SmartParent Text Message Program Helps Ease Transition to Parenthood


In First Nations communities, the birth of a baby is a sacred event to be joyously celebrated but for new parents, life with an infant can be full of highs and lows. To help ease the transition to parenthood, the SmartParent program has been launched as Canada's first parenting support program that uses text messages to help guide new parents through each week of their baby's first year of life.

SmartParent was conceptualized as a follow-up to the SmartMom program, which provides prenatal education through text messaging. The overall goal of SmartParent is to support new parents in their transition to parenthood, decrease isolation and improve parent and infant health.

How Does SmartParent Work?


Developed by maternal and child health experts, messages are tailored to infant age and stage of development, and include links to trustworthy resources and online and in-person services.

Parents receive up to three text messages a week, each with a link to current, evidence-based information online. The benefit of text messages is that they provide ​busy parents with the information they need, when they need it in an accessible way.

The SmartParent program is:

  • Free – Parents can sign up and receive messages (parents without a phone or cellular service can also see the messages online by enrolling using an email address).
  • Accessible and convenient – SmartParent can fill the gaps created by closure of many parenting classes and parenting drop-in centres.
  • Engaging – Messages include links to quizzes, videos, infographics and decision-making tools.
  • Customizable – Parents can choose their message delivery schedule, as well as information on everything from growth and developmental milestones, infant safety, feeding and sleeping, follow-up and screening procedures and vaccinations. It also provides information for parents about mental health and self-care.

The development of SmartParent is led by researchers from UBC in collaboration with Optimal Birth BC, the BC Ministry of Health and BC Health Authorities, and in consultation with pregnant and new parents, practising nurses, doctors, midwives and experts in maternal and child health. The program has also been endorsed by the Canadian Paediatric Society.

How Can Parents Sign Up?

Parents can register for SmartParent by texting the keyword SMARTPARENT to 12424, or by signing up at

If you have any questions about the SmartParent program, please call 1-855-871-BABY (2229).

Facebook: @smartparentcanada

Instagram: @smartparentcanada

Twitter: @SmartParentCA

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