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First 2000 Days Project - advice for new parents

The first 2000 days of life has a significant impact on a child’s development and their future health and wellbeing.


Bong Bong St
Dapto, New South Wales, 2530

What you do as a parent or carer in the first 2,000 days of a child’s life, predicts the quality of the rest of their life. This project shares evidence based research on how you best support your baby and under five year old :)

This is a joint project between the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, the Illawarra Rotary Clubs of Corrimal, Fairy Meadow, Dapto and Kiama and local agencies.

This Illawarra Community First 2000 Days Project is critical because 90% of a child’s brain development happens before age 5.

And not enough parents and carers know this. Nor do we know what is most important for healthy brain development.

The evidence base behind this project, tells us this; what an under 5 year old is exposed to and how they are engaged with, predicts how well they thrive in later life. Click  to visit the website and enjoy all the help, facts, stats and support! Illawarra Community First 2000 Days Project

What the First 2000 Days Project tells us is vital for healthy development:

  • A secure attachment to a caregiver
  • A safe home environment free of ongoing ‘toxic stress’ factors eg domestic violence, alcoholism, drug addiction, poverty or untreated mental health issues
  • Play and interaction with your baby and young child
  • A high quality early education service before the age of five

5 things you can do for best impact on your child’s future:

  1. Peekaboo – Peekaboo is a beautiful example of the power of play. It is a meaningful ‘serve and return’ interaction between you and your baby. It is these type of play interactions that build a baby’s healthy brain development. Watch this INCREDIBLE 7 minute Ted talk about the power of Peekaboo to transform lives
  2. Breastfeed, if possible, until 6 months minimum. Then introduce healthy foods including all veggies and fruit. Click here for breast-feeding support Australian Breastfeeding Association: National Breastfeeding Helpline: 1800 MUM 2 MUM (or 1800 686 268), 24 hours / 7 days. Australia’s leading authority on breastfeeding.
  3. Reading to your baby and child, including pointing and naming picture books. Again the connections around language and learning that form in your young child’s brain when you read to them, is vital Watch this video to learn more ‘serve and return’ interactions, that are as beneficial as reading
  4. Managing ongoing toxic stress – seeking help if you or your baby is exposed to violence, alcoholism, drugs or poverty. If you are unsafe and affected by domestic violence, access 24/7 help, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732. Visit Services Australia for help you may be eligible for, or talk to your GP. For free Mental Health support try Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia (PANDA): 1300 726 306, Mon to Fri, 9am – 7:30pm AEST. Support for post and antenatal depression and anxiety.
  5. Enrolling your toddler into a quality local pre-school by age 3

So in summary, what your child experiences in the first 2,000 days of their life, is the most accurate predictor of their future health, happiness and prosperity.

The First 2,000 Days Project is being run by the Rotary Clubs of Dapto, Corrimal, Fairy Meadow and Kiama. It is the most heart warming project that seeks to give our children the best future possible. In reading this information, you are accessing life changing insights that can change lives. Read more here Illawarra Community First 2000 Days Project