Why the Baby Café Model Works
Parents value the professional-level care and welcoming peer support they receive at their local Baby Cafés. The model’s effectiveness has been published professionally. Most Cafés are funded by a sponsoring organization (ie hospitals and physician groups) which can utilize community grants
Detailed guidelines in the Baby Café Toolkit provide facilitators with support resources and policies, and a clear and consistent model to follow. With over 150 Baby Cafés across the US, a growing number of parents have access to free breastfeeding support with a national connection.
The Baby Café concept is flexible and can be adapted to accommodate different community profiles and specific challenges in efforts to reduce disparities. Cafés operate in many different types of locations and are facilitated by a variety of available approved breastfeeding counselors such as IBCLCs, CLCs, CLSs, CLEs, and WIC Peer Counselors.
The Baby Café trademarked name and logo is synonymous with quality breastfeeding care coupled with an informal, relaxed atmosphere. Upbeat visual representation and the associated Licensed Baby Café standards are reflected in its brand at both national and local levels.
Baby Café USA offers ongoing support to Facilitators via email, phone, and Facebook. Each Baby Café has an individual page for site details, and Facilitators have exclusive access to a comprehensive bank of resources such as templates and publicity materials.
The provided data collection tools make it easy for Facilitators to monitor and report attendance. Sponsoring organizations can be confident they are investing in a flexible, effective form of health care delivery.
All Baby Café Sites are:
FAQs for Professionals
What do I need to do to start a Baby Café?
- Register your interest (bottom of this page- you'll be emailed an Information Starter Kit)
- Find someone to sponsor your Baby Café (sample proposal included in Information Starter Kit)
- Find Funding (suggested Funding Sources)
- Find a public-access location (most are donated spaces ie: churches, libraries, YMCAs)
- Find Staff (Guidelines included in the Information Starter Kit)
- Be able to meet the licensing agreement standards (see below: Application Support Documentation)
What does it cost to open and operate a Baby Café?
- Application is free
- Initial license is $750 (includes training of staff)
- Annual license renewal is $200
- Lower cost for Cluster sites (link- Cluster Café Model)
- Operating costs range from $8,000 to $20,000 per year, depending on the level of your staff and Tier of your Café (link- Tiers)
- Extra costs you may have:
- Marketing, Snacks, Improvements to space, Scale
- We recommend budgeting at least $1000 to start up
WHAT IS THE APPLICATION/LICENSING PROCESS?
- Fill out Application Form (link to Application Form)
- Receive approval
- Pay the invoice and sign Licensing Agreement
- Receive License Certificate and bound Toolkit
- Schedule/receive training
- Open the café
- Have a Grand Opening
MAY I SELL ITEMS AT THE CAFÉ?
No. Baby Cafés do not market or sell anything. If you use supplies like Nipple Shields, you may ask parents to leave a donation.
I HAVE A PRIVATE PRACTICE- MAY I DO CONSULTS AT OR AFTER A CAFÉ?
No, Baby Café is a group format. You also may not self-refer for an issue needing one-to-one intervention. You may provide a list of local IBCLCs who offer private consults, and it may include you, or refer to your hospital’s outpatient department. You may also refer your private patients to your Café for free follow-up.
WHERE MAY I LOCATE A BABY CAFE?
In welcoming community-based donated spaces such as Hospital, Churches, Libraries, Milk Banks, YMCAs, Parent/child meeting areas, WIC Offices, Pediatrician/OB offices, and Chiropractor offices. We encourage creativity.
ARE THERE SPACES WHERE I CANNOT LOCATE BABY CAFE?
Spaces/places which advertise or promote a specific product, service, political, or culturally sensitive agenda. Contact us with any questions you may have regarding your application.
DO BABY CAFES PROMOTE OR DICTATE CERTAIN BELIEFS?
No. Baby Cafes never promote a certain religious, political, or parenting belief. They are structured as an open-forum discussion, guided by evidence-based practice. Their purpose is to help parents reach their own breastfeeding and/or chestfeeding goals.
IS BABY CAFÉ USA ASSOCIATED WITH ANY OTHER ORGANIZATION?
Baby Café USA is a free-standing organization and receives no funding or backing from any other organization, business, or political party. We are WHO-code compliant.
Would you like to learn more or apply?
To receive a Baby Café Information Starter Kit and/or to connect with a Baby Café Administrator, fill out the enquiry form below:
Ready to Apply ... Please first download and review the Application Support Documents listed below and then select the Launch Baby Café Application button to open the on-line Baby Café application :
Baby Cafés are free, drop-in, informal breastfeeding support groups offering ongoing professional lactation care and intervention. Most are open for 2 hours at least once a week. Some communities have more than one, meeting different days of the week.
Baby Café USA is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization supporting the development of licensed U.S. Baby Cafés. Registered Non-profit No. 80-0787743