A new app for dads in Cornwall is being launched

Taking your newborn baby home is an exciting and emotional time but, for some new parents, it can also be overwhelming and leave them uncertain on what to do. 

Help is now at hand for new dads in Cornwall, though, thanks to the launch of a new mobile app version of the DadPad.

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Working closely with Cornwall Council, NHS Kernow commissioned the development of a Cornwall-specific version of the existing DadPad app as part of their child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) transformation funding. 

The DadPad app is an easy-to-use resource for new dads and dads-to-be in Cornwall, packed with relevant information, as well as details on local support groups and service providers. Its aim is to provide new fathers with information on how to develop the mindset, confidence and practical skills needed to meet their babies’ physical and emotional needs. 

Building a strong attachment will not only enable dads to better enjoy their new role but also contribute towards positive long-term social, health and educational outcomes for their babies. Crucially, the app also provides dads with guidance on how to support and seek help for their partners and themselves as they adjust to their new roles, and cope with the physical and emotional strains that this can place on individuals and relationships.

Portfolio Holder and Cabinet Member for Children and Wellbeing, Sally Hawken, said: “Dads need to realise just how important they are within their family - right from the very start of their child’s life - and the real impact they can have on their baby’s development.

"It’s important that new dads feel as informed and confident as possible in their role, in order that they can give the very best support to both mum and their new baby.

“This is the first time that all of this information has been available for Cornish dads in a mobile app, which is excellent for using on the go. 

"As well as gaining skills and knowledge on caring for their baby, themselves and their partner, using the app also allows dads to access contact details for local family services together with up-to-date health information and guidance. It’s great from our point of view, too, as we’re able to get content revised at the push of a button, as information or advice is updated.”

The DadPad app is produced by Cornish-based Inspire Cornwall CIC – a community interest company – which also developed the original hard copy DadPad in 2012.

Company director Julian Bose explains: “The DadPad was created because babies don’t come with a set of instructions, and dads told us that there was important information that they wanted to be given on what to expect and how to care for their baby.  We listened to what dads, their partners and health professionals asked for and combined it all in the DadPad.

“With technology playing such a big part in everyone’s lives today, developing an app to complement the existing DadPad seemed the obvious next step. This has opened up a world of possibilities in delivering new content and features and, crucially, getting updates and news out to the dads quickly and easily.”

Tom Matthews, who has just become a dad to his son, Ollie, said: “Like most people, I hadn’t really thought much about all the practical, ‘nitty gritty’ of becoming a dad until we started getting closer to the due date.  As our little boy arrived nine weeks early, this meant I actually felt quite unprepared when it all became real.

“The DadPad was absolutely fantastic; it explains everything in a really clear way, without being patronising. However many different books you read on parenting, you will get that many different opinions on everything, so it was great to have a ‘definitive’ guide, with links to further information.”

All DadPad content is continuously reviewed and evaluated, and feedback received from dads helps inform its future development.

The Cornwall DadPad app is available for free download on both Apple and Android devices. Once downloaded, dads simply need to enter their postcode to gain access.