Tresillian; What is it and What do they do?

Parenting can be very overwhelming at times. If you’re struggling with how to settle a newborn or want some tips about a baby’s sleep schedule or feeding; Tresillian is a wonderful not-for-profit organization that can help.

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Introduction

Although there is so much joy associated with parenthood, it is not unusual to feel stressed, overwhelmed or anxious when caring for an infant, especially as a new parent. The first few weeks, months and years can be challenging as parents/guardians adapt to a new lifestyle with young children. The first step is to understand that asking for help is not a sign of weakness and it doesn’t make you a bad parent. There are many organizations and support networks that specialize in this field and can make your life easier! Let’s have a deeper look into one of these organizations in Australia known as Tresillian.

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What is Tresillian?

Tresillian is Australia’s largest not-for-profit organization providing early parenting support. Qualified child and family health nurses aim to help families with newborns, babies, toddlers and young children with tips and advice. This organization has been running for 100 years and it is estimated to support 80,000 families each year.

What does Tresillian do?

The purpose of Tresillian is to help, support and assist families that struggle to face the many challenges associated with parenting. According to their website1, their vision is to give each child the best start to life. Similarly, their purpose statement “It’s in our nature to nurture” ensures they will respect, listen and provide the best possible support to each family’s needs.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Tresillian claims that they recorded a 250 percent increase2 in the number of calls on the parental helpline. Due to social distancing, so many new parents were distanced from their support networks and struggled with being confined inside the home. This caused a lot of anxiety, mental health issues and depression.

I have had several family members and friends use the services of Tresillian in the first few months after having a baby, particularly for help and guidance on sleep and settling issues, feeding issues (including breastfeeding), and general family support while both parents are sleep deprived, perhaps working and feeling overwhelmed. Each of my family members and friends who used their services couldn’t speak highly enough about the help and support they received, as well as how much more confident and competent they felt as a new parent, after spending time at the Tresillian centre, or after some helpful support sessions.

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baby crying, tresillian
It can be very stressful trying to settle a baby, especially if you’re already sleep deprived. Tresillian services can help.

What services do they provide?

Tresillian provides support in the following areas:

  • Soothing and settling baby
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Breastfeeding and bottle feeding guidance
  • Starting solids and proper nutrition
  • Balancing multiple children
  • Understanding babies’ signs and cues
  • Teething and crying
  • Toddler behaviour
  • Parental well-being and help with how to deal with stress/anxiety.
  • They also run courses and workshops, including Circle of Security workshops. You can read more about the Circle of Security HERE.
tresillian advice and tips
Tresillian provides advice and tips in the following areas

According to The Conversation3, 1 in 3 new mothers struggle to get their baby to settle and sleep. This leads to other issues such as poor sleep, a decrease in physical health and poor mental health. Tresillian is sometimes known as ‘sleep school’ because they even have structured programs in place for several days in which parents stay at the facility and learn skills and strategies to help babies sleep and settle. 

Tresillian was previously inaccessible to remote and rural areas but with the help of technology and video conferencing parents are now able to feel more comfortable sharing their personal challenges. Towards the end of 2019, Tresillian also launched an app in partnership with SleepFit known as SleepWellBaby4 to support parents with tips on parenting in the early years of their child’s life, and answer any queries they may have.

Is Tresillian covered by Medicare?

The Day services and residential admissions are covered by Medicare or Private Health Funds.

How much does it cost?

This will depend on the service you choose, but Medicare should be able to cover the cost. For further information, you can call the helpline.

What age can you go to Tresillian?

Tresillian specializes in working with babies, toddlers and preschool aged children – aged around 0-6.

Do you need a referral for Tresillian?

Yes, you can ask your GP, health professional or family health nurse for a referral. Another option is to fill out THIS form5 located on the website, to self-refer.

tresillian services
Tresillian services can include overnight stays, a mobile van to you, day services, a telehealth consult and a helpline.

Can you book yourself into Tresillian?

Yes, after Covid-19, parents can book themselves into Tresillian by calling the helpline or going to their GP for a referral.

In what locations can you find Tresillian?

Tresillian centres can be found in NSW, Victoria and Australian Capital Territory. The Tresillian Mobile Van also travels to different remote and rural areas to provide access for other communities too.

baby crying, tresillian
Tresilian can help with settling baby, teething issues, crying and sleep routines.

FAQs about Tresillian:

Is Tresillian government funded?

The bulk of funding is provided by the NSW ministry of health. However, the organization does need donations from the corporate sector and individual donors to fund some of its special projects.

In 2021, The NSW government dedicated 12.2 million dollars in the budget6 to ensure Tresillian can establish outpatient centres in other regional areas.

When did Tresillian start?

The Tresillian journey started in 1918 at Sydney Town Hall, with the establishment of the Royal Society for the Welfare of Mothers and Babies. This particular society was founded as a government initiative due to the escalated and worrying infant mortality rates at the time. There was also an absence of adequate health services for mothers.

Is there a Tresillian helpline?

Yes, you can ask about any queries you may have by simply calling the helpline on 1300 272 736. Their operating hours are 7 am-11pm, 7 days a week.

What information or help can be found on the Tresillian website?

The website is extremely easy to navigate. It highlights the issues new parents may face and an abundance of tips, videos and articles on how to tackle these challenges. There is also an abundance of information about the company and a section with frequently asked questions which can be found here7. You can also find Tresillian on Facebook HERE8.

Summary

If you are struggling with any aspect of parenting, It is crucial to give yourself time to adjust to the new lifestyle and know that you’re not alone. Having a safe space to learn about techniques on how to deal with the different challenges of parenthood might make your life much more balanced.

Tresillian is a wonderful not-for-profit organization that can provide a solution to your queries and the best part is, it is covered by Medicare so you do not have to worry about how heavy it might be for your pocket! 

There are some parents who hire the services of a Night Nanny too, which you can read about HERE.

Have you heard of or used the services of Tresillian before? What was your experience?

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Reference List:

  1. https://www.tresillian.org.au/
  2. ‘Demand for Tresillian services skyrocket during coronavirus crisis’, Mel Dearmer, ABC News. Published: April 23, 2020. Accessed online at https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-23/demand-for-tresillian-services-sky-rocket-amid-coronavirus/12175960 on April 2, 2023.
  3. ‘1 in 3 new mums struggle to get their baby to sleep, but some women have a tougher time’, Hannah Dahlen, Cathrine Fowler, Virginia Schmied, The Conversation. Published: Sep 24, 2019. Accessed online at https://theconversation.com/1-in-3-new-mums-struggle-to-get-their-baby-to-sleep-but-some-women-have-a-tougher-time-102269 on April 2, 2023.
  4. https://www.sleepwellbaby.io/
  5. Self Referral to Tresillian, Tresilian.org.au. Accessed online at https://www.tresillian.org.au/services/self-referral-to-tresillian/ on April 2, 2023.
  6. ‘Government promises $12.2 million to Tresillian for new parenting centres in regional towns’, Ashleigh Raper. ABC News. Published: June 18, 2021. Accessed online at https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-06-18/nsw-budget-12-million-promised-for-post-natal-services/100224608 on April 2, 2023.
  7. Frequently Asked Questions, Tresilian. Accessed online at https://www.tresillian.org.au/about-us/who-we-are/frequently-asked-questions/ on April 2, 2023.
  8. Tresillian Early Parenting, Facebook. Accessed on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TresillianEarlyParenting/ on April 2, 2023.

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