Babies on board for library van weigh-in

Weighing baby on a mobile library. Sam and his mum Helen Brown. Picture: Sonya Duncan

Weighing baby on a mobile library. Sam and his mum Helen Brown. Picture: Sonya Duncan - Credit: Sonya Duncan

Finding it hard to get to the baby clinic? Then weigh baby in a library van in villages across Norfolk this August.

Weighing baby on a mobile library. Edward and Justin Self Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 20

Weighing baby on a mobile library. Edward and Justin Self Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2019 - Credit: Sonya Duncan

"That's two picture books, a historical romance, a travel guide, a cook-book and a 17lbs baby."

Next month one of Norfolk's mobile library vans will be carrying a set of scales so that parents can pop in to weigh their babies - as well as borrow books, jigsaw puzzles, dvds and more.

The idea is to help rural parents, who might struggle to get to a clinic. The baby weigh-station will be on board one of Norfolk's mobile library vans every weekday in August, and taken out to dozens of villages across the county.

Parents can weigh their baby, and enjoy a chat with the driver and fellow library users, as well as borrowing books while they're there.

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Beth Southard said: "It's wonderful having the scales on the mobile library. It can be quite tricky to make it out of the door to health clinics if your baby is having a fussy day or you just get the days of the week muddled up. So when the scales are practically brought to your doorstep it saves a lot of hassle. Plus, we always visit the library every chance we get, so getting both services in one place really simplifies our day."

Her son, five-month-old Edward Self, weighing in at exactly 17lbs, loves getting his hands on baby books from the library. "His favourite books, this week, are Get Out of My Bath by Britta Teckentrup, Going to the Volcano by Andy Stanton and Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown," said Beth.

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Ten-month-old Sam Brown, of Costessey, and also 17lbs, will be hoping to pick up more of his favourite Usborne Peep-Inside series when he next visits the mobile library for picture books and a weight check.

His mum, Helen Brown, said: "Clinic times are very limited even if you live near a children's centre so having this option is really useful. If you live rurally, it's even harder to get to these places so to have the scales brought to you - along with other useful information for new mums, books to entertain you and your baby and a friendly member of staff to talk to - is brilliant."

Rebecca Bradshaw of Norfolk County Council said: "We hope that having a weigh station on board will facilitate new parents meeting other parents within their village and hopefully help tackle isolation in these rural communities."

The trial will run throughout August and take in villages from Alburgh to Yaxham, Little Melton to Great Cressingham, Booton to Belton, and Southburgh to South Pickenham.

For full timetable details visit

MORE: First person: A day with our mobile library service

These are the villages which will be served in the pilot scheme through August. The scales will be on one van each weekday. Alburgh, Ashill, Barford, Barnham Broom, Bawburgh, Bedingham, Belton, Booton, Bowthorpe, Bradenham, Bradwell, Brandon Parva, Buxton, Cawston, Collin Green, Colton, Cringleford, Crostwick, Denton, Deopham, Earsham, Easton, East Tuddenham, Elsing, Felthorpe, Frettenham, Garvestone, Gorleston, Great Cressingham, Great and Little Plumstead, Hackford, Hainford, Hardingham, Haveringland, Hevingham, Hockering, Honingham, Hopton, Kimberley, Little Melton, Lyng, Marlingford, Marsham, Mattishall, Morley St Peter, Necton, New and Old Costessey, North Tuddenham, Postwick, Queen's Hill, Rackheath, Reymerston, Ringland, Saham Toney, Salhouse, Scarning, Scoulton, Shipdham, Southburgh, South Pickenham, Spooner Row, Stratton Strawless, Welborne, Weston Longville, Wicklewood, Woodton, Wortwell, Wramplingham, and Yaxham.

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