You prepared for your birth experience and packed your hospital bag weeks in advance of needing it. Your nursery is organized and clean, and tiny sleepers are washed and ready to be worn. Your bedside table has What to Expect The First Year, Breastfeeding Basics and two half full glasses of water and a record of all baby's first poops, pees and feedings.
You finally feel like you would like to leave this nest and try going out with your new baby. But where? And how?
Ottawa has so many family-friendly activities and places to visit, but if you're new to parenthood it might be daunting to go out. Your diaper bag might not have everything in it, or you're scared you'll forget something if you venture out with baby. Fear not! You have everything you need as long as you have your baby and your keys, and maybe a pacifier.
Your local Early Years Centre has drop-in programming for 0-12 month olds, and is a great place to start if you want to meet other new moms in your community. A trip to IKEA can be easy because it's a very family friendly store, with clean washrooms and lots of places to change the baby. You can enjoy a cinnamon bun while your baby snoozes in a carrier or the stroller. The Ottawa Public Library offers baby story time at all locations (check your location for times) and is another free activity that's great for making new friends with babies. Pop Up Painters offers three week baby sensory classes, a perfect amount of time to try it out without weeks of commitment.
Finally, remember that not all outings are successful. Sometimes just getting in the car is exhausting and baby cries once she is placed in the car seat. Sometimes finding a drive-through coffee is enough to get out of the house and change the scenery, and make you appreciate that spot in bed just that much more.