|New and soon-to-be dads can access a wealth of essential parenting tips and support on DadPad, an app which is free to download for anyone living or working in West Sussex.
DadPad provides fathers and male partners with the practical skills they need to support themselves, their partner and their baby at a time when many new parents can feel overwhelmed. Advice on crying, feeding, holding, changing, sleeping and getting to know your baby, as well as information on supporting relationships and each other’s mental health during this challenging time is available on the app.
West Sussex families can download DadPad free of charge, thanks to funding from the West Sussex Safeguarding Children’s Partnership (WSSCP). WSSCP is an equal partnership between NHS West Sussex CCG, West Sussex County Council and Sussex Police who work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and families. The WSSCP is promoting DadPad as part of the national ICON Week (27 September to 1 October) where the focus is on supporting parents to cope with a crying baby.
DadPad has information on crying, including reasons why babies cry and how to cope when the crying won’t stop. It also contains the ICON messaging that:
- I – Infant crying is normal and it will stop
- C – Comfort methods can sometimes soothe the baby and the crying will stop
- O – It’s OK to walk away for a few minutes if you have checked the baby is safe and the crying is getting to you
- N Never ever shake or hurt a baby
Dr Jamie Carter, Designated Doctor for Safeguarding Children (Brighton & Hove and West Sussex) and Designated Paediatrician for Child Deaths, Sussex said: “The impact of shaking an infant can have a devastating impact on the health of the child and ruin the lives of the whole family.
“Sadly, evidence suggests that around 70%* of shaken baby injuries are carried out by men. This is why resources like DadPad are so vital in giving new fathers the tools they need to be able to cope and gain confidence so they can build strong and healthy relationships with their babies at such a crucial time.”
Julian Bose, Director at DadPad, said: “We are delighted to be working with the West Sussex Safeguarding Children’s Partnership to develop their DadPad, which went live in West Sussex on 1 January this year, following some great training events for health practitioners towards the end of last year.
“DadPad was created because babies don’t come with a set of instructions, and dads told us that there was important information that they wanted to be given on what to expect and how to care for their baby. We listened to what dads, their partners and health professionals asked for and combined it all in the DadPad.
“We enjoy working with other groups and organisations who – like us – are working to promote better outcomes for families and this is why we always are pleased to get further opportunities to share and promote the ICON message, which is so important.”
DadPad is available and is being promoted across West Sussex. Hard copies of the information has already been provided to over 1,500 dads who may struggle to get online.
After downloading the Dadpad app, adding a West Sussex postcode will link the user to the West Sussex DadPad, containing information tailored to reflect local services and groups.
WSSCP agencies will be promoting DadPad and ICON on social media throughout national ICON Week.
More information is available on the DadPad website.
Read advice for parents with crying babies here
* Statistics from ICON https://www.hampshirescp.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/Hampshire-ICON-Evaluation-Report-PUBLIC.pdf