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Congratulations, new parent! And welcome to the club. Our membership has some seriously adorable privileges for its sleep-deprived, spit-up-upon masses. As you adjust to your newest job title as “Parent in Charge” and navigate the eating, sleeping, pooping haze of the newborn months, read on for everything a new Seattle parent must know so you can get the most out of the first year of parenting. Go you!

PNW baby in stroller

1) Confused about car seats? “Safety first” takes on a whole new meaning when you’re in change of another human being. It’s not worth taking a chance with your most precious cargo. The Safety Restraint Coalition’s website is a perfect square one when it comes to answering car seat questions. And if you’re looking to bring in a professional, you can find one there too. After all, the more you know…

2) Experiencing skinny jean envy? Every mom-to-be has had that moment when she slips on her first pair of maternity pants and realizes she doesn’t ever want to wear real pants again. But like any crush, maternity pant love fades, and eventually it’s time to get back to those skinny jeans. So when your true love comes calling, check out these awesome mommy and baby exercise programs. Your booty will be glad you did!

Fit 4 Mom Seattle City Mouse Studio

3) Need something, anything, everything STAT? If there’s one thing new parents don’t have, it’s time. There’s barely time to get in a shower let alone shop for groceries or diapers when you need them. Thank goodness for Al Gore and his amazing invention The Internet, where new-parent-needs are just a quick click away. Check out this amazing resource for every delivery need imaginable. We’re talking diapers, cupcakes, even balloons! And rely on this one when you’re feeling peckish. Fresh meals. To your door. Need we say more?

4) Trying to find time for a little pampering? Finding “me time” after baby comes is a true challenge for most new parents. But it’s oh-so-important to maintaining sanity. So if your nails need a perk me up, or you feel a massage coming on, check out 2BU Beauty, a mobile salon that brings services right to your home. With special motherhood packages you can even recharge while baby is napping. Ahhh, you really needed that!

5) Need a good cuppa? Your relationship with caffeine changes when you become a parent. What was once a dreaded no-no during pregnancy, becomes your best friend after months of sleep deprivation. So, when you’re dying for a cup of that liquid gold, but the thought of lugging the bucket seat into the coffee house is just too much, hit one of these awesome drive thrus: TNT Espresso on Capitol Hill, Firehouse Coffee in Ballard, or Red Cup Espresso in West Seattle or these convenient coffee drive-thrus around the city. Fuel on, newbie, fuel on.

6) Looking for some good conversation? There’s no denying that babies are super cute, but let’s be honest, they don’t say much. So when you’re wondering what’s behind all those post-worthy smiles and bubbly coos, check out a baby sign language class, workshop or private lesson at Visually Speaking. Just think of the conversations you can have!

7) Unquenchable thirst to belly up in a bar? Sometimes it’s the little things in the life of a parent that matter. Like heading to your favorite watering hole, and being able to bring your little one. Seattle bars are far from kid-friendly, but there are a few breweries in town where babies are welcome. In addition to these 9 super kid-friendly brew pubs, we’d also add Chuck’s Hop Shop to the list and these family-friendly happy hour spots. Drink up!

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8) Tying to find time for a good book? Head to your nearest Seattle Public Library branch, and while you’re there check out the baby story times. They’re an awesome way to hook your kids on a love of reading, plus it’s a free 30-minutes of sheer baby cuteness complete with songs, stories and rhymes. Bookmark these weekly classes!

9) Feeling a bit stretched? Take the little one for some parent/baby yoga time and get your flow back. We heart the Limber Babies classes at Limber Yoga in West Seattle. It’s a great way to spend a Monday morning with your wee one. Namaste!

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10) Trying to find your people? It’s true what they say about being in the trenches. It bonds you. Really bonds you. So find your trenchmates at any one of these 26 Seattle-area new parent clubs and start trading war stories. Your people are out there. We promise!

11) Dying to get out of the house? Psst. We’re gonna let you in on a little secret. Baby classes aren’t for babies. Sure they’re fun and everything for the kids, but they’re really for the parents! Who knew interacting with other adults could be so…amazing? So when you, er, the wee one needs a little musical socialization time, check out the weekly Baby Jam class in Wallingford or the weekly Sunshine Music Together classes held at various locations, or try out a Kindermusik class in your ‘hood. If you’ve got a wiggler, The Little Gym has awesome parent/child classes for babies as young as four months. Enjoy!

Baby jam

12) Got (breast) milk? Nursing your new one can be challenging and overwhelming. Because like any new experience, it’s well…new. So for all those questions and uncertainties that arise during the learning curve, check out Nurturing Expressions. This one-stop-shop has it all for nursing moms, from classes to workshops to bra fittings and breast pumps. They’ve got you covered!

13) Looking for some cool kid clothes? You wouldn’t be a Seattle parent if your bundle didn’t sport at least one ironic or vintage onesie in her lifetime. Find some super cute faves at the Boston Street Baby Store in Post Alley or Bootyland on Capitol Hill. It’s never too early for style!

Baby Rock Shirts Boston Street Kids FB

14) Need to take a dip? Oh, those sunny Seattle days are not to be wasted! So bring your sweet swimmer, some sunscreen and the beach bag over to Mounger Pool in Magnolia. We love their baby pool that’s just a wee bit warmer than most (it’s a comfy 94 degrees), so you and baby can float and bob without turning blue. Dive in!

15) Missing your big screen faves? No worries. Grab a pal, some popcorn and your babes, and then head over to the Lincoln Square Cinemas in Bellevue any Thursday at 10 a.m. They’ve got a different trifecta of silver screen hits playing each week, with the sound down and spots for strollers, so you can enjoy the latest blockbuster with your little one.

16) Rainy days got you down? No problem. Gear up your baby and his ride with Seattle-based RoSK’s (Rain or Shine Kids) locally-made rain gear products. You can find their awesome products at all the cool kid’s clothing and toy stores around the city. In Seattle we play in the rain!

17) Want a musical interlude you’ll love too? If you haven’t heard yet, Seattle is home to seriously cool kindie rockers that appeal to kids and parents. Caspar Babypants, The Not-It’s, and Recess Monkey are just a few of the musical phenoms worth taking your kiddos to see. We promise toe-tapping good times!

Do you have a question about navigating Seattle’s new-parent scene? Ask us in the comments section below!

–Allison Sutcliffe

Photos thanks to: Donna Ryan at City Mouse Studios, Boston Street Baby Store’s Facebook page, Limber Yoga’s Facebook page, Baby Jam’s website

AuPairCare_Logo Becoming a parent makes you an expert juggler. Between work, household chores, and coordinating childcare, date nights or spending a relaxed day at the park with the kids start to feel like luxuries. Learn more about the AuPairCare Childcare Program and how it can bring flexibility and peace of mind to your family.