pregnancy and birth
- connecting with your baby
- how you can help your child grow and develop
- breastfeeding, food and healthy nutrition
- taking care of yourself and your family
- services available for you and your child in your community
The Healthy Babies Healthy Children program is funded by the government of Ontario and delivered by your local public health unit.
If you are pregnant, you can find a Health Babies Healthy Children program by asking your:
- family doctor
- other service provider
If you have a child who hasn't started school yet, contact your local public health unit.
To find out more about the program contact your local public health unit.
Parenting tips for the first few months
The early years of your child's life are a very exciting time. Your baby is learning about you and the world around them. You are your baby's best teacher. How you care, talk and play with your infant will influence how your child learns and grows.
Here are some suggestions to help you enjoy your time with your new baby in the first year:
- Babies love to be held. Take time to cuddle and hold your child.
- Comfort your baby when they cry.
- Learn your baby's cues — when they are hungry, sleepy or want to play with you.
- Breast milk provides all the nutrition your baby needs for the first six months. Feeding can be a special way to feel close to your baby.
- Speak in a soft, gentle voice to your baby.
- Talk to your baby about the things that are around them.
- Help your child explore safely. Share different textures, colours, sounds and smells.
- Share picture books and read simple stories, including in your first language.
- Babies learn naturally through play. Have fun through music, singing and dance.
Support for new parents
Having the right support in place during pregnancy and as a new parent can make the transition to parenting easier.
Find information to help during this time in your life. You can:
- read useful parenting information from the Canadian Paediatric Society
- use the Looksee Checklist® to get a snapshot of your child's development
- do the Early Years Check-In questionnaire to identify concerns about how your child is developing
- try activities to help your child learn, grow and thrive (by Play and Learn)