A DUNCRAIG parenting centre has had almost 300 admissions since it opened a year ago, with growing numbers of parents seeking help.
Ramsay Health Care’s Glengarry Private Hospital offer parental support for common issues such as sleep and feeding at its early parenting centre.
Clinical nurse manager Miriam Krouzecky said the centre was developed following three years of planning after the hospital identified a need for another residential parenting service in Perth.
“Parenting is one of the few jobs in life that doesn’t come with a manual,” she said.
“I am not at all surprised by the demand in our first year – we have had nearly 300 admissions to the centre already.”
Ms Krouzecky said that over four days and nights, parents with babies from six weeks to a year old who aren’t yet walking, are coached by staff on how to read their babies cues to help them to sleep and settle, feed and play.
“Some 90 per cent come seeking help for sleep and settling issues,” she said.
“Parenting is a learning journey and parents need to know that it is okay to ask for help and turn to professionals for advice and support.
“The responsive settling approach we take involves watching the baby rather than the clock and to learn to recognise and respond to their subtle cues when it comes to feeding, playing and sleeping.
“A baby who is ready for sleep and feels calm and emotionally secure is more likely to fall asleep easily than one who is crying or uncertain about what to expect next.”
Frances Hoskins came to the Duncraig centre when her baby Theo began having sleep problems and their nights started going ‘pear-shaped’.
The mother-of-two said she loved how the centre tailored solutions to suit both her and her baby.
“I was really surprised at how individual they were in terms of looking at each particular parent and child; how they were doing things currently and then working out a solution that worked for them,” she said.
“The solution and advice they gave to me were quite different to what they gave to some of the other mums who were struggling with other things.
“And the settling methods that I used with Theo were ones that we worked out for him, so we tried a few different things and really just tried to figure him out as an individual.”
New mother Elspeth Anderson also said sheer exhaustion drove her to seek help from the centre after she struggled with getting her baby Harvey to sleep.
““Since he was born he was not a fantastic sleeper and it just got to a point where I could not quite cope anymore with the lack of sleep and I just needed support,” she said.
“Being a first-time mum, you can read the books, but you’re not really going to get that firsthand information support that you get from a place like this.”
To find out more visit www.glengarryprivate.com.au or ask a GP for a referral.