Advice for New Parents in the Annapolis Valley: You Didn’t Ask, But We’ll Take the Opportunity to Tell You Anyhow

Advice for New Parents in the Annapolis Valley: You Didn’t Ask, But We’ll Take the Opportunity to Tell You Anyhow

We asked ourselves and our readers what new parents in this beautiful Valley need to know. Here’s some of what we heard back — Check out our facebook page for more great tidbits of advice.

“I found maternity leave to be quite an isolating experience, so I tried to find one thing that would get me out of the house every day. My favourite activity was going for hikes with the Hike It Baby Wolfville group. Once a week the group organizes a walk somewhere around Kings County. Some of the hikes are fast-paced and are more suited to ‘baby-wearing,’ and some of the hikes are toddler-paced. It was a great way to get out in nature and meet parents of young children. I also enjoyed going to the parent/tot swim at the Waterville pool (Tuesdays at 11am), and the Babies & Books programs at the libraries across the County (yeah… I made my library rounds!). Another great activity was Mooncoast Yoga’s Wiggle Giggle & Flow classes. Have to breastfeed mid-warrior pose? No problem!”
Genevieve Allen Hearn

“Eat, sleep, poop group for 1 year-olds and under at Inquisitive Baby in Wolfville is amazing. They offer coffee, snacks, and chitchat therapy for parents. My little guy loves it there and never wants to leave! They have staff that are very knowledgeable about baby safety gear.”
Patricia Davidson

“Join a Mom and Tot fitness group, no matter what fitness level you are. It’s great for your mind and body, and you’ll make friends with other moms who know what you’re going through! I recommend Stroller Fit with Fitness Junkies.”
Melissa MacDonald

“Get yourself a friend group/baby club/tribe/village/whatever. They’re awesome and worth it.”
Britt Mastroianni

“The Family Resource Centre in Kentville is amazing!”
Meghan Pineo

“There can be a lot of pressure to put on the “perfect parent” face, but the reality is that every parent has parts that come easy and parts that are a struggle. So getting out to meet other parents who are facing similar challenges and can cheer you on is probably the best advice I can give.”
Monica Jorgensen

“Hands down, the very best baby storytime program is at the Wolfville Library. It’s the kind of place where you and your baby are always welcome, and where you will make new friends.”
Johanna Rosolen

“Baby wearing with an ergonomic carrier will take you off the beaten path. Great for all of the hikes and beaches to explore.”
Holly Ess

“The soccer dome is a great place to walk inside out of the elements. The old rail trail is stroller-friendly and the marsh is too. Grab a good-quality carrier and hike the ravine or the gorge. Explore the stores in your local area before having a baby and scout out which are stroller-accessible and which are not to save yourself the hassle of making plans to get out and do some shopping and realizing your can’t fit or take your stroller.”
Lexie Burgess Misner

“Take them outside! Fresh air and a change of scenery does a world of good for both baby and parents. There are a TON of playgroups around, run by local family resource centres and some independent groups/parents. Family Matters, the Annapolis County Family Resource Centre, is an excellent resource. They have many different playgroups from Kingston to Annapolis Royal. They have a program called “parenting journey” and will come out to you and help with any parenting-related challenges you may have. They also have a family home daycare agency and help families find quality childcare.”
Laura White

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help!”
Zoe D’Amato

“Using free facilities like libraries or the open gyms, or the Kentville soccer dome, are great ways to get out of the house and get moving with your kids. I often hear that moms just stay home to save money. There are cheap ways to have fun with your kids, like outdoor playgrounds. Everyone active, burning energy, and having fun are great stress relieving strategies. I parent better when my kids are on the go enjoying the many free fun spots our Valley has to offer.”
Rebecca Pineo

ValleyFamilyFun.ca is a place that parents gotta get to know as their child grows. This site is well managed and will share everything from recreation info, shopping for kids and babies, hiking, parks, beaches, events, March break camps….really the list goes on. They even have a Google calendar.”
Holly Ess

“Take hand-me-downs and check the second-hand shops when you can! I’ve found great stuff in Frenchies, Consigner’s Place in New Minas, and Baby Central Consignment in Coldbrook. Trust me, babies don’t care if things aren’t brand-new.”
Emily Leeson

“Things to do: Any of the libraries (Kentville has a fresh new look), The SHAFT program at the soccer dome in Kentville, Cotton Tale Café + Play for play time & delicious, healthy snacks. Hiking & biking. There are lots of great trails in the Valley.”
Anita Bezanson

“Parenting tip: create a support group with other parents, don’t worry so much about always having to be on time (babies make their own time frames), and get out of the house as much as possible – cabin fever sets in quick! Favourite baby group: Wolfville Library baby group, Port Williams Library baby group, and Port Williams play group at United Baptist Church (no religious affiliation with the play group). Important advice: Take time for yourself – it is easier said then done, but make sure to have a nap/shower/eat when you can, and don’t feel guilty for doing so! Take others’ advice with a grain of salt, you will soon learn that everyone has an opinion about everything. Don’t let people judge you for using pumped milk/formula/cold rather than hot/etc., if that is what works best for you and baby, then that is all that matters.”
Mike Kirk