Getting Out of the House with Baby

 

I am so excited to meet our baby boy!  I’m amazed at how much love I feel for him, and he’s not even born yet.  Only a few more weeks 🙂

Today, I want to talk about getting out of the house with a little one.  Baby boy will be our first, but I’ve seen enough to know that running errands and socializing while toting around a small child be tricky and stressful, especially when you’re like us – a no-car family!  It’s important to me to be able to {eventually} get out of the house once baby is a bit older and I’m feeling up to it.  With that in mind, I decided to look for different baby + me activities around Auckland.  I’ve heard of several of these through the “mommy grapevine” and wanted to share them with you, my lovely readers.  Click on the titles in order to go to the group websites.

MAINLY MUSIC

There’s a Mainly Music group that meets within a short walking distance of where we live.  Hooray for that!  Mainly Music sessions last for 30 minutes and are composed of “songs and movement”, followed by refreshments for parents and little ones.  What a great way to have fun with your child and meet new people!  The sessions are very flexible and you can come when you like – you don’t need to commit to a certain number of weeks or pay for several sessions in advance.  I like that.  I like that.  I know that there will be days when I feel like staying put, but that there will also be days when I’m craving adult interaction.  Having a short, easily accessible program like this is wonderful.  My friend Brooke shared that she pays $4.00 per session, which covers the cost for her and her 2 little ones (prices vary somewhat by group).  That sounds reasonable to me, especially when you consider that there are refreshments 😉

 

WRIGGLE & RHYME

These are 30 minutes sessions that meet on a weekly basis at various library locations.  Each W&R features music, movement, and the opportunity for mums and bubs to interact with others.  One big bonus?  They’re free!  Since we have a library across the street, you can bet I plan to attend.  They even have special sessions just for dads 🙂

 

 

 

LIBRARY STORY TIMES

This is another no-cost event that is hosted at our local library a few times a week.  Baby boy won’t be going to story times for awhile yet, but it’s nice to know that these exist.  They even have story times in other languages.

THE PARENTING PLACE

The PP is a foundation/organization that offers classes for moms and dads with children age newborn – teenager.  Their list of classes is extensive, with most workshops costing $10.  Topics include first aid, infant massage, baby sign language, sleeping through the night, “winding” (i.e., burping) and settling your child, argumentative children, potty training, raising boys, raising girls, and more.  They even have a free weekly postpartum/postnatal depression support group that’s run by the PND Support Network.  There’s also a coffee shop and bookstore on-site.  Honestly, their web-page is so chock-full of info that I haven’t had a chance to check it all out.  I just saw that they even offer webinars.

PARENTS CENTRE

Parents Centre is an organization that offers antenatal (prenatal) and parenting courses.  Some of the topics include infant massage, feeding & sleeping, postnatal exercises, CPR for children, dealing with postnatal depression, and more.  It’s a great place to learn and interact with other new parents.  An annual membership is $60, but it’s important to note is that members are entitled to discounts with various retailers around Auckland.  Definitely a bonus!

 

YMCA SWIM SCHOOL

While this would require me getting into a bathing suit (yikes), it does sound fun!  You get to hang out in the pool with other parents and babies and help your child learn how to swim.  They play music and make swim lessons into playtime.  Classes are divided into 3 groups: Waterbabies (6 – 18 mos old), Aquababies (14 – 30 mos old), and Superbabies (24 mos – 3 years old).  The reason for the age overlap is because a child’s advancement depends more on their physical abilities than how old they are.  Each session is 20 minutes long and consists of the instructor and 5 babies + caregiver for each baby.

HILTON BROWN SWIM SCHOOL

Yet another swim school available in the Auckland area (New Zealand consists of 2 islands, so lots of beachfront).  The HB swim classes are a bit larger with 10 babies + caregivers and are 30 minutes long rather than 20 minutes.  Classes are split into 2 groups: Tadpoles (3 mos – 18 mos) and Frogs (18 mos – 3 years).  Like the YMCA, they use music and rhyming to make swimming lessons into something fun.

SPACE

SPACE stands for “Supporting Parents Alongside Children’s Education”.  This is a group that meets on a regular basis and gives adults and kids the opportunity to interact, learn, and play.  It’s designed with first-time parents in mind and is composed of weekly 2 1/2 hour sessions.  There are tons of different topics covered and lots of play opportunities.  If you’re interested, you should enroll when your child is between newborn – 3 months of age and plan on going for the first year of baby’s life.

*****

So many options!  One thing more that I would like to find is a language lesson group for little ones.  I would love it if baby boy was able to learn Spanish.

Don’t worry – I don’t look at the above list and think that I’ll be doing each and every one of these, but like I said, it’s really nice to know what’s out there.  Many of these groups have a “come when you can” policy, which I tend to favor.  I’m excited about going to some of them and having the opportunity to meet other new parents.

If you happen to know of any other play groups, story times, or parenting centers in the Auckland area, please let me know and I’ll add them to my list 🙂

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2 comments

  1. Erin says:

    How fun! I would highly recommend the swimming classes. It’s amazing to see how those little guys can be dropped into water and safely swim their way to the side of the pool. Exercise, fun and a good skill for little kids to have!

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