Theo was only 2 years old when he first started preschool, and Miss Bethany was one of his beloved teachers. She was the best teacher I could ever hope for — oftentimes holding Theo for the entire class if he was having a rough time with the separation. We were honored to attend her wedding before she moved to the East coast with her husband. After a few years, they are now back in Utah and we had some special visitors last week: Miss Bethany AND her new baby boy!
Cute Baby B took some of Theo’s hand-me-down clothing and baby supplies and Bethany and I chatted about our experiences in this newborn phase of life. Even though it’s been 7 years since I was in her shoes, I still recall with fondness the activities that Theo and I did together when he was just a wee little babe. In these past years, lots of new opportunities in the community have opened up and I had a lot of fun researching them. This post consisting of “Baby Adventures” is dedicated to Miss Bethany and all the other moms of little babies.
- Mommy & Me class at LDS Hospital, 8th Ave and C Street, 10:00am Wednesdays, Free
The single most important activity for me when Theo was brand new was attending a weekly “Mommy & Me” class at LDS Hospital. It just happened to start in 2008 when Theo was born, and was led by a registered nurse and lactation consultant. It wasn’t so much a “class” as it was a chance to go to a supportive environment and get out of the house with your baby. Many times our discussions were generated by the day-to-day challenges we were facing and we learned so much from each other. The mothers and babies that we met when Theo was 3 weeks old are literally some of my best friends even to this day. For a new full-time stay-at-home-mom, I can’t emphasize enough how important it was for me to have a support group of other moms to turn to as a community.
One thing that my new mommy friends and I would have loved to have is a place to go to hang out with our babies, other than each other’s houses. I remember visiting my parents in Virginia when Theo was 1 year old and going to a combination coffee shop/indoor playground and thinking it was such a brilliant idea that I couldn’t believe it hadn’t been introduced to Utah yet. I just learned about a brand new cafe that opened very recently that is just that! I haven’t been there yet (I’m going to “borrow” my friend’s 2-year-old toddler to check it out) but I am so glad that this concept is becoming more widespread.
Along the same lines, my friends told me about the Main Street Studio salon which offers on-site childcare while you get pampered. Is this a genius idea or what? I never got a chance to try it out myself, but seriously, even the idea that a sort of place like this existed gave me some peace of mind that I could take advantage of this if I needed/wanted. This would be a great treat for any new mom who wanted to keep her child close but still needed to feel human now and then.
I love any activity that is typically a “grown-ups only” type event where you can bring your kids. So many times we are made to feel like we cannot go out in public spaces that are “inappropriate” for kids because of their unpredictable behavior and completely natural actions. So when an art museum welcomes babies and moms to tour the exhibits without any judgment or unrealistic expectation, I find it to be a refreshing relief.
I have all sorts of other “tips and tricks” that I like to share with new mothers (the best places to nurse, using a shopping cart as a temporary stroller, etc.) but these are some fun activities that are available for you and your baby to share together. Enjoy and have fun with those snuggly little babies!