Parents and Play: Providing Educational Support Groups for Nashville Area Parents

Having a support system is so important as a parent no matter what stage your child is in. But having that support is so incredibly helpful – especially as a brand new parent during that fourth trimester! Our friends at Parents and Play are here to help with that! Owner, Bailey is a pediatric occupational therapist and coordinates many groups for new parents throughout the year. Parents and Play is not like any other mommy and me group in Nashville, Bailey reaches through her extensive knowledge as an OT and forms her meet ups around education and learning – especially through sensory play! Keep reading our interview below to learn more about Parents and Play!

Tell us about Parents and Play! How long have you been in business?

Bailey: I am the proud owner of Parents and Play! Parents and Play is focused on helping new parents feel confident about development using play and getting connected with local experts that specialize in care of little ones and new parents. I love being able to take my professional knowledge and help new parents succeed in what is often a very tough, and can be lonely, transition into parenthood. We offer 2 programs at Parents and Play: private & group sessions. Our private ‘Itty Bitty’ program occurs in the comfort of your home during the 4th trimester because we realize that getting out of the house just isn’t happening yet. Our group sessions occur in Franklin and are arranged to help bring together parents with little ones in similar developmental stages. We offer 3 groups: Peapods (0 – 5 months), Rolly Pollies (6 – 12 months), and Tiny Tots (1 – 2 years). The goal of both our programs is helping new parents feel connected, confident, and having the tools to care for their little ones. We aim to help parents feel confident about development by giving them play activities they can use daily to help their little ones achieve new skills. Groups are not only great for parents but also little ones, as it gives them a chance to interact with peers.

What made you want to work with parents and kids?

Bailey: I’ve been a pediatric OT since 2011 and have worked in many different settings in order to learn everything I can about development and how to help parents at whatever stage they may be in. My dream has always been to own a private practice, but the timing was never right until I had my son last year. Becoming a new mom myself helped me realize how little our community had available for new parents, and I wanted to change that so all new parents have access to support, as well as good education about their little one’s development.

What is the philosophy behind your company?

Bailey: New parenthood is hard in so many ways and doing it alone can be a daunting task. I created Parents and Play to give new parents confidence, along with some tips and tricks, that their little one’s development is on track. We cover all topics of development: milestones, tummy time, sleep routines, bonding, feeding, language development, tantrums, potty training, and so much more! I also work with parents on being able to advocate for not only their little ones but also themselves. We believe in making informed health decisions using evidence-based information! We also love the saying “it takes a village” because nothing rings more true when talking about parenthood. I love connecting with people in real life. Nashville has many families that move to this area with no family or friend support. Helping these families find a tribe is important, as it can be very lonely when trying survive alone. Our groups are also a great way to get out of the house and have some fun for both the parent and little ones.

What are your strengths compared to other parent groups?

Bailey: Honestly, Nashville does not have a program like this in our area. Sure, there are ‘Mommy and Me’ groups, but I think what sets Parents and Play apart from them is that I am an experienced pediatric Occupational Therapist that has had development as my job for the past 8 years. When doctors have questions about a little one’s development, they send them to us for help. My goal ultimately is helping parents find good, solid information they can use when questions arise concerning development.

What attracts parents to work with Parents and Play?

Bailey: I love supporting new parents on their journey through the early phase of parenthood! My door is always open. I believe in communication and openness so parents often find it easy to speak with me. I’m also a big relationship person so when you join a group, you’re also joining a family. We do quarterly meet ups for all of our past participants because I think forming and sustaining friendships is important. I’m also always there to answer any questions that may pop up after you’ve completed a group. For example, your little one turns 6 months and you’d like me to come do their first feeding session: I’m there!

What are some cool new and innovative trends you’ve seen in pediatric occupational therapy?

Bailey: The field of pediatric occupational therapy is always changing and growing. Research in the areas of sensory integration and play continue to be the areas I focus on, as this is the foundation that child build all future skills.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about Parents and Play?

Bailey: Parents and Play is happy to have so many wonderful partnerships with other local professionals that are trained to take care of you and your little one(s). Ready Nest Counseling, Serenity Sleepers, Baby and Me Nutrition, and Leah K. Brown, IBCLC are just a few of the local providers you can expect to drop into meetings to share their knowledge alongside Parents and Play.

Bailey! Thank you for sharing all of your knowledge and expertise with us on Parents and Play! Be sure to check out their upcoming events!


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