New incidences of shaken baby syndrome are giving rise to a new type of parenting class that is geared toward giving young dads a chance to tune up for fatherhood and the stress it brings.
It’s called Daddy Boot Camp, and one version of it is being offered the Methodist Hospital System each week.
Brian Salmon, a father of two who also runs Baby Vision Ultrasound, believes in what he teaches.
He recommends the class before the baby is born so that mother and father can come up with a plan for teamwork.
“Everybody has to reach back and pull up the other person when you are climbing a hill, and this is definitely not a flat terrain … becoming a parent,” he said.
New father Tony Castro is a very hands-on dad who now recognizes the road ahead with 2-week-old Zephyr.
“I expected it to be hands-on, hands-full all the time. It’s been good. I’m not sleep deprived … yet,” he laughed.
But that is where the Boot Camp can help.
Salmon recommends parents like Casto learn how to walk away when the crying gets too much to handle.
“If that baby is crying and you can’t figure out if it’s hungry, the diaper’s too tight, a wet diaper, the baby’s got gas, and it’s driving you crazy, put the baby in the crib and walk away for a little bit,” he recommended.
Salmon believes that babies learn how to self-soothe, but the parents much learn how to allow the child to make the connections on their own.
Without support family members to teach and help in those tough moments, it’s up the parent to reach out.
The Daddy Boot Camp schedules classes on Tuesdays and Saturdays. For a complete list, you can to www.babyvisionultrasound.com.