While many people organize a baby shower for their sister or their best friend, Alison Tyliszczak is planning the shoreline’s biggest baby event.
All expectant parents are invited to learn about life after baby, find parenting resources, and have a little fun as well at the Shoreline Community Baby Shower on Saturday, Nov. 18, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at East Shore District Health Department (ESDHD) in Branford.
“I really want this to be something that they enjoy, that they come and have a good time and maybe they learn something, too,” Alison says.
Alison supervises a maternal and child health program with the Nurturing Families Network, which provides parenting education, resources, and child development activities in home visits to expecting or new families in Branford, East Haven, West Haven, North Branford, and Milford. Alison began work with the group in 2013 as the clinical supervisor.
She says the needs of local families vary from wanting to learn new hands-on, “play with purpose” activities with an educational component related to motor skills or social and emotional development, to connection with specific community resources.
“Our role is to just support families…with what they need to be successful, and it varies by parent, and it varies by family, and it varies by need,” Alison says.
She says the Shoreline Community Baby Shower is a natural fit for the organization.
“I really wanted to have a community baby shower to really support those parents that need services, that need resources, that could benefit from more education,” Alison says.
The shower will have features like a safe sleep workshop and a talk with a Yale New Haven Hospital nurse who specializes in maternal fetal medicine and maternal child health. There are a range of fun activities, including “typical baby shower games” and raffles. Alison says the Branford Exchange Club donated a car seat to be raffled, and Sugar Bakery in East Haven donated cookies.
“There’s just been such a community outpouring here, so having East Shore Health be the central organization to pull it all together has been a real blessing for me. I’m just really excited to be doing this,” she says.
In addition to providing families with resources they may need, the event is also an opportunity to meet other parents, and can possibly be looked at as a support group for moms. Alison adds that not all women may have their own baby shower, so this is a opportunity to celebrate all new babies joining the community.
While there have been similar events in the state, Alison believes this is the first on the shoreline. She hopes the shower packs out the venue and becomes an annual event on shoreline calendar.
“I want every mom to come out of there with a bag of goodies for the baby, goodies for mom,” she says, “I would like that every mom leave with something, whether it’s meeting another parent in their town or coming out with a piece of knowledge that maybe they didn’t know.”
The Shoreline Community Baby Shower is also supported by the East Haven Family Resource Center and the Branford Early Childhood Collaborative. On Nov. 8, the ESDHD and Family Resource Center also collobrated with Pasta & Literacy event at the Overbrook Early Learning Center in East Haven.
“We’re going to have a big dinner, arts and crafts, every child will be getting free books,” Alison says.
The Shoreline Community Baby Shower is on Saturday, November 18, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the East Shore District Health Department (ESDHD), 688 East Main Street, Branford. The event is free and open to all shoreline residents. Space is limited and registration is required. For more information or to register, call Alison at 203-481-4233 ext. 577.