Instructions on how to use the Baby Book tool.
Every baby is unique. Parents love to record their baby's milestones so that funny, poignant, frustrating and special memories can be relived and celebrated. In addition to helping parents keep track of important events in their child's life, the WIC Baby Book can serve as a unique nutrition and activity assessment. A quick glance at the completed pages allows WIC nutrition staff to note successes and challenges that can lead to meaningful conversations.
Some mothers might prefer to complete the baby book at home. The baby book questions can be a useful assessment tool even when the answers have not yet been recorded. Acknowledge the mother's preference and proceed to ask how she will respond to each question, using the baby book questions as a guide. No need to ask every question, just the ones that are most relevant to that mother and child. The baby book questions are a unique guide to a fun yet thorough assessment.
Here's a summary of how to use the baby book pages as an assessment tool:
- Offer the baby book page that corresponds with the child's age or the mother's pregnancy. (There are different baby book pages for pregnant women, breastfeeding moms, postpartum moms, infants 6-12 months, children 1-2 and 2-5 years.) Encourage parents to complete the baby book pages in the lobby, if time permits.
- After greeting the parent warmly, ask to look at their baby book page for that visit. First recognize any successes and then ask about challenges. Ask permission to share helpful information before going ahead. Then provide simple, practical tips on identified challenges.
- If the parent has not recorded answers on her baby book page, assure her that it is fine to complete the page at home. Ask the questions on her page in a light and fun way, noting successes first and then challenges.
- Thank the mother for sharing the unique and wonderful story of her child's journey with you, and tell her she will receive another page at her next visit.
Here's why the baby book is an effective assessment tool:
- Parents are recording their story for themselves and for their child, not for a WIC educator. This leads them to be more truthful and accurate than they might be in a traditional nutrition assessment that they fear may portray them in a less-than-positive light.
- The baby book questions lead to simple, focused responses that can be quickly understood by educators.
- The baby book graphics are warm and fun. This helps set the tone for warm, emotion-based conversations that focus on feelings as well as facts.