Baby and Me Reviews

Review by Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists.

baby and me dvd review by royal collage of speech and language therapists

Reviewed by Maggie Fisher
Professional Officer, Amicus/CPHVA
January 2008

This 16 minute DVD has been produced by Clive and Helen Dorman of the Children’s Project in conjunction with Church Street Sure Start Speech and Language Therapist Liz Lawton and Family Psychotherapist Yvonne Bailey Smith
This beautifully filmed DVD is aimed at parents of all ages and from all backgrounds and cultures. The DVD is in Arabic, English and Sylheti. The DVD was made with families living in Westminster and shows mums, dads, siblings and others talking with, playing together and soothing their babies, in every day situations in their own homes.
The DVD is divided into 5 chapters. Chapter 1 is an introduction to the DVD describing how babies are learning about the world around them from the moment they are born. It stresses the importance of positive interactions for building pleasurable relationships and the amazing skills babies have. It briefly outlines the latest information on how a baby’s brain cells develop and how important parental interactions and stimulation is in this process.
Chapter 2 looks at the early days starting in the antenatal period and how the bonding process is already starting. It shows lovely footage of a mother stroking her bump with her 2 other children and the eldest child feeling the baby and talking about the baby. It shows very real clips of how life is in the early days after a baby with information on what babies need from the adults around them and how different babies are from one another.
Chapter 3 focuses on crying and consoling, showing how babies communicate through their behaviour, crying, vocalisation, body language and eye contact. It shows every day scenes of mums and dads trying to work out their baby’s communication and how parents attempt to comfort and soothe their crying babies. It discusses how the foundations of empathy are laid from a baby’s early experiences.
Chapter 4 shows examples of parents having one-to-one chats with their baby’s and the importance of this for secure attachment and speech development. By use of clever camera angles it shows great footage of both partner and baby on screen so you can see how closely they follow each other, in turn taking, mirroring expressions and baby movements and copying sounds. It shows examples of play, commenting on what they are doing, putting their feelings into words, and giving the baby time to respond.
Chapter 5 is the conclusion and summarises the essential messages of the DVD, It emphasis the fun element, the unique individuality of babies, how parents are the best toy in the world and their baby’s first teacher.
This DVD will be a very useful resource for midwives, health visitors and health visiting teams. Sure Start and other Children’s Centres, voluntary groups and any service that works with families, pregnant women, dads, and families with babies in their first 9 months.
It is suitable for use with teenage mothers and fathers, post natal groups, and families from ethnic minorities.

Fiona Coughlan, Leanne Armstrong and Sue Paul are the speech and language therapist team at 'Sure Start for All', Warrington 

Speech&Language Therapy in Practice Winter 2007

Enjoyable, affordable and useful. This easy to use 15 minute DVD shows excellent practical examples of early parent-child interaction. It includes both mothers and fathers from different ethnic backgrounds and can be played in English, arabic Sylheti, Polish and Portuguese. The DVD demonstrates useful strategies fro developing pre-linguistic skills such as being face to face, imitating sounds and expressions, taking turns and waiting for a response. It emphasises the importance of parents as baby's best teachers. It will be most useful in Sure Start or Children's Centre settings as a training tool or with parent groups and could be used by speech and language therapists, health visitors and midwives.