December 16, 2019 12amSummer Walters
The thing I remember most about having a newborn is, though I thought I knew everything, I knew nothing. Going home from the hospital, I remember feeling like I was all ready with my perfect Shel Silverstein themed room, ten baby wearing devices, blankets all folded, diapers put away and my wipe warmer on and ready to go. Then, that first sleepless night hit and life. got. real. I was a mom and my life as I knew it was completely different.
I didn’t know about postpartum depression/anxiety and that sleepless nights contributed to it. I didn’t know that breastfeeding was hard or that it takes 5 times longer to get out of the house or even that I didn’t really need a diaper warmer. I also didn’t know that these scary feelings are totally normal. I didn’t know that talking to other moms about them would help.
You know what I did know? That walking the mall 1000 more times than I ever did before I became a mom — WOULD actually help. That going to the park and carrying my baby in the carrier while we watched other kids play would help. Going to the zoo was a balm for my soul - seeing other moms carrying their babies and toddlers around, helped. I knew that the MOST important thing was to get out and do things. I stumbled through, got some parking passes and went places. And made it through. I may have even enjoyed myself!
You know what I wish I knew? Things to do with my first (and my second) besides the usual mall marathon, zoo-mania and park lurking. Even in the winter time, when parks and outdoor malls might not be possible to go to during a particularly snowy or cold week. Knowing about fun, indoor activities would have been SUPER helpful.
Mama’s of newborns, I want YOU to know: Getting out and doing things with your baby will help you survive your first year of motherhood. Even if just for an hour - do it. ESPECIALLY when it’s cold and wintery outside.
I polled some of my awesome #momfriends about where to go here in the Treasure Valley in wintry weather and this is what we chose as our
Top 5 Indoor Things to Do With Your Winter Baby:
FITNESS &/or PLAYGROUPS
FIT4MOM Mommy & Me Classes & FREE Playgroups
Shameless plug here, but that’s because so many of us (including me) will tell you that Stroller Strides saved our lives. If we did nothing else, we at least worked out with our babe next to us in a stroller (so we don’t feel guilty leaving them), we socialized, we maybe had some coffee and set our baby up for future health and social skills. It’s a win-win for #momme time and newborn advancement time.
FIT4MOM Boise Meridian or Hidden Springs "Mom and Me" class at the Mall or Jumptime Boise or Hidden Springs are the perfect way to workout WITH your baby. You don’t have to drop them off at the gym with a stranger. They stay with you and what’s more, we include entertainment for them in the workout. This is a real workout for all stages, ages and fitness level groups - no leisurely walking the mall with coffee here!
Check out www.Boise.Fit4mom.com to find a class near you. Your first class is FREE so you can even try it out first if you are hesitant
Meridian classes Tuesdays/Fridays at 9:30 am JumpTime Meridian
Boise classes M-F at 9 am Boise Town Square
Hidden Springs Classes Mondays/Fridays at 9:15 AM in Hidden Springs
STORY TIME or MUSIC & MOVEMENT CLASSES
BABY STORY TIME Public Libraries are a GREAT way to get out and beat winter blues with your kiddos. From Toddler Time at the Main library on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10:30 AM to Baby Bownders Story time at 1:30 PM on Tuesdays, These are FREE events at ALL the treasure valley libraries! so check out the calendar to see where/when the newborn story time starts.
These are such great FREE resources and support groups to join - just to get out of the house! Don’t underestimate the power of support groups & their mentors. Not only is this a great way to meet other moms, work with a professional while you slog through motherhood but studies show that babies need consistency and a routine (so do older kids and parents by the way - so this will help your sanity, too!) so going to the same place every Tuesday at 10 am will create the start of a routine.
St. Als and St. Luke’s have GREAT Support Groups. A lot of moms I know found wonderful lifelong #momfriends in these groups - and fun things to do as a side-effect. Our favorite is St. Als Family Center Baby and Me Support Group on Tuesdays from 10 - 11 AM. They are free to join and good for both mom and baby. They have two locations - one in Boise and one in Nampa.
For info on the Support Groups check in HERE
NEWBORN SPECIFIC PLAY GYMS
If you’re a veteran mom with baby #2, #3 or #4, you know that play gyms for your tots is hugely beneficial to all. Tot plays hard for a while, works on their motor skills, you meet up with moms = easier bedtime = time for mom to breathe at night. All around beneficial for everyone. So what about newborns? Well, there are newborn specific Play gyms for babies to do tummy time or for mom to bring and help them with their sensory development. Here are our 3 favorites:
Woodland Kids This place is so amazing in general but for winter time - exceptionally perfect. First, they bring the outdoors inside by creating a beautiful bright space that is nature-inspired and eco-friendly. Then, they make sure that everything is clean (such a huge deal for newborn moms in the winter - avoiding sickness that can turn into something worse for a precious newborn is KEY) by disinfecting every day and even going so far as to include a waiver and disclaimer that if your kiddo is sick, they can’t come into the facility. Secondarily, they make everyone wear socks and lastly there is a NEWBORN - specific area that is only for kids 0-12 months. It’s for them to crawl, lay on their tummies (the owner’s mom hand crafted these beautiful tummy time pillows!) and sit up. It’s a winter time dream (not to mention the decor is so on point,I wish my kitchen looked like the kitchen play area).
Little Gym once your baby is 4 months old, you can enroll in little gym classes. Little gym is just that - it’s a gym space for babies to work in a class setting on their fine motor skills. Check out their Bugs & Birds Schedule:
Jabbers Another great indoor playground in the Nampa area is jabbers. It also boasts cleanliness and includes a 0-3 year old play area. This place also includes a cafe which is a plus for any sleep-deprived mama.
LOCAL MUSEUMS & AQUARIUMS
If there’s one thing I relied on to get me out, it was the local museums, aquariums and zoos. I would highly recommend you put the indoor locations in the rotation of things to do in the winter. The treasure valley has them all over but here are a few of my favorite:
Discovery Center Idaho is my number one. If nothing else, you get to walk around and expose your baby’s brain to all the sciency stuff housed there. They have a rotation of new exhibits every quarter and are always changing it up.
Children’s Museum of Idaho another great place to expose your newborn to - lots of kids interacting and educational things to look at. I personally have not been here yet, but we’ve had some of our location playgroups here and the moms love this destination.
Museum of Idaho is relatively new to the scene but offers a good spot to walk around with your newborn.
Aquarium of Boise Another fun outing to give your baby some beautiful & colorful things to look at is the Boise Aquarium. Centrally located, the aquarium boasts 250 animals and marine life so you can make a good morning or afternoon of it.
Boise Art Museum is one of our favorites for all ages, the BAM is another must include in the rotation. It has a baby/toddler/kids room with all kinds of fun things to do and construct.
SPECIAL MENTION - MOMS GROUPS
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the local #momgroups that play a big part in helping you survive newborn-hood, indoors. Though I don’t include these in our top 5 “things to do” these are great groups for moms to join to meet other moms. A lot of outings are planned by these groups and you can join any of them for Free (or a very small fee). This is actually a really fun way to find out what types of crafts, events or businesses offer for you and for your baby.
#momgroups for meet ups: Boise Babies and Tots, FIT4MOM Playgroups and Building Villages are perfect for just going to a group with your newborn and meeting other moms. A lot of outings are planned by these groups and you can join any of them for free. This is actually a really fun way to find out what types of crafts, events or businesses offer for you and your kids.
FIT4MOM Playgroups: Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
To find other moms groups, check out Meet Up.
We hope to see you out there, mama!