You Can’t Spoil A Baby was founded in November 2011 by Winnipeg parent, social worker and attachment-parenting advocate, Pamela Delisle. Before becoming a stay-at-home parent, Pamela met amazing and resilient families working as a women’s health social worker. During her time as a social worker, two themes became clear. First, Pamela’s clients wanted to know that they mattered to their families and their communities and that their children mattered too. Second, that her clients needed more resources to provide for their families. Whether the families were working multiple jobs, receiving Income Assistance, newcomers to Canada, leaving abusive relationships and starting over, or just had a series of tough breaks, they needed more resources. When it was time for Pamela to decide what to do with the baby clothes and items her children had outgrown, You Can’t Spoil A Baby was born. You Can’t Spoil A Baby is one small action to show families that their community cares for them and it also provides them with a small amount of resources.
From November 2011 to February 2014, You Can’t Spoil A Baby volunteers delivered gifts of baby clothes to over 175 Manitoban families in financial need. During this first two and a half years, 30 plus volunteers collected, sorted, organized, washed, and delivered gifts of primarily baby clothes, which were donated by families whose children had outgrown them. In order to help more families and to begin including baby items along with the clothes, the project needed to change how and where it organized.
As of February 2014, ‘The Rebirth’ of You Can’t Spoil A Baby was introduced. The project began coordinating the matching of families in need to donors (mostly families or groups) with baby clothes and items to give. The donor gets the joy of creating a custom gift based on the expectant family’s needs, along with the pleasure of meeting the family they are helping. The family in need receives a customized gift of baby clothes and items and also gets to meet the family who cares about them and their child/ren. This change has allowed the project to expand the types of items donated to include clothing in bigger sizes, baby gear and books/toys.
May 2015– Donors now have the option to drop off partial donations to one of our 20+ Donation Coordinator locations across Manitoba. You Can’t Spoil A Baby’s main goal is to find people to donate and deliver a complete baby gift to a Manitoba family in need who is expecting a baby or has a newborn. We also know that not all donors have a full set of baby clothing from 0-18 months, plus three or more baby items to give. To fix this, we have created the option for you to drop off your partial donation to one of our Donation Coordinators locations, which are found on our map here. Donation Coordinator collect items until there are enough items for a complete gift, package those items into a baby gift and deliver them directly to the next gift applicant on our waiting list.
As of January 2016, our project has delivered over 520 gifts in just over 4 years!
MEANING BEHIND OUR NAME
The name of the project, was inspired by a past social work client of Pamela’s. This client shared a story of how every time she heard her baby cry from his crib, the baby’s grandmother would say to the new mother, ‘Don’t go in there every time he cries. If you do you will spoil him.’ The client’s mothering instincts told her to go to her child, pick him up and soothe him. Yet her mother sounded so confident in her advice to leave the baby cry she didn’t know what to do. Our name was chosen to remind parents that responding to their baby’s needs immediately, consistently and in a loving, compassionate way will help their baby grow into an emotionally secure, child and adult.
You Can’t Spoil a Baby Hopes Parents Will:
- Be kind and patient with themselves while getting used to life with their new baby;
- Make time to get to know their baby;
- Allow their baby to depend on them day and night;
- Hold and soothe their baby as much as they can; and
- Trust their baby and their parenting instincts because…You Can’t Spoil a Baby!