Thursday, May 26, 2011

WeeHands & The Happiest Baby, A Perfect Union!

I have been working in the child care/education field since I was 15 (that was 20 years ago, if you want to do the math!!). During that time, I have worked with mainly children aged 2 to 4 years, taught parent education classes, as well as taken care of many infants.

I remember in and around 2002 while working for a preschool in Delmar, NY, we started using American Sign Language with our 2 year olds, I also noticed a lot of ways caregivers would help the infants calm down and sleep. Now, I did some signs with my then 3 year old, but nothing really big. While pregnant with my daughter in 2002, I was given The Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp. I had somewhat swaddled my first child, but this book was a revelation!

Fast forward to 2004. I had developed a blog/website for parents to see what was happening in our community as well as parenting advice, developmental tips, and so on. I did not do much with it until 2005. This is when I found out that The Happiest Baby on the Block offered an Educator program. I did not actually start/complete the program until November 2006, a few months after we moved to North Carolina. At the same time, I received an email from WeeHands, asking me to apply for their Instructor program.

It was not until AFTER I had completed training for both, that I realized how well the 2 programs fit together. Shortly after I became certified in both, I created a curriculum called Positive Toddler Parenting that incorporated both The Happiest Baby/Toddler and using American Sign Language, along with other tidbits. (I am still perfecting it!). It just makes sense that 2 programs that encourage parents to better understand their infant and toddler better, be used together!

Recently, I was contacted by The Happiest Baby, asking my opinion of whether or not WeeHands would agree to an Education Collaboration. I was VERY excited to be a part of it, and told them that I am sure WeeHands would be. I think it is a perfect union and an even better way to help familes all over!

Becka Marsch and Dr. Harvey Karp
I am so lucky to be a part of two wonderful organizations that are in the business of helping families learn and grow through communication, patience, and many attachment parenting ideas that I have followed since my first child was born 11 ½ years ago! I can teach a group of young first time moms how to calm their babies, prevent SIDS and Shaken Baby, and in the same class, incorporate the use of basic signs they can teach from birth to their child, to reduce miscommunication and tantrums. I can also teach a baby or toddler sign language class, and incorporate my knowledge in The Happiest Baby and Toddler into those classes, furthering the parents understanding and knowledge of why their child may be doing what they are doing, and what stage of development they are in, will be reaching, and how to use strategies from both classes to create a happy, harmonious family environment!

Just a little side note, I was recently asked by Dr. Karp of The Happiest Baby to travel to New York City to consult a photo shoot with American Baby Magazine. This will be in the August/September issues!!! I cannot wait to see them!

Becka Marsch, Happiest Baby Educator since 2006, Wee Hands Instructor Since 2007. Mom of 4, business owner of Learn And Grow Together and Premier Magical Vacations with a Bachelors in Early Childhood Education And Development and 20 years experience in the field of her dreams :)

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