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Camp gives dads basic training

Monday, September 8, 2003

Daddy Boot Camp will be held Sept. 27 at the AEA Meeting Room from 9 a.m. until noon.

Boot Camp is a program in which veteran fathers orient "rookie" dads who are expecting their first baby. Sponsored by Iowa State University Extension, the camp is offered for dads whose wives are in the last tri-semester of their pregnancy and fathers with newborns between six weeks and six months old.

Dads with newborns to six week old babies, are encouraged to come, but not to bring their babies since at such a young age they are more susceptible to catching diseases, said BV County Extension Director Rhonda Christensen.

Daddy Boot Camp, which is free of charge, is designed to teach men how to become better fathers because research shows dads who are involved in their child's life raise better children, said Christensen.

The program teaches fathers everything from how to comfort crying babies to different strategies of how to change a diaper, as well as how to handle in-laws.

Jake Peterson, father of two and a half year old daughter Brooklyn and care giver at the Gingerbread House, helped teach the last session of Daddy Boot Camp, and will co-teach the next session as well.

He said the program does a great job of teaching fathers how to handle the physical, as well as mental, aspects of being a new father. It helps alleviate anxiety and raise healthier children.

"Its a lot of fun for the dads to get together and talk shop," Peterson said.



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