If your baby is fussing and you need a break, maybe it’s time to head to the library!
Are you surprised? Libraries are not what they used to be. Erase any mental images of furrowed brows and steel-like stares; things have changed! Libraries are a hub of activity for guests of all ages, and they want to get to know YOU. Yes, you.
When I had my first baby I hadn’t visited the local library in years. My Mom encouraged me to go after seeing a poster geared to new parents. After weeks of putting it off, I shelved my worries and went. Honestly, I shouldn’t have fretted so much, they had everything there: change tables, stroller parking, and quiet spots to settle and breastfeed my baby.
Our first visit to the library went really well! I was both thrilled and relieved my baby hadn’t chosen to exercise his lungs (although was assured it was fine). As we were leaving, the librarian suggested we both get library cards. I remember thinking my son wasn’t going to be reading War and Peace anytime soon, so was a bit confused. The librarian explained how over time the library would become a great place for him to come and access their many resources and programming. Truthfully, at that moment I wasn’t thinking past the stink from his diaper, but agreed and signed up for our cards.
Perks to getting a library card for your baby:
- Access to a lifetime of free learning and resources
- Encourages a love for reading
- Socialization for parent and child
- Connects your child to people, places and opportunities in the community
- Reduced late fees (phew!)
For us, each visit to the library was unique. Sometimes we would start in the children’s section, find new books and cuddle in for a read. If baby was content, it was ME time! I loved flipping through the latest trendy magazines, finding my new book club read or simply browsing through the aisles. Our visits ended with us borrowing anything from music to books, magazines and media all for FREE. It gave me a giddy kind of “start the car” feeling!
When my son turned 4 months old, we started taking part in the children’s programming. This quickly became a weekly highlight, with exciting story-telling, songs, puppet shows and crafts too. As the years passed, craft time evolved into computer learning, movie night, LEGO creations and ended with fantastic book suggestions from seasoned staff. Personally, I loved getting out with friends to take in their adult programs from finances all the way to perennial gardening. There is always so much going on at the library and eager staff to help you along the way.
Strolling back into the library fourteen years ago was such a great idea. My son’s library card is well-loved, and although he has never read War and Peace (neither have I), we are so much richer for the experiences we’ve had and are yet to have. I feel so fortunate to have access to the library – it’s such an amazing resource for the whole community.
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For parenting information or to speak with a public health nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) simply dial 311 or 905-825-6000