Potty training, temper tantrums, or sibling rivalry. Whatever your toughest parenting questions are, free help from early childhood professionals is at your fingertips!
The Birth to 5 Helpline is a toll- free telephone service (1-877-705-KIDS) available to any Arizona parent or caregiver of a child 5 and younger. The line is staffed by nurses, child development specialists and other early childhood professionals who can answer questions about any issue or challenge you are facing.
Recently, a mom called the helpline because she was feeling a bit overwhelmed and concerned about her 3-year-old's potty training. The mom explained she had been trying to potty train her daughter for about a year. Although the mom had support from her pediatrician and family members, she felt she didn't have a lot of other resources and felt pressure by comments made by friends and family.
The early childhood specialist who answered this mom's call listened patiently and empathized with her worries. Together, they developed a plan for potty training that decreased the pressure on both mom and daughter, including how to answer when others expressed their opinions on their progress. In a follow-up call from the mom a few weeks later, she shared that her daughter was showing more interest in using the toilet on her own and responding well to their plan.
The Birth to 5 Helpline - which can be used by parents, family members and professionals working with young kids - empowers caregivers by taking the time to understand the concern and offer best techniques, ideas and resources that work for them. No question is too small, from sleeping, eating and behavior issues to a health and nutrition.
An extension of the Birth to 5 Helpline also offers technical assistance to professionals working with young children, by linking them with experts who provide consultation in three main areas: child care health, early childhood mental health and inclusion of children with special needs.
At the Todehnasshai Women's Shelter on the Navajo Nation, staff use the Helpline as a resource for the mothers and children residing in their care.
"We are very fortunate to have the Birth to 5 Helpline available to offer our shelter residents! We have the Helpline number posted up in our office for our shelter staff and residents to use," said Rebecca Benally, Todehnasshai Shelter women's advocate.
The Birth to 5 Helpline is operated by Southwest Human Development with support from First Things First. Questions are answered Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at 1-877-705-KIDS. Questions also may be submitted online anytime at: www.swhd.org/get-help/birth-to-five-helpline. All services are bilingual.