Moms, dads and even grandparents who live on the city's north side don't have to drive across town to give their babies a Day Out.
The Thunder Bay District Health Unit announced Thursday the Babies’ Day Out Parent and Infant program will be returning to its original location at Algonquin Avenue Public School. The program had two locations in the city’s south side.
Feedback from parents showed they would rather have one of the two locations located in the city's north side. The program is offered to anyone with a child 12-months-old or younger.
That came as good news for Laura Jurimae.
“I think it’s a wonderful program in our community,” Jurimae said.
“This location is very convenient for me because I am very close to it. I do think it is good that there are two locations across the city. If you go between both sites you get to meet new people. The other site can often be fairly busy so this provides the space for moms and babes.”
Jurimae started the program in 2006 with her first son, Liam.
She said she wanted to get out of the house a lot and the program offered her a way to do that.
In addition to getting out of the house, a public health nurse often visits to give new moms some tips such as good sleeping habits and how to breast feed.
Now using the program with her third son, Quinn, she said her best advice for new moms is to follow their hearts and do what they feel is right.
“It offers moms a great opportunity to network with new moms and experienced moms,” she said.
“I think the babies really enjoy coming as well because it’s a lot of sensory stimulation. We sing to them and there’s always new faces for them to look at.”
Rosemary Scofich, public health nurse with the District Health Unit, said besides the move the hours have changed as well. On average, the number of parents who use the facility can range from a single mother to more than 20.
“It’s an opportunity for parents to connect with other people that are perhaps at the same stage in life,” Scofich said. “There’s social support but we also have resources here. There’s an early childhood educator and myself as well as a dietitian. We have informal discussions on a variety of topics.”
The program offers drops on Thursday at Algonquin Thursdays from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. as well as Sherbrook Public School from 1 to 3 p.m.
There is no fee for registration and parents can simply drop in or visit the District Health Unit’s website for more information on scheduling.
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