Baby Steps Helping parents cope with the pressures of a new baby

Babies don’t come with instructions – but pregnancy and the first months of a child’s life are crucial and lay the foundations for their future. That’s why we help new parents who need support.

Pregnancy and the first months of a child’s life are crucial and lay the foundations for their future.

Becoming a parent can be really difficult for some mums and dads, because of their own circumstances and past experiences.

They often don’t get the support they need in preparing to become parents, especially if they don’t have their own support networks. We know that the parents who most need support are unlikely to get any antenatal education (support during pregnancy).

Baby Steps is a perinatal educational programme which means it’s for parents in the run up to the birth of their baby and afterwards. It’s designed to help prepare people for becoming parents, not just for the birth itself.

Baby Steps supports future mums and dads to:

  • know how to care for their new baby
  • reduce the stress that often occurs with parents of a newborn
  • improve the lives of their babies.

How it works

Children and Young People Now 2015 award logo

Baby Steps starts with a home visit in the 7th month of pregnancy and then includes 6 group sessions each week before the baby is born. After babies are born the family is visited again at home, and then there are 3 more group sessions. Groups are led by someone who works in children’s services, like a family support worker and a health visitor or midwife.

Sessions include films, group discussions and creative activities. They’re interactive and designed to build confidence and communication skills. There’s a strong focus on building relationships between parents and with their babies.

Baby Steps covers 6 themes:

  • the development of my unborn baby
  • changes for me and us
  • our/my health and wellbeing
  • giving birth and meeting our baby
  • caring for my/our baby
  • who is there for us – people and services.

Supporting parents

Nikki, one of our Baby Steps practitioners, delivers a programme which helps vulnerable parents cope with the pressures of a new baby.

Nikki's story

Children's stories

"It was great to have people who wanted to support me rather than fight me."

Read Kate's story

Evaluating the impact

Find out how we evaluated Baby Steps, and how we can help you deliver it in your area.

Learn more

Where Baby Steps is available


01253 955 709


01748 835704


01534 760800


01274 381 440


01792 341 700

Swindon Borough Council

07823 525341


Who Baby Steps is for.

Find out more

Better outcomes for more children

How we're supporting partners to deliver our services.

Scale-up Unit

Parents Under Pressure™

Improving parenting in families with drug or alcohol issues.
Parents Under Pressure™ service

Minding the Baby

Minding the Baby is an early intervention programme designed to enhance the mother's relationship with her child.
Minding the Baby service

Baby and toddler safety

We've partnered with In the Night Garden to offer helpful advice and support to parents on bonding with your baby, crying, and coping with stress.
Read about baby safety


Neglect is the ongoing failure to meet a child's basic needs. It's dangerous and children can suffer serious and long-term harm.
Read more about neglect

Physical abuse

Physical abuse is deliberately hurting a child causing injuries such as bruises, broken bones, burns or cuts.
Read more about physical abuse

Sexual abuse

A child is sexually abused when they are forced or persuaded to take part in sexual activities. This doesn't have to be physical contact, and it can happen online.
Read more about sexual abuse

Domestic abuse

Witnessing domestic abuse is child abuse, and teenagers can suffer domestic abuse in their relationships. 
Read more about domestic abuse

Emotional abuse

Children who are emotionally abused suffer emotional maltreatment or neglect. It's sometimes called psychological abuse and can cause children serious harm.
Read more about emotional abuse

Are You There?

We're calling on the government to help our Childline service be there for every child dealing with meantal health issues. 

Learn more

Donate now

Last year a third of all calls to our helpline were about neglect, a figure that's even higher at Christmas. Donate now and help shine a light on children left in the dark.

Donate now