Zero to Three

Jada, Photo Courtesy Alter Family

Photo credit: Alter Family

Hand to Hold recommends the resources created by Zero to Three, a national nonprofit organization that informs, trains and supports professionals, policymakers and parents in their efforts to improve the lives of infants and toddlers. Founded in 1977 by top experts in child development, their mission is to ensure that all infants and babies have a strong start in life.  They do this by providing the knowledge and tools to parents, health care professional and lawmakers needed to support early development.

Since their start, this organization has evolved into one that plays a critical leadership role in promoting understanding around key issues affecting young children and their families.  These issues include childcare, infant mental health, early language and literacy development, early intervention and the impact of culture on early childhood development.

Zero to Three promotes a multidisciplinary approach to child development. Their emphasis is on bringing together the perspectives of many fields and specialists and then rooting those perspectives in robust research.  These studies show that all domains of development—social, emotional, intellectual, language and physical—are interdependent and work together to promote a child’s overall health and well-being in the context of his family and culture.

All of their work is:

  • Grounded in research and experience
  • Multidisciplinary
  • Collaborative
  • Accessible
  • Culturally responsive
  • Clinically informed

Zero to ThreeZero to Three offers a wide variety of resources, from an online bookstore and catalog to online references.  Their popular 12-series podcast, Little Kids, Big Questions,  addresses some of the most common (and challenging) issues facing parents of babies and toddlers, such as: helping a baby learn to sleep through the night, dealing with a picky eater, and learning to set limits on children’s behavior.

Their resources are organized by topic, including:

  • behavior and development, which covers topics such as play, brain development, early language, school readiness, grandparents, mental health assessment and treatment, sleep, temperament and more.
  • maltreatment, which describes the impact of trauma and ways to keep children safe.
  • early care and education, which details how to find quality care from a child care center or other caring adults. This section also offers a free web-based, interactive learning tool designed to help parents and caregivers support their young children’s early learning. Age-based information covers the four key skills—language and literacy skills, thinking skills, self-confidence and self-control that are helpful for school success.
  • public policy, shows a variety of ways to advocate on behalf of initiatives supporting the care, development and education of young children.

Here’s an alternate link to the video about Zero to Three.

Connect with  Zero to Three online or through their Facebook page to stay informed about the many helpful resources and initiatives they are working on to benefit our nation’s youngest children.

Feeding Tube Awareness Foundation

Interviewed by Erika Goyer, Hand to Hold’s Family Support Navigator

Making the decision to tube feed is never an easy one. Tube feeding is frequently associated with gravely ill adults, not as a way to help children get the nutrition and hydration they need to be able to grow, thrive, and develop. And tube feeding can be a scary prospect for parents, but it doesn’t have to be. Thanks to moms Traci Nagy and Laura Wagner.

Never Underestimate the Power of Parents

Harmony getting a bolus feeding, Courtesy of FTAF

Harmony getting a bolus feeding, Photo Credit: Wagner Family/FTAF

Traci Nagy’s son, Lucas, received his first feeding tube in August 2008 at two months of age. She wasn’t satisfied with the resources available to new parents on tube feeding and the general lack of awareness among the general public of the benefit tube feeding can have to medically complex children like her son. In June 2010, Traci launched the “Let’s Get a Tube Fed Child on Sesame Street!” campaign on Facebook. In October 2010, she galvanized an effort to create Feeding Tube Awareness Week which resulted in creating the organization, website and Facebook support page.

Laura Wagner’s daughter, Harmony, has had a feeding tube since she was born in June 2009. Laura has been an advocate for creating awareness through her blog and her group on Babycenter.com, Special Needs and Medically Complex Kiddos. She pushed to make the Feeding Tube Awareness Foundation a non-profit organization.

A Movement is Born

Feeding Tube Awareness was founded in 2010 as a means of supporting parents of tube fed children and raising positive awareness of tube feeding as a life-saving medical intervention. Tens of thousands of infants and children are able to live, grow and thrive because of tube feeding.   The organization is dedicated to providing parents and caregivers with practical information needed for day-to-day life with a tube-fed child. In addition, FTA strives to raise positive awareness of tube feeding as a life-saving medical intervention, so that children who are tube fed enjoy increased acceptance in society and parents have greater support in their care. Traci and Laura want tube feeding families to know that they are not alone, even though they can sometimes feel like they are.

I Love a Tubie

The group’s logo “I heart a tubie” sums it up nicely. It is a symbol of embracement and empowerment for families faced with a child whose medical conditions require tube feeding.

Feeding Tube Awareness Week is the second week in February each year! 

To get I Love a Tubie apparel and find out more about Feeding Tube Awareness Week visit the “Raising Awareness” page.

The Mission of the Feeding Tube Awareness Foundation

  • “Provide medical type information in language that sleep-deprived parents can understand. That’s why we also have how-to videos made by parents
    G-tube, Photo courtesy of FTAF

    G-tube, Photo credit: FTAF

  • Make tube feeding feel less scary and overwhelming. I have seen parents go through great lengths (often at the expense of their child’s health) to avoid tube feeding. Children need enough calories and hydration to live, grow and thrive. If they are unable to do it on their own, a feeding tube can help make sure they are getting what they need during critical stages of development. Children and parents quickly adapt to tube feeding and it becomes second nature just like everything else.
  • Change public perception of feeding tubes as being for the elderly at end-of-life. Public perceptions do not match the reality so many tube feeding families have. Tube fed children often don’t look sick. Children can reach their potential because they have the nutrition they need. Tube feeding can mean life is possible.
  • Show parents they aren’t alone. It is pretty easy to feel alone when you have never heard of tube feeding a child or met anyone with experience. But, there are hundreds of thousands of children who are, or have recently been, tube-fed in US alone. There are more than 5,400 parents, caregivers and supporters on the FTA facebook page and growing.”

If You are Considering a Feeding Tube

If you are faced with the decision to tube feed, here are some questions to consider:

  • Is my child safely able to eat and drink enough to grow and develop appropriately?
  • Will my child be able to catch up on necessary weight gain on his own?
  • Is my child using too much energy to eat and drink?
  • Does my child have a medical condition that will make it more difficult for her to maintain a healthy weight?

Join the Cause

Visit their website www.feedingtubeawareness.org or contact them through their contact page.

Feeding Tube Awareness’ facebook group offers real-time support and knowledge sharing among thousands of parents and supporters.

You will find a wealth of information, resources, and inspiring stories.

Hand to Hold especially loves the information page created to educate friends and family about feeding tubes and how they can support the families who use them!

photo courtesy FTAF

Photo credit: FTAF

Let’s Spread the Tubie Love!

Site last updated August 16, 2017 @ 11:03 am