When you become a parent it can be an exciting and wonderful time, but like every relationship it can also be difficult, complex and require work.
Being a parent will not always come naturally to everyone. It is common for parents to feel overwhelmed, feel a dip in confidence and struggle with new responsibilities. Parents may also have challenging feelings about themselves, their partner or even their baby or toddler at times.
What is PAIRS?
The Parent and Infant Relationship Service (PAIRS) aims to help you:
- Strengthen your relationship with your baby or toddler (aged 0-4).
- Understand yourself and your baby or toddler better.
- Support your baby or toddler’s development and wellbeing.
- Support your confidence and manage the stress of being a parent.
- Enjoy your relationship with your baby or toddler.
PAIRS is a service run by trained family professionals who are experienced in working with these issues and who can help parents, babies and toddlers to develop and strengthen family relationships.
What are some common worries a parent has?
There are many different types of worries a parent can have.
Emotional concerns like:
- I worry how a new baby or toddler will change my life.
- Becoming a parent has brought back difficult memories of my own childhood. I worry how it will impact my parenting.
- I feel overwhelmed with my baby or toddler. Surely this should be a time of happiness?
- I had a difficult pregnancy or birth. It affects how I feel about my baby or toddler.
- Worries about my baby or toddler’s health and development interfere with my parenting.
- There are times when I don’t really feel connected to my baby or toddler.
Practical worries like:
- I have difficulty with my baby or toddler’s feeding habits.
- I struggle with my baby or toddler’s toilet training, sleep, tantrums and/or difficult behaviour.
- I am not getting on with my partner at the moment and I worry it affects our family/all of us.
- My baby or toddler is clingy and hard to comfort.
How PAIRS works
PAIRS involves a number of one-to-one sessions, offered in a relaxed, safe and family friendly setting, with toys and activities for your baby or toddler.
You will be offered a session where we will get to know each other, spend some time talking with you and your baby or toddler. We will talk about your experiences, your hopes and day to day life.
We also get to know you and your baby or toddler though watching you play, thinking aboutyour baby or toddler’s cues and behaviours as well as ways of responding. You will also have a chance to discuss your problems and concerns and the needs of both yourself and your baby or toddler.
Some families work with us for five sessions, some families work with us for over a year. We are keen to think with you about what the best support is for you and your baby or toddler.
How to book an appointment
PAIRS is available to expectant parents and parents with babies or toddlers (up until their fourth birthday) who live in the LEAP wards of Tulse Hill, Stockwell, Coldharbour and Vassall.
You can contact the PAIRS team directly and speak to a member of the team. The PAIRS worker will talk through your concerns and discuss if PAIRS is the right service for you at this time. Alternatively, you can ask your health visitor, midwife, GP or local children’s centre to make a referral.
If the service is appropriate for you, a member of the PAIRS team will arrange to meet you at your local GP practice, children’s centre or in your home. The number and spacing of our sessions may vary. They are normally weekly but will depend on your needs as a family.
Appointments normally last up to one hour.
Tel: 020 3228 6771
Address: c/o Lambeth CAMHS
9th Floor International House
Brixton SW9 7QE
The same confidentiality rules apply as with your doctor. This means that what you share with us is not discussed with anyone else unless we are concerned about safety and wellbeing.