New Parents and Early Years

Parent with Toddler Girl

Having a new baby is exciting, but it can also be overwhelming to find out you have a child with Down syndrome. These following resource links help to provide honest perspectives through personal stories, encouragement and valuable information during the early days and years of welcoming a baby with Down syndrome.

21 Welcomes

21 Welcomes supports you through the beginning of your journey in the Down syndrome community. It will also help you educate your family and friends about what it is like to love a person with Down syndrome.



brother and sister
kids in backyard
Welcome to the Down Syndrome Community

Read stories and letters of support and encouragement through all the ups and downs of having a loved one with Down syndrome.

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After finding out your child has Down syndrome, you may experience a wide range of emotions. This is normal. There is no right or wrong way to feel.

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Breastfeeding Your Baby

Breastfeeding your baby with Down syndrome is not only possible, but provides important benefits to both mother and child. Babies with Down syndrome can and do breastfeed, but it may take time and patience.

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Early Interventions

Babies with Down syndrome are expected to meet developmental milestones at their own rate and can benefit from early interventions. Common early intervention programs for children with Down syndrome are physical therapy (PT), speech language pathology (SLP) and occupational therapy (OT).

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Welcoming Babies with Down Syndrome

It can be difficult to know what to say or do when you learn that someone you know is expecting or just recently had a baby with Down syndrome.

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Keeping your other children informed about their sibling with a disability can help them feel included and important. Each sibling will handle having a brother or sister with Down syndrome in their own way. As a parent, be there for them and answer their questions the best you can.

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Having a child with Down syndrome will affect everyone in your family. By supporting family members in learning about and understanding Down syndrome, you will help educate them about their new family member and all the possibilities that the future holds for them.

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Additional Resources for New Parents

Down Syndrome Pregnancy

Our books offer support to expectant parents who are preparing for the birth of a baby with Down syndrome/Trisomy 21. All of our materials offer compassionate, practical, and up-to-date information and have been reviewed by leading medical and Down syndrome experts.

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Guide pour Nouveax Parents, Regroupment pour la Trisomie 21 RT21

This contains valuable information including a list of available resources, information on inclusive education, early intervention and breastfeeding, a list of services available at RT21 and much more!

Click here to read more in French

New and Expectant Parents, My Child has Down Syndrome Now What? National Down Syndrome Congress

Whether you are celebrating the birth of your child or anticipating his or her arrival, we congratulate you!

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Personal Child Health Record (PCHR), The Down Syndrome Medical Interest Group

The fifth edition of the 30 page insert for the ‘Red Book’ was launched in January 2020. It contains additional information for parents and professionals which will help them maintain the health and wellbeing of babies born with Down syndrome.

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Support for Breastfeeding, La Leche League Canada

In person, by phone, online, and in informal group meetings, our volunteer leaders will be there to support you by providing evidence-based information on breastfeeding and human milk. We live and parent in the communities we serve and tailor programs to the needs of each community.

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Woodbine House Publishing

Publisher of the special needs collection…books for parents, children, teachers and other professionals.

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Adele’s Over the Rainbow Baskets

Providing comfort and joy to families who have a baby born with Down syndrome in the Calgary and Red Deer areas. We aim to raise awareness and provide families with the necessary resources on Down syndrome prenatally through to the first years of life.

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Baskets of Love Down Syndrome Support Society

We welcome new families with a gift basket, especially chosen for babies with Down syndrome, to celebrate their new baby! Each Basket of Love includes information about local and national resources that can help a new family transition more easily and more positively into life with Down syndrome.

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Parent with Toddler Girl
Toddler on Swing
Son and Mom