|Baby boot camp helps dads bond
by Dawn Brazell
It’s the small things that matter in becoming a parent—such as knowing
how to roll up a diaper to best contain the mess.
Dr. Can Senkal and
son Emre Nicholas Senkal, help teach fun and practical skills dads
should know during MUSC's first Boot Camp for New Dads program held
Can Senkal, Ph.D., Division of Basic Sciences/Biochemistry &
Molecular Biology, shows off this skill with ease with his 6-month-old
son, Emre Nicholas Senkal. Joe Laposta, a nuclear engineer who’s
expecting his son Aug. 31, watches eagerly. The men are attending
MUSC’s first Boot Camp for New Dads, a program funded by a $15,000
Stafford Foundation grant.
Kimberly Harris-Eaton, Ph.D (c)., R.N., said MUSC is thrilled to have
program. The childbirth educator said she sees firsthand the value of
babies leaving the hospital with an engaged father, who can be
confident in caring for his child. “The program is for any dad who
needs to come for conversation with other dads,” she said.
Dr. Can Senkal
shows father-to-be Joe Laposta how to change a diaper.
Since the national program began in 1990, more than 200,000 men have
been trained. Dink Nolan, a senior coordinator who led Saturday’s
training, said that the program piggybacks off the National Fatherhood
Initiative in trying to get fathers to realize the importance of their
role in children’s welfare and safety.
“Men need to get involved with the raising of children and not just
fathers but any men who can be positive role models,” said Nolan.
The June 19 training involved teaching several
MUSC employees how to be “drool sergeants” so they can carry on the
training. The three-hour crash course for new “daddies” is a hands-on
course that deals with everything from how to prepare emotionally to
how to gain practical skills. Nolan said it takes a new father about
five minutes holding a baby to get comfortable.
“This is not a class. This is a workshop. It’s hands-on stuff. It’s not
a doll. It’s a real baby. It’s going to come in here and cry. When it’s
time to change a diaper, it’s a real diaper.”
Nolan said no women are allowed in class, which provides a safe place
for men to bond and share. “This is why I do it,” said Nolan, showing
off pictures of his two sons to the class. “Because I love being a dad,
and I want others to love being a dad, too.”
For more information about registering or volunteering for Boot Camp
for New Dads, contact Kimberly Harris-Eaton at email@example.com or call
792-6239. To visit the national site visit http://www.bootcampfornewdads.org.
The next sessions will be held Aug. 21, Oct. 16 and Dec. 18. In 2011,
classes will be held Feb. 19, April 16 and June 18. The workshops are
held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.
Friday, June 25,