As a stay-at-home mom to four kids, I was always on the hunt for classes and activities for babies when my kids were little. It was so nice to find a good activity or class that I could do with my babies to keep them occupied and active and for me to get out of the house and meet other moms.
Luckily, there are many different kinds of activities and classes for babies and their caregivers to keep you busy throughout your baby's first year. I'm excited to share this list of things to do with babies in Niagara.
10 Mommy and Me Classes and Activities for Babies and Their Caregivers
An EarlyON Centre is a place for children up to the age of six and their parents and caregivers to take part in programs and activities together. You can drop-in anytime with your child and there is no schedule while you’re there. Sometimes there is a circle time led by one of the staff, but joining in is optional. They also offer classes and seminars, such as infant massage and crafts. Parents and caregivers can also get information about their child’s development and about services to support that development. https://www.niagararegion.ca/living/childcare/early-years/default.aspx
There are also EarlyON Child & Family Centres run through the DSBN. These EarlyON Child & Family Centres are bright, fun places that offer games, books, music and toys for parents and children to experience together. Each Centre is staffed by an Early Childhood Educator who further supports children’s learning through story and music time activities. The EarlyON Centre also features a lending library with multilingual stories and parenting books. You don’t need to register and these centres are free to attend. Drop in any time during the school year. https://www.dsbn.org/earlylearners/earlyon-child-family-centres
Life With A Baby is a parent peer-support network that offers a mix of in-person and online events, workshops, groups, and resources to help parents manage the expectations and challenges of parenthood. The Niagara chapter holds free events several times a month for parents and babies, such as stroller walks, playdates, and crafts. https://www.lifewithababy.com/Niagara-Region
Niagara Region: Health Clinics, Courses, and Classes
Love my Baby - Parents with babies (12 months and under)
Love My Baby is a free program parents are welcome to attend with their babies during their first year. The three week program encourages parents to interact with their babies in ways that promote secure attachment, communication and brain development. This program combines hands-on activities, parent reflection and discussion. The core messages within the program include "making the connection" with love, language and learning.
Baby Talk - Parents and their baby (6 months and under)
Baby Talk classes are run by public health nurses throughout the year at locations across the Niagara area. Parents and babies meet each week for four to five weeks discuss baby issues with the group. Classes are free and you can register online.
Each class will be approximately two hours in length and will give you the opportunity to:
- Share your experiences of being a new parent
- Talk about how babies grow, learn, and play
- Talk about safety, sleep, crying and feeding your baby
- Learn about attachment and early brain development
- Learn about community resources for you and your baby
- Ask the Public Health Nurse questions you may have about your baby
Babies should be newborn to six months old.
Local libraries offer programs for babies and parents that include singing songs, reading stores, making music and other activities. There is usually a very small fee.
Mom and Baby Yoga
Mom and baby yoga is a fun way for you to regain strength and flexibility, to bond with your baby in an enjoyable activity, and to connect with other moms.
You will get fit learning various dances, all the while wearing your baby. Babies will get all the benefits of babywearing while mommies will stretch, tone, and “cardio” to fun tunes.
Parents will learn a full baby massage routine to ultimately let their baby relax and let go of tension.
FITMOM provides prenatal, postnatal and beyond fitness, yoga, personal training and birth services.
FITMOM classes are a great way to meet other new moms, get in shape, feel more energized and most importantly have fun while bonding with your baby.
Fitmom Niagara offers Stroller Strength Classes regularly.
Town/City Recreation Programs
Most of the towns/cities in the region offer fun and friendly classes for parents and babies. Check out your local Leisure Guides for times and locations.
CAPC Niagara Brighter Futures is a weekly free drop in program that values family and community cohesiveness. Programming builds upon the strengths that each individual brings, supporting families to overcome barriers for success and eliminates isolation. Participants share of themselves with each other and the program provides much needed resources. Programs are available in St. Catharines, Welland, and Niagara Falls. Schedules can be found on their Facebook page.
Fitness classes with baby
Active Stroller/Baby & Me are great classes that focuses on conditioning your post-partum body in a safe and fun environment. Exercises will involve using your body weight, resistance bands and weights while engaging with your little one! It’s a great chance to meet others while having fun too!
Harmony Yoga and Music
From newborns to toddlers, Harmony has a class for parents/caregivers and babies to learn, laugh, and enjoy quality time together. Socialization is a key component of early childhood development and there is no better opportunity to make friends than at the studio! You and your child will build foundations in music, movement, and communication that will enrich these important early years! Each class is an experience that you and your child can share with each other. http://harmonyyogamusic.com/
Emily Pollak - Workshops
Emily Pollak is a counsellor in St. Catharines, specializing in perinatal mental health. She offers programs and workshops for new moms, such as her “This is Moms” group, which gives women the opportunity to share the joys and challenges of motherhood.
Heather Boyd - Workshops
Heather Boyd is an Occupational Therapist in Niagara. She regularly holds classes and workshops for mothers, such as an Infant Sleep Café, a free drop-in workshop that provides the opportunity to connect with other moms, share experiences, and support each other around the challenges of infant and child sleep.
Take your baby with you to Cineplex Odeon Niagara Square Cinemas Wednesdays at 1pm or Cineplex Odeon Seaway Mall Cinemas Thursdays at 1pm, to enjoy a choice of two new movies, with lowered volume and dimmed lighting, change tables and bottle warmers.
Swimming lessons are available for parent and infants (6 months+).
University of Brock Aquatics: http://brocku.ca/recreation-services/aquatics
The City of St Catharines Swimming Lessons: http://www.stcatharines.ca/en/playin/Swimming-Lessons.asp
Boys & Girls Club of Niagara Aquatics: http://www.boysandgirlsclubniagara.org/programs/niagara-falls/aquatic-programs
City of Niagara Falls Swimming Lessons: http://www.niagarafalls.ca/living/community-facilities/swimming-lesson-schedules.aspx
Aquafit Niagara: www.aquaticfitniagara.com/
Stroller-Friendly Walking Trails
The Friendship Trail is a 13km asphalt and paved multi-use trail that extends from Gorham Road in Ridgeway to Historic Fort Erie on Lakeshore Road at Niagara Boulevard.
Chippawa Lions Park Fitness Pathway
A 2km asphalt pathway of two large loops is located south of Main Street long Oliver Street. This pathway is lit for evening walking.
E.E. Mitchelson Park
Access the park area off of Glendoone Street, just south of Huggins Street. An asphalt trail exists between the senior soccer pitch and the remaining soccer pitches.
Haulage Road Trail
This 1.5km asphalt route is located on a former Haulage Road. Access the route’s northern point by travelling south-east from the Mountain Road and Dorchester Road intersection to St. Paul Avenue.
John N. Allan Park
Access this walking trail off of Kalar Road, just north of McLeod Road. Walk along the asphalt pathway or take the short natural loop through the existing wooded area.
This asphalted trail extends 2kms from McLeod Road at Oakwood Drive to Lundy's Lane.
Niagara River Parkway Recreation Trail
This multi-use, paved, 56km trail runs parallel to the Niagara River.
Welland Canals Parkway Trail
The Welland Canals Parkway Trail is a 3 metre wide asphalt trail along the Welland Canal.
Located in south St. Catharines on Edgedale Road, east of Glenridge Avenue, features a front loop that is paved.