2022 Baby Day at NDA!

After a 2 year pause due to Covid, Baby Day, sponsored by Mrs. Johnson’s Psychology Class, returned with an animated and lively group of children!  From newborn through age 5, the children participated in a variety of activities.  An obstacle course and face painting were both very popular along with many other games and fun mini-projects. Children were also invited to participate in a taste test, a Marshmallow game and other food-related activities  Students enjoyed working with the children and learned much more than any textbook could ever teach them.  One NDA graduate, a former Psychology student, who brought her son told me that she was thrilled to return to NDA now that she is a Mother!  Baby Day certainly allowed all of us to experience a more normal academic school year!  A huge shout out to our Baby Day coordinators, Drue Disken and Ella Timmerding who kept everything organized and running smoothly.

History of Baby Day at NDA…
by NDA Archivist Nancy Stratman

In the fall of 1947, the first annual Baby Day was held. Held on the Feast of Our Lady’s Presentation in the Temple, all alumnae mothers were invited to bring their pre-school children to NDA for a presentation ceremony. As reported in The Gavel, “Pop! Bang! One balloon burst after another. Babies looked wide-eyed for they could not imagine where the balloon had vanished. Sisters and mothers alike laughed gaily at each surprised baby face. All of this happened on Sunday afternoon, November 23rd, when Notre Dame Academy observed Alumnae Baby Day. Mothers were happy to see former classmates and teachers. Babies were thrilled with the photographer who clicked their pictures at any odd moment. Benediction followed the reception and picture-taking and each baby was placed under the special protection of Mary with the receiving of a medal at the Communion railing. After Benediction, ice cream and cake were served in the cafeteria.”  Over the next ten years Baby Day remained an annual event but changed its focus from a social gathering of alumni mothers to a fundraiser for a local hospital. By 1955, Baby Day had been moved to December 28th as a birthday party for Baby Jesus. Held on the Feast of the Innocents, each child brought a gift to the Baby Jesus, which was then donated to the Notre Dame Hospital in Lynch, KY.

Although Baby Day is still celebrated today, the focus of the event has grown from a purely social event for alumnae mothers to an observation activity on childhood behaviors for senior level Psychology Class. Now open to alumni and friends of NDA, students play with their “guests” observing behaviors and reactions to activities.