We are excited to feature this special charity, The CuddleBright Experience this week for our local spotlight! We asked CuddleBright some questions to learn more about what they are doing in the community! Here’s what we learned.
Tell us about CuddleBright?
The CuddleBright Experience is a unique science-based resource kit that helps parents bond with their child and give them meaningful, mutually rewarding experiences. It integrates years of child development theory with the latest neuroscience research and clinical experience in the field.
CuddleBright includes four components that work to build the parent-child relationship and lay the foundation for a baby’s healthy social, emotional and cognitive development.
- Transitional objects for the parent and child that work as thoughtful reminders of their special connection when they are apart – a heart for the parent and a cuddly lovie animal for the baby.
- An illustrated board book that tells the story of a goodbye routine between a mom and her child, which helps encourage mindful goodbyes.
- A parenting guide with expert tips to help parents develop their own style, at their own pace – debunking the myth and pressure of attaining a perfect parenting style.
Used together, these items create a shared emotional experience to foster loving, predictable rituals and routines and ease separation anxiety (e.g., around a parent returning to work, start of daycare, first vacation, etc.).
What is the science behind the CuddleBright Experience?
Science now tells us that secure relationships with parents and caregivers help children thrive – socially, emotionally, cognitively and physically. In short, healthy bonds help build healthy brains.
Additionally, science proves that babies’ brains are wired on experience and that babies are born ready and wanting to connect and learn.
Keeping this science in mind, CuddleBright Experience was designed to help parents establish predictable rituals and routines with their children, while also helping parents develop the emotional connections with their children that build the foundation for skills that will serve them for the rest of their life.
What inspired the CuddleBright Experience?
As a new grandmother, Dr. Vicki Simms listened as her children shared their experiences in parenting groups. They were receiving advice about the right sippy cups and diapers to buy, but they weren’t getting the information they really needed to nurture their children. No one was helping them to understand the importance of social and emotional development, which starts at birth. As a child development specialist, Dr. Simms knew she could do something about this to help parents, and the idea for CuddleBright was born.
What is one of your proudest moments?
We are proud that colleagues in the field of research and medicine are using CuddleBright as a tool with the children, families and communities that they reach. For example, Dr. Robert Adler of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles says, “As a pediatrician, I know the impact of the child’s experiences in the first years of life. Experiences organize the brain to develop the connections that allow future skill attainment and healthy social skills to deal with life’s challenges. The focus of the Simms/Mann Institute on disseminating and integrating knowledge of the crucial 0-3 years of development is expanding our ability to improve the health of the whole child and of every child.”
Dr. Michael Yogman at Harvard Medical School says, “By emphasizing the emotional experience of infants and toddlers, CuddleBright Experience provides a unique roadmap to enhance parents’ connections to their children.”
What impact is CuddleBright making?
CuddleBright helps parents raise resilient children, who grow into emotionally secure and successful adults who are better equipped to thrive in today’s fast-paced society and adapt to changes and challenges in their lives, families and careers.
In addition to selling CuddleBright through amazon.com and cuddlebright.com, the Simms/Mann Institute is partnering with hospitals and community based organizations to ensure that CuddleBright is given to families in need who would not otherwise be able to afford it.
Lastly, we are proud to have donated more than $1 million dollars this year to early learning and brain science research to promote the importance of early childhood development.
Dr. Simms is a nationally recognized early child development specialist and philanthropist. She is President and Founder of the Simms/Mann Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting the health and wellness of children, families, and communities. As part of the work of the Institute, Dr. Simms launched CuddleBright to provide parents with the information they need to help children adapt and become more resilient—from infancy through toddlerhood and beyond.