With the excitement of becoming a first-time parent, often comes nerves and uncertainty. Late night feedings, crying, baths and irregular sleeping patterns are some of the new aspects of parenthood that take some adjustment. Through the New Parent Support Program (NPSP), active duty service members and family members who are expecting a baby can sign up for Baby Boot Camp.

“(Baby Boot Camp) is a full day class where we use life-size dolls and parents practice basic newborn handling,” said Mary Caldwell, NPSP branch manager. “We want to address issues confronting new parents to provide education, so they will feel more confident and know that supports are available to them.”

Baby Boot Camp helps train couples in basic childcare practices. Covering topics like proper infant nutrition and care, handling postpartum difficulties, child safety and making the transition into parenthood, couples get to participate in hands-on activities that simulate some of the real-life situations they will face.

Baby Boot Camp is designed to have flexibility in its format so all military members could have access to it. The class is regularly offered on MCB Camp Lejeune weekly and on MCAS New River once a month. Expectant parents can sign up for the class during the 3rd trimester. Private classes and home visits are also available to new parents who want additional support. According to Caldwell, this training helps prevent improper parenting behaviors, such as neglect and abuse.

“Soothing, supporting and nurturing are not considered spoiling,” Caldwell said. “These actions are essential for brain development and healthy emotional behavior.”

Visit www.mccslejeune-newriver.com/npsp or call 910-449-9501 for more information or to register for Baby Boot Camp.