BOISE, Idaho — Community is key for new parents whether it's seeking advice on sleep schedules or toddler tantrums, or just an outlet for some much-needed adult interaction — that's where the Baby Steps program steps up to help pregnant moms and new parents in the Boise area.
"We found a good community in here," Meridian mom Khetera Obaid said. "When I first came, I saw a lot of women in here with their children. I said, 'Wow, there are a lot of people here you can talk to and get in touch with!'"
Obaid didn't have many mom friends when she moved to Boise from Afghanistan in 2017. When she welcomed her first child the following year, a social worker told her about the benefits of the Baby Steps program.
"It's kind of just all us moms getting together talking!" program Director Pam Schumacher said. "We all have the same goal: we want the best for our child."
Those weekly meetings at the St. Michael's Episcopal Church in downtown Boise can be a lifesaver for new moms like Khetera, learning a new culture, new language, and a new purpose in life all at once.
A mix of in-person and online classes focuses on empowering and educating Treasure Valley parents, addressing needs like mental health "because as parents, there's a lot going on," Schumacher said. "We try to take that stress barrier away."
Curriculum changes each week touching on topics like health care, financial planning, and an occasional cooking class.
"June is busy," Schumacher said. "The start is the summer safety rules like sunscreen; when to apply it and what age to do that."
Participation in each class can earn parents points to shop in the incentive store. Parents can take home anything from toys, teething products, and toothpaste, to bibs, bouncers, and baby blankets donated from the community.
"Oh my gosh, they give us a chance to choose by our own choice whatever we need," Obaid said. "For example the size, the color, you know, the variety."
Even a small package of diapers can make a big difference, and don't forget about those larger sizes! If you're able to make a donation you can do so this Community Baby Shower day on June 15 at your local Albertsons store. You can also text "BABY" to 345345 or make a donation below.