Baby weighing sessions launched at Devon libraries

Illustration only. Mother feeding her baby. Picture: Archant.

Babies can be weighed at Devon libraries from this month - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Parents and carers will soon be able to weigh their babies at Devon libraries.

From February 21, a new partnership between Libraries Unlimited and Devon Public Health Nursing means free, self-weigh facilities will be available in private areas at 16 libraries during the popular free baby and toddler Bounce & Rhyme sessions.

Emma Doran, infant feeding lead for Devon Public Health Nursing, said: "Our new partnership with Libraries Unlimited will enable all parents to make use of scales to weigh their babies in libraries near where they live. 

"They will be given safe guidance around the weighing and plotting of babies and children's growth, in an environment that will help their little ones with speech, language and communication. 

"Of course these facilities shouldn't replace parents being in contact with a health visitor if they have concerns around any aspect of their baby’s growth or feeding." 

Lucy Banks, reading development manager from Libraries Unlimited, said: "Each library involved will have a private area where parents can look after and feed their baby with scales, a changing mat and wipes. 

"We can signpost parents and carers to a host of other services if they have concerns or issues they’re experiencing. 

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"And of course we'd love them to look round the library, borrow some stories for babies or parenting books, and take part in one of our perennially popular Bounce & Rhyme sessions while they’re there.

"We are proud of the services we offer new parents and carers to give their babies the best start in life and delighted to be able to roll this out."

The World Health Organisation recommends that healthy babies are weighed no more than three times in the first year after two weeks of age. 

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s cabinet member for public health, communities and equality, said: "Devon Public Health Nursing recognises that parents would benefit from being able to access safe calibrated scales in key central community locations.

"That’s why I'm pleased that to say that Devon Public Health Nursing has funded an additional 20 sets of recommended baby scales which will be regularly maintained by Devon Public Health Nursing service to meet the highest specification of standards." 

The new service will be launched from February 21 on a variety of days and times during Bounce and Rhyme sessions at the following libraries:

Ottery St Mary - Fri 9.30am-11.30am
Totnes - Mon 10am - noon
Ivybridge - Thurs 10am - noon
Tavistock - Thurs 10am - noon
Kingsbridge - Fri 10am - noon
Teignmouth - Mon (term-time only) 10am to noon
Ilfracombe - Thurs 10am - noon
Barnstaple - Thurs 10am - noon
St Thomas - Thurs 10am - noon
Exeter - Thurs 9.30am - 11.30am
Dawlish - Mon 10am - noon - to tie-in with Tempo Tots
Okehampton - Tues 9.30am-11.30am
Newton Abbot - Weds 9.30am-11.30am
Cullompton - Weds 2pm-4pm 
Tiverton - Thurs 9.30am-11.30am 
Exmouth - Thurs (term-time only) 9.30am-11.30am

For more details, log on to librariesunlimited.org.uk.