Here’s to dads! Times have a-changed and men are now spending more time than ever with their little ones. How great! On top of this, the new parental sharing benefit in Canada further encourages men to spend more time with their new babies to promote greater gender equality. So take advantage! But with so many activities that focus on “Mommy and Me”, it can be intimidating and a bit of a struggle to find a place that is welcoming.
I’ll be honest: there are a few great programs downtown that specifically exclude men with their babies. The most common reason given is for ‘women to feel comfortable talking about personal topics with other women who can relate’. This is unfortunate. At the very least, perhaps those establishments could start a ‘daddy and baby’ program to balance their program offerings. I’ve asked around for friends’ husbands ideas but so far, they pretty much wander around and go to parks. So, with a bit of digging, I have found some great suggestions for new and current dads of babies/toddlers that may fit the bill!
Dad & Baby-Friendly Programs:
- Music Together: The Amici School of Music on Locke St. offers a number of classes for little kids and one specifically for “Babies Only”. Perfect for dads looking to bond over musical activities!
- Baby Storytime: Get out of the house and get thee to the library! Have fun learning a variety of songs, rhymes and stories designed to foster early language development and a love of reading. For 0-24 months and offered at a variety of downtown library locations (often weekly!) so check out the schedule here!
- Infant Massage: Infant massage classes are a fun way to learn how to soothe your baby, relieve tummy upsets, learn to understand your baby’s non-verbal language and much, much more. Offered by the EarlyON Child & Family centres across downtown. Contact your closest location to register for this sweet 4-week program!
- Baby Picasso: Get messy! Infants (or toddlers) and dads can explore different art mediums and explore sensory materials. Also offered in a 4-week program format at your local EarlyON centre.
- Strollerfit: Break a sweat while hanging out with your baby! This program is designed for “postnatal parents” so men are welcome! Work out with cardio, strengthening and floor exercises and enjoy a social circle to chat with other new parents.
Any of these peak your interest? Don’t forget- all the programs I covered in my previous “Coffee & Babies” post are also a great spot for dads to take their babies. So check those out too! If you have any other suggestions, do let me know. I feel like so many men out there are looking for welcoming, dad-friendly environments. Plus, my husband will be looking for things to do too 🙂 Til next time!