BABIES are being given the best possible start to life thanks to a new clinic in Darlington.

The clinic, at Haughton Youth Centre, has been organised by Darlington Primary Care Trust. Staff will carry out a series of development checks, immunisations and baby massage sessions.

The initiative was launched after health visitors established that there were no baby clinics in the area, forcing parents to travel into town.

Hollie Graham, early years practitioner at the trust, said: "We are also making it a bit of a mums and babies group so they can come in and get to know each other.

"It is open to everyone, no matter which doctor's surgery they attend or who their health visitor is."

She recommended booking a free baby massage class, which helped mothers and children bond, made parents more aware of how to respond to their babies, helped with colic and nerve development, allowing them to sleep and cry less.

The clinic is every Wednesday from 10am to 11.30am.