Taking Baby to Library Tips
The library is traditionally known as a quiet place, a place where scholars and curiosity seekers to learn more about the world through books. Before parents had their children, library time was simple. You obtain a library card, come in to the library to get your books at will, or maybe even read on the spot if it suited you. Things with baby aren’t so simple, given that babies are the opposite of quiet sometimes. Taking baby to a library can be a very tricky proposition if any of the following occur:
- Baby starts to cry because of irritability
- Baby needs a diaper change
- Baby suddenly becomes bored
A day at the library is no longer going to be as simple as grabbing your library card and heading off for the day anymore. Once you’ve got a little one on your hands, everything you do will need to be structured around their needs while you’re on the go. Whether taking baby to a library is a good idea will depend on the needs of your child for that particular day you want to go.
1. Be Prepared to Leave Early
If you’re a student, this is going to be more important than if you’re just making casual trips to libraries because you love them and want to share in that love with your child. Students may not be able to always take their babies, and instead they can have a friend, family member, or partner watch their baby while they study for long hours. Common sense says that very few people will want to take a baby to a library for a five hour stretch of studying. Use common sense in this situation. It’ll save you and other library patrons a lot of trouble.
Many parents understandably worry that taking baby to a library is going to disturb other library patrons with a baby. The truth is, this situation is flexible and you can come and go at will. If you’re planning an hours-long stretch at the library, sometimes you’ll need to have a sitter watch your baby while you make this type of trip to the library. On other days, you can successfully achieve taking baby to a library through these following steps.
2. Determine Baby’s Mood
A day at the library with a baby is only a good idea if all systems are aligned with your baby. What does that mean? Well, it means your baby is in an overall pleasant mood, doesn’t have an illness at the current time, and seems amenable to a library atmosphere. A screaming baby doesn’t have much of a place in a library, but you can’t control what they do after you leave. What you can do is make sure it’s a good time for your baby to go to one of the quietest places on earth. By estimating your baby’s mood in a given day, you can decide whether it’s a good time to head out for the library. If it’s not, either wait or get a sitter instead of taking baby to a library.
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3. Talk to a Librarian
Of all people, your librarian understands why you want to introduce your baby to a library setting early in life. The earlier you begin taking them and getting them comfortable with the library, the more sweet library time you’ll be able to enjoy with your young child. Taking baby to library at very young ages will typically be easier than when they are 6 months or older. Your little newborn might not care much about what’s going on around him or her, but your 6 month old is going to need to give a warning before they show up. Talk to your librarian and get suggestions or approval for introducing your child to the wonderful world of libraries. They’ll give you great tips for taking baby to a library.
4. A Quick Trip
Thankfully, a trip to the library doesn’t usually have to last any length of time. Even parents who are students can usually swing by the library with their little one to familiarize them with the environment for 10-15 minutes, and then save the longer trips for later. A quick trip to the library with your baby helps both them and you understand what you’re facing. Even if it’s just a trip in the door, letting them take in the sights of the books and people, and then going right back out to the car and home, you’re helping your baby feel comfortable in a library. Later on, it will be easier taking your baby to a library.
5. Take All the Gear
Your baby’s gear needs to travel with him or her wherever they go. It usually includes blankets, bottles, diapers, pacifiers, toys, and any other soothing things that keep them calm when they’re out in public. Forgetting even one of these essentials is going to make for a quick exit from your trip to the library, and that’s exactly what you’re trying to avoid. Make a list out of the things your baby might need while you’re in the library, and make sure to pack all of those things, and then double check the bag before you head out the door. Once again, if you’re taking baby to a library, you need everything they might need during that stretch of time.
6. Grab a Library Card
Your child might not be old enough to check out books, but it’s never too early to sign them up for a library card and keep it in safekeeping until they’re old enough to understand what it is. If your baby is older and even talking, you may be able to explain what you’re doing and just how important their library card is to them. Sure, it’s not going to hit home with them just yet, but it’s introducing them to a wonderful world that they will use later on. It’s never too early to grab that first library card when taking baby to a library, and it’ll be there later when they start loving books. And thanks to you, they will at least grow up with an awareness of how important books are.
7. Encourage Reading
You don’t know yet if your child will be a reader or even use libraries later on, but exposure to libraries at an early age might increase the chances your baby will one day have the same love of libraries and books that you do. And isn’t that what all parents want to do? Pass on their love of certain things to their children? The earlier you start taking your baby to the library, the more familiar they will be with it when that age comes that books become a regular part of their lives. Taking baby to a library is your first step.
8. Attend Storytime
Storytime for toddlers is an important part of most library programs. They want toddlers to come and hear great books read aloud that are suitable for their age so that they will develop a love of books that they can carry through life. Parents want this for their children, too, but they want to be respectful of everyone else in the library as well, and that can be tough if you have a toddler or young baby who is making noise.
9. Respect Other Visitors
Being respectful of other library visitors is of the utmost importance when you take your baby into this setting. Librarians want your babies in the library, believe it or not, but they want everyone else to have a quiet, peaceful time at their library, too. If your baby begins to cry, you can always step out with your baby until they’re quieted and feeling better. You aren’t stuck at the library either. You’re always free to leave and return later with your child.
As you and baby become more accustomed to trips to the library, you’ll find that the greatest thing about the whole experience is the time you both get to spend together in an environment that will serve you both well over the course of your lives. Children still need basic library skills, the ability to check out books, and a love of those same books. You’re doing your baby a tremendous favor by introducing them to the library early in life. Therefore, he or she will become more comfortable with it as time goes on. By the time they’re toddler age, storytime will be second nature.
Whether you’re taking a newborn that might sleep the entire time (libraries are great for sleeping babies), or you’re taking a toddler for storytime, all of these tips will give you an easier way to get things done and show your beautiful new baby a whole new world of books and socializing. It’s a quiet, peaceful place for you to bond with your little one.