Illinois Pioneers

BabyTALK Founding Director Claudia Quigg

7:30 pm Thursday, Oct. 31, on WILL-TV
Claudia Quigg

Claudia Quigg

Claudia Quigg, who founded BabyTALK in Decatur 27 years ago, talks to host David Inge about the importance of the parent-child bond, and what communities can do to support new parents. Her organization visits 1,600 newborns and their families in Decatur hospitals each year, helping parents make observations about their babies and showing them how competent their babies are in the first few days of birth. Not too long ago, babies were viewed as a blank slate, she said. "Now we know that babies bring so much into the world with them with an inborn temperament, and many skills and abilities they use to actively see out and establish relationships with people around them."

Quigg said that the single most important thing to a child is being in a secure, loving relationship with an adult. "It really all goes back to an infant having its social and emotional needs met," she said. Organizations around Illinois and the U.S. now use BabyTALK techniques and materials to support families. Instead of telling parents how they should be interacting with their babies, BabyTALK likes to say it comes alongside parents, strategizing with them about how to go forward, Quigg said.

Watch the full episode: