New parents’ guide to summer vacation

How to keep your baby safe, healthy and happy during the hottest season

 Summer vacation with a baby (or even a trip to a Little League game for an afternoon) can be tricky for new parents. Here are some tips to get you started on the right foot.

 #1 Keep your baby cool

Having a newborn during the summer can be a challenge on many fronts, but one of the most common is related to soaring temperatures. Babies, just like adults, are susceptible to dehydration and overheating, but those conditions are even more dangerous in infants whose symptoms may be less obvious. You can read more about the signs of an overheated infant here. 

#2 Keep your baby healthy

If you’re outside, even for a short period of time, make sure to apply appropriate sunscreen to your baby and avoid direct sunlight and extremely high temperatures. It’s also a good idea to use a mosquito net to protect your baby from bug bites.

#3 Plan ahead for travel

Whether you’re taking your first big family vacation with your baby, or just getting away for a weekend, traveling with an infant requires a little extra planning and preparation. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • If you’re traveling on an airplane, know that TSA allows you to carry on breast milk, formula and baby food in “reasonable quantities” exceeding the usual 3.4 ounces. You can read the full policy
  • If you’ll be staying in a hotel or with family/friends, be sure to make sleeping arrangements for your infant. Either bring a Pack-n-Play or reserve a crib at the hotel. Never share a bed with your infant or allow your infant to sleep in a carseat, even while traveling.
  • If you have a newborn, speak with your pediatrician about when it’s safe to travel with your baby. Some providers recommend waiting until babies are over two months of age, but circumstances may vary.
  • If your trip includes water, don’t forget swim diapers. You don’t want to see what happens to the regular kind in a pool.  🙂

Project WIN helps mothers with addictions beat the odds

Bootheel Babies & Families is pleased to feature Brooke Burlison, BSW, QAP, and the program coordinator for Project WIN at FCC Behavioral Health in Kennett, MO. Brooke is an active leader in our fight against infant mortality through her work with young mothers in Dunklin and Pemiscot counties.

Pregnancy is an exciting time, as you prepare to become a mother and strive to create a good life for your baby yourself. It can also be a stressful time, even more so if you or a loved one struggles with substance use and misuse. Not only is substance abuse dangerous for you, it can cause chronic and severe health problems for your baby.

Project WIN – Women and Infants in Need – is here to help. Since 2016 we’ve offered substance use intervention and assistance to pregnant or post-partum women in Dunklin and Pemiscot counties who need help breaking the cycle of addiction. We provide outreach, engagement, screenings, comprehensive assessment, counseling, care coordination and linkage to community resources.

What does that really mean? Well, we can help you or your loved one remain free from using alcohol, tobacco and illegal substances during your pregnancy. We are there for you every step of the way. Our nurse care manager, Kathy Tansil, helps you coordinate your medical care and medications, and makes sure the physician’s plan is followed. Brienne Meeks, our Care Coordinator, helps you with community services you may need, such as transportation, food, safe housing, education or infant care programs like Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program. Ramona Whitlock, our Peer Support Specialist, provides you with individual support, and will connect you with groups that build skills to keep you and your baby healthy during and after pregnancy. We want to ensure all our moms have a strong support network.

At Project WIN, we strive to make sure every mom is equipped to succeed with a healthy lifestyle – and a healthy baby. Our program is entirely voluntary, not mandated by any court; but the women who join Project WIN to change their lives find it very valuable. Since the program received funding through Bootheel Babies & Families, 55 women have joined our program.  We are proud of the results:

  • 100% of the women found housing
  • 100% of the women enrolled in Smoking Cessation
  • 100% of the women enrolled in Medicaid
  • 100 % of our program participants had live, drug-free births
  • 100% remained abstinent from substance use/misuse
  • 72% of babies born to Project WIN participants had normal birth weight
  • 100% of mothers still in school improved their GPA

Our hope is that every mother who participates in Project WIN, and their baby, lives a healthy, addiction-free life.

At Project WIN, we are grateful to Bootheel Babies and Families for their support of our efforts, and their fight to reduce infant mortality in our area. We collaborate with them regularly on safe sleep education and initiatives as well as other resources under the infant mortality reduction effort. We are glad to partner with them by serving on committees and attending Bootheel Babies monthly steering committee meetings to stay informed and connect on up to date data and initiative outcomes.

We hope that Project WIN is able to continue serving women in our communities, and we plan to expand our staff in an effort to grow and reach more women in need.  We have learned as a team there is a great need for programs like Project WIN and the other programs that work under the infant mortality initiative.  By working with community partners, we have a greater opportunity to reduce infant mortality together.

If you or someone you know is struggling, please reach out. We want to help.


Brooke Burlison

573.888.5925 X1503