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Free baby and toddler expo for parents this weekend

EPIC's Baby and Toddler Expo is back in person this year
Posted at 11:31 AM, Sep 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-28 06:02:22-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — For the parents out there, whether you are one now or if you’re expecting a little one soon, a free resource is coming back this weekend.

“I signed up, just to get some information, try to meet some other moms and make sure I’m fully prepared,” said Chausiku Ray, a mother-to-be, who's adopting a child in January.

She's going to the annual Baby and Toddler Expo hosted by EPIC (Every Person Influences Children) returns in person on Saturday, October 2 at the Buffalo Central Library downtown.

She’s always wanted to be a mother—Ray is surrounded by little ones with 17 nieces and nephews, but fears motherhood will be quite a different test.

"It’s very different when the child is yours ad you cant send them back to my sister or my brother. My experience with these car seats, I tried to get one out of my car a few weeks ago and it took me forever," said Ray.

Car seat safety is one of the many learning topics slated for Saturday's expo.

"A good amount of resources with things like baby yoga, working with doulas and midwives, we have a pediatric panel of residents you can ask questions to," said Liz Vetrano, Director of Development and Marketing at EPIC.

Vetrano says they’re constantly getting questions from parents.

"When do I call the doctor? What is a normal milestone? Our kids aren’t necessarily being socialized right now the way they’re used to, so it’s hard to figure out, what is developmental? Is my kid keeping up with other kids?" said Vetrano.

Here's what they'll cover:

  • Car seat safety
    • "A lot of parents are not aware that car seats expire, that's something we would check," said CJ Banks, Director of Parenting and Youth Services.
    • You'll also have a chance to win a free car seat at the expo
  • Safe Sleep
  • Lactation
  • Nutrition
  • Q&A With Doctors
  • Travel Tips
  • Birth Doulas
    • "Women are afraid, they have their mothers, sisters, cousins family members that give them these horror stories around birth, our role is to give them information and give them education," said Shannon Johns, Birth Doula and Owner of Calming Nature Doula Services Center
  • Massage
  • Yoga
    • Baby and Toddler yoga, as young as 8 weeks old
      • "To take a yoga class with our child, we're getting to model for them how to co-regulate, how to deal with stressful situations, how to take care of them, so yoga is much more than the physical," said Megan Callahan, Founder of Yoga Parkside.
  • Resilience
  • Socialization
  • The power of play
  • Brain and whole-child development
  • Literacy
  • Technology
  • Learning Styles
  • The Ready, Set, Parent Program

The goal of the expo is to equip parents on all fronts, so they’re ready for anything-- sooner rather than later.

"Don't wait until your kid is four, right? And you're starting to think about teaching them to read, build a village now, let's connect with other families who are in the same place right now," said Jamie Rackl, Director of Family Engagement and Professional Development.

And if they can’t help you—they’ll point you to someone who can.

"The saying that it takes a village is very true and it’s good to know that there’s people out that you can reach out to, those resources and things like that to help you on your journey," said Ray.

This is not just for parents, they encourage any guardian, grandparents, adoptive parents like Ray or anyone helping raise a child to stop by.

The event is free and runs from 10 to 4pm, you have to register for a time slot online, by clicking here. If you can't make it, their 'Ready, Set, Parent' program is returning with two sessions weekly for 6-8 weeks, click here for more info.