Brushing up on baby skills


Hospitals offer refresher courses for grandparents to be :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

photo courtesy of Susan Cook Proud grandma Susan Cook took a baby refresher course while she awaited the arrival of grandbaby No. 1 Dylan Traviss.

First time grandparents David and Susan Cook anxiously awaited the birth of their new grandchild Dylan Traviss, who arrived June 15.

They live in downstate Rantoul but they traveled to Aurora to be with their daughter, Alicia Traviss, and her husband, Tim. Not only would they be there when the baby arrived but they were able to prepare for the arrival as well. The grandparents-to-be went back to school, taking a grandparenting class at Naperville's Edward Hospital.

"I think now there's more knowledge," says Susan, a retired schoolteacher. She and David say the class taught them about the hospital in which their grandchild would be born. They also were able to brush up on old skills and learn about changes in parenting.

The basics of baby care-feeding, burping, diapering-haven't changed much in 20 years. But there are some important new safety rules-putting baby to sleep on her back to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, for example. There are other safety advances as well-car seats, more vaccines and product recalls.

"I think it was a great refresher for them," says Alicia Travvis, Dylan's mother.

But perhaps the biggest change of all is the way grandparents and parents communicate. The courses stress that it's important to have a straightforward conversation to determine what works best for everyone. While one new mom may want help the day the new baby comes home, another may wish for a week alone to adjust and rest.

"Grandparenting is fun, but remember to be supportive of your children's wishes too," says nurse Jean Nass, who teaches the class.

The Cooks could have gone to a class closer to home, but they choose Edward since they planned to attend their grandchild's birth and thought it would be more helpful to go to class where their grandchild would be born.

But Edward is one of about nine area hospitals offering a grandparent classes.

Below is a list of hospitals where classes begin in either August or September specifically geared toward grandparents:

• Advocate Good Samaritan (630) 275-5900

• Advocate Good Shepard Hospital (847) 381-0123

• Advocate Lutheran General (847) 723-2210

• Condell Medical Center (847) 362-2900

• Edward Hospital (630) 527-3000

• Evanston Hospital (847) 570-2000

• Highland Park Hospital (847) 432-8000

• Northwestern Memorial Hospital (312) 926-2000

• Palos Community Hospital (708) 923-4000 Michelle Sussman


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