On April 4-9, grab the rattles and stroll on in to Gail Borden Public Library, 270 N. Grove Ave. in Elgin, or the Rakow Branch, 2751 W. Bowes Road, for all things baby!
This year's Baby Fest lasts all week with activities for current and expectant parents. Whether it's learning about birth options with a birth doula, getting a prenatal massage, or dancing alongside baby in a Zumba class, participants of all ages are guaranteed to learn, bond and have fun.
Concluding the week-long festivities, organizations and vendors will attend the annual Baby Fest starting at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 9, at the main library. Families are invited to receive the latest baby information in the area and get entered to win the prize drawing at 1 p.m.
Giggle, play and learn at these events:
• On Monday, April 4, join "Empowering Your Birth: Options for a Safe and Satisfying Childbirth" at 6:30 p.m. at the main library. Kate Taylor, a birth doula of Creative Childbirth Concepts, will show attendees will learn how to build a strong birth support team; discover their preferences for birth; shape their birth environment for relaxation, rest and recovery; make informed choices; and reduce their risks and fears of childbirth. Registration is required.
• If you like to dance and get a workout at the same time, join an hour of Zumba at 7 p.m. Monday, April 4, at the main library. In "Baby and Me Zumba," you can work out with your baby stroller along with gentle baby-and-me dancing. Zumba takes the "work" out of workout by combining different elements of fitness like cardio, muscle toning, balance and flexibility. Kim, from Dance It Off with Kim, will present this fun program. No registration is required.
• Sign up for Itsy Bitsy Yoga at 6 or 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 5, at the Rakow Branch. Yoga postures designed to support baby's development with calming ways to enhance bonding and improve baby's sleep. No yoga experience is required. It will be presented by Radiant Heart Yoga. Registration is required.
• Celebrate the excitement of your pregnancy with a "baby bump" photo opportunity on Tuesday, April 5, at 5, 5:30, 6 or 6:30 p.m., at the main library. Britni, from Britni Michael Photography, will be taking complimentary photos of expectant moms in the serene setting of the River Room. Photos will be uploaded onto Gail Borden Public Library's Flickr account for viewing by all participants and downloading to their own device. Registration is required.
• Enjoy "Macaroni Soup featuring Miss Carole and Clarence" at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 6, at the main library. A sing-along, do along, dance-along family concert! Come sing, dance, and learn through music and movement with Miss Carole and Clarence of Macaroni Soup!
• Sign up for "Attachment Parenting 101" at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 7, at the Rakow Branch. Is Attachment Parenting the latest fad, or something more? Is it the same as Free-range Parenting, Permissive Parenting or Helicopter Parenting? Come hear a brief history of Attachment Parenting International, learn the Eight Principals of Parenting, and share in a group question-and-answer period. Children and babies are welcome. This event, sponsored by API of West Dundee, will be presented by Megan Bell, API Support Group Leader. Registration is required.
• Stop guessing what your baby is trying to tell you. Register for "Baby Sign Language" at 9:15 and 10 a.m. in the main library. Baby Sign Language allows babies to communicate long before they can verbalize their wants and needs. Designed for expectant parents and parents/caregivers with babies from birth to 24 months. This is a 30-minute program. Registration is required; registration begins Monday, March 28.
• Parents and caregivers are invited to learn basic fitness moves using a stroller for support and resistance in "Stroller Slides Presented by FIT4MOM" at 11 a.m. Friday, April 8, in the main library. Little ones in strollers are welcome at this demonstration that incorporates walking techniques, strength and toning moves, songs, and activities. Stroller-free observers welcome. Please wear comfortable shoes and be willing to sign an insurance waiver.
• Hand, shoulder, neck or scalp massages for expectant moms provided by Sheryl Frazier, a licensed massage therapist from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, April 9. Registration is required.
• On Saturday, April 9, stop by or "stroller" in to receive the latest baby information in the area during "Baby Fest" from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the main library. Prize drawing will be 1 p.m.
The following organizations and vendors will be represented: A Special Bond, Advocate Sherman Hospital - Family Birthing Center, Babies R Us, Balance Family Chiropractic, College Illinois!, Community Crisis Center, Creative Childbirth Concepts, Dayone Network, Discovery Toys, Elgin Babies, Elgin Partnership for Early Learning, FIT4MOM Bartlett, Fluff Envy, Food For Greater Elgin, Fox Valley API, Greater Elgin Family Care Center, Kane County Health Department, Precious Prints by Rachel, Radiant Heart Yoga, SAM'S Club of Elgin, The Bean Hat Company, TLC Pregnancy Services, U-46 Give Me Five!, United Way of Elgin, Usborne Books & More, Well Child Center, and YWCA Metropolitan Chicago.
Bring baby and baby's new library card to a class designed especially for Baby's First Library Card holders at 10:30 a.m. at the main library. Learn about programs and resources to support your baby's early literacy development and receive a special gift! For babies up to 6 months old and their parents. It will be presented in Spanish at 11:30 a.m. Registration is preferred.
To get more information, or to register, visit gailborden.info/babyfest.