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Special Delivery: How The Baby Club became a lifeline for parents and carers in lockdown

Co-creator, Emma Hyman, explains how the CBeebies show provided entertainment and interaction at a time when it was needed most.

When we first dreamt up the idea of The Baby Club six years ago, we discovered through our academic research the incredible benefits that going to a baby club provides parents and their babies: social interaction for both the adults and their babies, inspiration for activities to play together, songs and stories that develop language and communication skills and exploring through the world through play.

We knew how confidence boosting attending a baby club could be, the importance of the social network it provides and the improvements it made to parent and baby bonding and parental mental health.

Sadly, the pandemic stripped all this away, leaving new parents isolated and babies lacking interaction. We, at The Baby Club, understood how much our show could help by offering inspiration, a moment of togetherness and pure entertainment. We quickly turned around two ‘lockdown’ series, providing relevant activities and beefed-up our popular social media activity to encourage even more of a sense of community.

Even though real-life support had been stripped away, The Baby Club was still here, holding their hands through the tough times, sharing guidance, support and reassurance.

It’s this sense of community and the knowledge of how incredibly beneficial a baby club can be that is at the forefront of every decision we make about the show and beyond. We are truly passionate about helping people and this is at the heart of the success of the brand. The Baby Club community trusts that we will provide brilliant content and latterly, merchandise, which is as beneficial as it is beautiful.

Uniquely, The Baby club serves a dual audience, catering to both adults and babies. We want to entertain and inspire both audiences – that’s why Tesco is so excited about our new product (apparel and plush) launch. For an exclusive season, Poetic Brands has created a gorgeous range of babywear for Tesco with all the babywear classics, vests, sleepsuits, bibs and velour babygrows.

When we began developing our new range, it was vital to us to incorporate the message of the show. We worked closely with Tesco and our educational advisers to develop interactivity not only on the clothes but on the swing-tags too, encouraging storytelling, play and early literacy, with lift the flap applique, song lyrics inviting tickles and opportunities for letter and number recognition. Each swing-tag has three ideas of how grown-ups can use that item to incorporate play with their little ones. For example, we encourage adults to count the sleepsuit poppers while changing a nappy or telling a story when snuggling in the blanket.

And then there’s the Baby Bear, the much-loved star of the show, now in plush form. Since the day we launched the TV show, fans have been contacting us multiple times a day wanting a Baby Bear plush. This little bear’s swing-tag encourages imaginative play and we know our Baby Club community are going to love everything about it.

For all of us connected to The Baby Club, this is a passion project. We all care deeply about our community and how we can help support to ensure that this crazy and wonderful time of parent’s and carer’s lives is as joyous and fun-packed as possible.

This feature originally appeared in the June 2021 edition of Progressive Preschool. To read the full publication, click on this link.

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