I think that nature has designed parents to be absolutely obsessed with their children. I know that even after an incredibly long day running around after my two babies I then spend my evening regaling stories of how hilarious they were during the day, what new words they said and we’ve even started a ‘breakage journal’ because our youngest has an impressive throwing arm and is relentless in his mission to search and destroy. When he’s 21 I’ll present him with the notebook and demand that he source replica crockery.
Anyway as a big fan of babies and all the joy they bring I must tell you about Babytalk Festival. I’d love to be going this weekend if I was in Dublin, there’s a brilliant lineup and loads of fantastic information and educational resources for parents or parents to be. And grandparents gain entry for free!
No such thing as a silly question at Babytalk Festival
Becoming a parent is a life-changing experience – it can bring enormous joy, but also huge responsibility and a mass of new, and sometimes confusing, advice. An exciting new event called Babytalk Festival (22-23 Feb O’Reilly Hall, UCD) aims to celebrate this exciting time in families’ lives while also providing easy-to-understand, accurate information.
The two ladies behind The Babytalk Festival are Rachel Lane and Marie Dunne. Rachel has one little girl and is expecting her second child in April and Marie is in the family planning stages. Both have experienced difficulty in finding accurate and trustworthy information about family planning, pregnancy, birth and the millions of questions that new parents have.
Rachel and Marie own and run Curious Design, an event and graphics company and both turned to online sources to find that information but whilst it was very helpful to get information from peers it sometimes wasn’t enough. They found that they were asking each other questions about the stages they were both experiencing and this eventually gave birth to Babytalk Festival.
Rachel said “Babytalk is the festival I wanted to go to myself but couldn’t find”. Marie added “For us, one of the most important considerations is that Babytalk is welcoming and inclusive, everyone is welcome – from those just considering starting a family, parents-to-be, young families plus extended families and friends. Grandparents even get free entry!”
Rachel and Marie have designed the event to ensure that a wide range of areas are covered – from conceiving topics, pregnancy wellbeing and birth options to infant nutrition and baby’s first year, plus lots of clever and useful products and services.
The talk line-up is impressive and includes experts such as Newstalk’s consultant psychologist David Carey, dietician/nutritionist and International Board-certified lactation consultant Dr. Genevieve Becker, Cuidiú representative Fiona Rea plus a panel of Irish parenting bloggers. Visitors can also get advice, support and information from a range of support agencies at the Ultimate Maternity Information Station throughout the weekend.
Celebration and fun is at the heart of the festival and the two days are jam-packed with attractions, from readings by children’s authors such as Sarah Webb, and children’s entertainment from RTE’s Reuben to stand-up comedy show “Ireland’s Got Mammies” from the creator of the hilarious Irish Mammies books, Colm O’Regan.
All the details for a stress-free day out have been considered with free car parking, buggy parking, baby changing and feeding areas, goody bags to take away, plus a café area where you can refuel and relax.
The festival promotes a strong ethical policy, emphasising transparency and accuracy of information, including careful observation of the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes when choosing sponsors and exhibitors.
“We think that giving advice and information to new and expectant parents is a huge responsibility,” explains Rachel, “so it is very important that sources are unbiased to guarantee that the information is genuinely in the best interests of families. We wanted to create something different, a fun experience where people can come together and celebrate little people and parenthood. It’s a big deal this parenting marlarkey – a life changing time, full of excitement, joy, laughter, tears, tantrums, pooey nappies, dribble, worry, questions and most of all – love, and that’s what we want to celebrate”.
Located in the spacious O’Reilly Hall, UCD, Dublin, the festival will be a comfortable, family-friendly space full of exhibitors, speakers, product and service demonstrations, experts at hand to chat with parents plus music, comedy and entertainment. Entry €10 for one day or €15 for the full weekend with tickets available for purchase online or at the door.
Full list of speakers available here: http://babytalkfestival.ie/festival-line-up/