When it comes to parenting, first-time mom Autumn Daugherty admits a lot of it is trial and error. "90 percent of the time I have no idea what i'm doing," she laughingly admits to 6 On Your Side.
But she's definitely giving little 9-month-old Elliott the strongest start possible, thanks in part to the Salvation Army's Baby Haven in Caldwell.
At Baby Haven, pregnant women and new moms attend classes and workshops to earn points that can be spent in the Baby Haven Boutique. Major Stephanie Bridgeo with the Salvation Army says, thanks to 6 On Your Side's annual Community Baby Shower, the moms always get free diapers when they come to class, so they can save their points "...to purchase car seats, clothing, blankets, toys, sippy cups everything and anything you could ever think a mom might want or need for her baby."
Class topics at Baby Haven run the gamut from cooking and preventing child abuse, to budgeting and even yoga! Major Bridgeo says no piece of knowledge is too small when you're a new parent. "As parents," she says, "we're so overwhelmed with all of this information and knowledge and responsibility coming at us, sometimes we forget little things like what temperature is too high that you need to take your baby to the emergency room."
And while the supplies earned through attending classes are a huge help, Daugherty says the emotional support she's found is just as vital. "One of the best things is the overall support group that we build, we all have such a strong connection." And she hopes more and more women will take advantage of Baby Haven and programs like it, since she says learning from each other can be one of the best parenting tools of all. "Everyone is at different stages in their lives," she reflects, " ...Moms for 10 years, moms for 9 months, and to be able to have those experiences and share those friendships, it means so much."
All local pregnant women and moms with babies up to 24 months old are welcome to join Baby Haven. For registration you just need to be able to provide identification, your baby's birth certificate and proof of address.. though anyone can join, regardless of where you live. More information can be found here.
And don't forget, you can do your part to help support moms like Autumn and babies like Elliott during our Community Baby Shower on Wednesday, June 6th, 2018. All donations collected at local Albertsons locations during the Baby Shower go to benefit Baby Haven and other local education-based charities.