I’ll admit the thought never occurred to me while still preggers that my house could become my prison. I thought, “We’ll go on walks, mommy friends will fall from the sky, it will be tough, but I’ll figure it out,” loneliness was no where on my radar. You don’t know what you don’t know, until you know… And that is pretty much the everything learning curve when it comes to parenting. Additionally, baby blues happen after the “joy” of giving birth which will not motivate you to look up all sorts of cool and fun things to do. The catch 22.
Now that I have a little more mommyhood under my belt and have finally started exploring, and I’ve discovered tons of ideas and activities. Signing up or at least getting the schedules for a couple classes, meetups, or play dates prior to delivering can be helpful. Plus, having that commitment might be the push in the tush you need to step out of the house and into the world. Below are just a few things to get you started, but check out your community page, ask your local mom Facebook group, ask other mom friends! There are so many cool things to do with your baby, it’s just a matter of learning how to find them.
Stroller Workouts or Baby Bootcamps
This is great because you have achieved not only leaving the house but also working on your post baby bod. Yes! Another alternative is also finding a gym with a daycare/kidzone, but these usually do not allow babies until 6 months and are you going to wait 6 months to work on getting back in shape or just leaving the house! Hell no!
I found out about Baby Boot Camp when my son was about 3 months old, but you can start going as soon as you get the OK from your doctor. Reece loved it. Seeing all those other babies was such a kick for him. Plus the workout was pushing me but I could still dial it back when my postpartum body wasn’t ready. Our instructor always offered TONS of modifications for everything we did. An alternative to Baby Boot Camp is Stroller Strides.
**Note: Running with infants under 6 months is not recommended. I either walked with the stroller or left it to the side with a mommy that was feeding there baby, there’s always one baby at any given moment that’s hungry.
Your Local Library
Each one is different, but most, if not all, minimally have a story time, but activities can vary. One in my area has Jumping Beans Toddler Time that is stories and singing, Mother Goose Lapsit, or just letting the little ones roam in the kid area that might have a few toys that they can explore. Another bonus, this activity is FREE!
Music & Movement Classes
I had heard whispers about such classes but had brushed them off. Then when my son was around 18 months I finally tried it and really liked it. Damn! Why did I wait so long to check this out? These classes usually involve singing, dancing, moving about, and a few minutes of letting the kiddos explore instruments.
I know what you are thinking: Did she just say Whole Foods? Huh? A lot of Whole Foods have little kid play areas now and offer story time and other activities so after taking a spin around the store to pick up your organic milk and cereal, stop by the kids zone for some fun while Mom sips on a smoothie. Kids also can have a free apple, orange or banana during shopping or playing. Win/Win! (More fun on the free while spending a small fortune on one bag of food.)
This is typically for moms of newborns. The lights are dimmed, the sound level is baby friendly, and many other parents with crying babies is what you can expect from a baby matinee. Even though you have a newborn baby you can still catch the most recently released movie in the perfect baby friendly environment. Check out your local movie theaters for these weekly showings!
Sadly AMC stopped their baby matinee program. Maybe we should start a petition, bring it back AMC!
Check with your local Chamber of Commerce, a lot of towns (at least in Mass) have weekly or monthly concerts with different bands playing in the town center or a grassy area of the town. Children roam free, picnickers abound, and frolicking dogs. Perfect during the summer for escaping the house, getting fresh air, and squeezing in some culture! And this activity is completely FREE.
There is this crazy world of indoor playgrounds that can become an addiction during the winter months once the baby is 6+ months. There is a fee with this, but it’s usually minimal. A typical visit is $10 or you can get a small discount with a 5 punch card or monthly passes, depending on how it’s set up. If you are also in an area that gets crazy like Boston in the winter this is worth checking out.
To give you an idea of what these indoor playgrounds are about you’ll find: table toys (trains, legos, etc.), a kitchen room/area (R’s favorite), a smaller indoor swing set, a coloring area, doll/workshop room/area, party rooms, and a small eating area.
There are so many things you can do, these are just a few to get you started. Going for a walk just outside your own front door is very popular, or to the park. Tried and true, but these easy options can sometimes be monotonous. Museums are good as well, but might not be an option for all parent’s area/lifestyle. Don’t forget to swing by the library and see if they offer discount coupons.
Let me know in the comments if I left out your favorite get out of the house baby activity!