Becoming a parent and starting a family is something many people hope to do in life. Such an amazing life event is also one that comes with a lot of new experiences, knowledge and expenses.
The library and its resources may not come to mind during this period in life, but this post will discuss why expecting and new parents should look to visit their local library for help and support.
Books and Information
It is no secret that libraries provide important information through books, flyers, online materials and social groups. There are many different types of materials available at the library that expecting parents can check out to get prepared for when becoming a parent.
Many libraries have dedicated shelves for soon to be new parents. These dedicated sections in the library provide informational books on the pregnancy and the parenting process as well as what one can expect to deal with. Another resource that can be found at the library are books that are full of baby names which can provide some inspiration for expecting parents.
Libraries also provide access to online materials for parents. St. Thomas Public Library in Ontario, Canada, provides online resources such as a “Baby Centre” where both soon to be parents and new parents can access a due date calculator as well as information about health, nutrition and birth clubs that parents can get involved with.
Colchester Library in the UK puts on a class called “Welcome New Baby and You”. The class at the library provides a comfortable area for expecting and new parents to come together and to socialise. This is a great way for parents to make new friends and share experiences with each other.
Language and Rhyming Activities
A very popular activity provided by many libraries internationally is a rhyme time or audible classes for babies and their parents. A great example of this can be found in Green Square Library in Sydney where they provide a Mandarin rhyme time. There are songs and rhymes that are sung in Mandarin to support and nurture literacy and language development.
Rayleigh Library in the UK also have a language and literacy focused class that they provide for parents and their babies. This class allows the babies in the class to listen to stories and songs in Spanish.
Glebe Library in Sydney hosts a rhyme time for babies that include singing, music, rhymes and puppets to cultivate early literacy skills for the babies participating.
Similarly, there are also fun and interactive activities for parents and their babies offered at Coggeshall Library, there is a “Cheeky Monkeys Rhymes and Stories Time that provides stories, rhymes and crafts to the parents and babies who attend.
Brent Council’s Libraries also provide interactive classes to help with literacy development. They provide a “Bookstart Story and Rhyme Time” class for children under five.
Colchester Library offers a “Daddy Cool” club where fathers and their babies can come together for an assortment of fun activities while strengthening the father-baby bond while meeting other fathers too.
Active Development in Libraries
Some other interesting activities offered at libraries that hopefully will be provided at more libraries in the future are activities like baby massages, baby yoga and creative play areas.
At West Dunbartonshire Libraries in the UK, they offer many activities for babies and their parents. A great example of this is their baby massage class that focuses on babies from 8 weeks old where the parent provides touch therapy that helps with health development, relaxation and security for both the baby and parents.
Another class offered at West Dunbartonshire Libraries for parents and their newborns is baby yoga classes. This class allows the baby and parent to relax, stretch and build the parent-baby bond. Baby yoga classes encourage brain development and stimulate senses while also incorporating some songs during the class.
At Dokk1 Library in Aarhus, Denmark, parents can bring their babies and young children to the library to watch movies. This can be a fun activity for parents and their babies that can instil how fun the library is in children from a very early age. Dokk1 Library also has a creative play area for babies (ages 0-3 years old). This play area is equipped with mattresses, sensory toys, and play furniture that allows babies to explore some freedom and develop motor skills and some independence in a safe and controlled area.
Time to Visit the Library
From these examples, it is clear that libraries all over the world are definitely a place that can provide many benefits to parents, babies and families with various resources. Public libraries are perfectly equipped to both assist and benefit people that are expecting, have just become a new parent or families with young children. To have a place provide a wide variety of resources for people and their babies (and often they are free of charge too) is something that should be shared and used. Make sure to spread the word.
We will be back next week with another interesting article from the library world!
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