Community baby event set for today in Marietta

MARIETTA — Parents of infants and toddlers under 3 and expectant parents are invited to a “community baby bash” from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at the Knights of Columbus, 312 Franklin St.

Family and Children First’s Help Me Grow program is putting on an expo, with 20 vendors, door prizes, giveaways and resources for parents of the county’s youngest residents.

“Parenting is hard, especially new parents or expectant parents may not know all the resources that are around here to help from everything like health and nutrition for the child to maternal depression for mom,” said Director Cindy Davis.

But the bash will be more than just a round-robin of resource tables like Mama*ology and Memorial Health System, activities throughout the Knights of Columbus venue will also welcome the children.

“There will be face painting, a book corner, free developmental screenings, even an empathy belly that’s weighted for dads to feel what it’s like to carry a baby,” said Davis. “There will also be reality babies and ones that show the effects of shaking a baby, one mimicking fetal alcohol syndrome and one mimicking the effects of drugs.”

Also present at the event will be scales to weigh babies, and certified technicians to check car seats.

“It is truly open to anyone with an infant, or who is expecting,” said Davis. “Of course it provides further outreach for our Help Me Grow program. But why not take advantage of all these resources in one room?”

Other vendors also to attend include a midwife, Ohio State University Extension, Washington County Job and Family Services, and local health departments.