By Wendy Brown (USAG Wiesbaden)April 10, 2013
WIESBADEN, Germany - Venturing out alone with 4-month-old twins is not easy, but new mom Jennifer Tobash considered the Army Community Service Rock-a-Bye Baby Fair a can't-miss event.
"It's great the community does this for us, because as a busy mom, I don't have time to go to all these different places one at a time," Tobash said.
The event included nearly 20 information tables from parenting resources such as the New Parent Support Program, Mothers of Preschoolers and Early Developmental Intervention Services. In all, about 100 people attended the event.
"I think it's great because it gets us out of the house and it gives us resources we wouldn't otherwise have," said Kate Cosens, who attended with her 8-month-old son Jaemes and her friend Brittany Anderson and her 4-month-old daughter Evalynn.
The fair also included speakers. Nikki Williams gave a presentation on baby wearing; Dr. Michelle Melicosta, a pediatrician at the Wiesbaden Health Clinic, talked about common baby health questions; and Cynthia Alvarado, Andrews Federal Credit Union regional manager, explained how parents can budget for a baby.
Spc. Tiffany Johnson, who brought her 2-month-old son Brandon, said she found Williams' talk about baby wearing interesting and will look into it further.
"I think it's amazing because in the civilian world people don't pull together for events like this. You'll only find it in the military," Johnson said.
Carly Glass, who borrowed a baby sling from Williams to test it out with her 2-week-old son Braxton, said she did not know about baby slings before the event and found the sling to be comfortable. "It relieves the pressure on my back," she said.
Glass said she also found Melicosta's talk about baby health issues informative. "I'm glad to know what's normal and what's not," she said.
Michelle Stosich, Family Advocacy Program manager for Wiesbaden Army Community Service, said this was the fifth year in a row ACS has hosted the event. One of ACS's highly recommended services is the Family Advocacy New Parent Support Program, which includes home visits for families.
Staff members include a professional social worker and a nurse, who can make home visits and help answer questions and alleviate the concerns of new parents, Stosich said.
Michael Farmer was one of several men to don an Empathy Belly during the event. Farmer said he has no children, but will definitely be more empathetic toward his wife when he does.
"My back really hurts," Farmer said. "I know I'd really have to help out with lifting."
To contact the Family Advocacy Program's New Parent Support Program, call ACS at (0611) 4080-254, or contact the staff directly at mil 335-5330/5331 or civ (0611) 4080-330/0331. NPSP is for expecting families or those with a child in the home less than 4 years of age.