Bebbo: A Reliable Parenting Guide
Belgrade, Serbia, October 2022 - Shortly after Stasa celebrated her first birthday, the most beautiful gift arrived. Her brother Luka. Stasa is now two years old and is eagerly waiting for Luka to start walking, so they can play together in the park. Stasa loves playing with a ball, and it’s clear that Luka loves it as well. Mom Dunja and dad Stefan are the happiest when they see them playing together. Dunja and Stefan enjoy being parents, but they are also aware of the challenges, especially due to the small age gap between their children. “Being a parent is the most beautiful thing, but sometimes it’s not easy,” says Dunja. Parenting is precious, but it can also be stressful. In our case Stasa was basically a baby when we found out we were also expecting Luka, explains Stefan bebbo his photo #12 UNICEF Serbia/2022/Pancic The Bebbo app has a section titled “The Parenting Corner” where Dunja and Stefan read that it was perfectly fine for them to feel that way. It was a great relief to know that they were not alone and that other parents felt the same. The most important advice they read – is that it is important for parents to take care of themselves. “I’ve had times when I was also in a bad mood, exhausted and tired, so this is where I found explanations and recommendations about what to do. Those answers reassured me,” explains Dunja. “Children always come first, but people change through their parenting journey. It’s easier to overcome stressful situations if you have access to good advice. And the articles in the Bebbo app create a kind of interactive relationship and that’s valuable,” Stefan is convinced. The Bebbo app is a parenting guide, available at a parent’s fingertips. It interactively and safely guides moms and dads on their parenting journey – from birth up to the age of 6. Parents can get reliable advice at the right time. They can also count on receiving information and recommendations at any time about what is best for their child’s health and development, for play and learning, and for the emotional wellbeing of the family. “In this day and age, when we all have mobile phones, this app is really useful. In the past, we always used to call the HaloBeba hotline, which is very useful. But now, we can find the answers to many dilemmas at any time on our mobile phones,” Dunja believes. bebbo his photo #2 We’re very pleased with the app! When we’re worried about our children, we can really get all the answers. The app is divided into sections, and Stefan usually finds answers to his most frequent questions in the “Questions and Answers” section. “My impression is that Bebbo is well designed because there are answers to everything a parent can think of. The app takes you through a kind of filter. And you feel like you’re face to face with the person giving you advice.” Dunja found the sections on the growth and development of children were the most useful. “The application is personalized. I entered data for both children, so I can monitor whether they’ve reached the level of development expected for their age. There are also interesting and educational articles. And interesting videos showing age-appropriate games, so that we can play with them and positively influence their growth and development.” The Bebbo app really helped them keep up with the immunization calendars for Stasa and Luka. “We really have a lot on our plate, the children are young, and so they have to be revaccinated with some vaccine every month. Within the Bebbo app, there is a section, a tool called Vaccination, where we can enter the time for the next vaccine and get reminders. That’s how we schedule paediatric check-ups. It helped us a lot, to know when it’s time for which vaccine,” explains Dunja. The app also helped Dunja and Stefan resolved their dilemma about the right time to enrol Stasa into preschool. “That’s where I got the information about the right time to start preschool. [I read] detailed explanations of what they do in preschool, how children learn through play. That’s how we decided that she should start preschool,” says Dunja. bebbo his photo #3 The application prototype was developed in Serbia in close cooperation between UNICEF, the Belgrade City Institute for Public Health, and the Nordeus Foundation. Then, the UNICEF Office for Europe and Central Asia Regional worked on improving the application. This new and improved version has been introduced in 10 more countries and territories in as many as 19 language variants since the beginning of 2022. The content of the application is being continuously improved and promoted with the support of the LEGO Foundation.