I should start off by saying I’m not actually giving away any free stuff. I have recently started the unpaid portion of my maternity leave, which i am lucky enough to be in a position to take, and as such have been on the lookout for free stuff I can do with the baba. Here is what we get up to, in no particular order;

Parks: if your baba is anything like mine, trees are fascinating, like properly amazing. She can spend ages rubbernecking at them and anything else you might find n a park like ducks, and leaves. OK so the depths of winter are not ideal for long walks but once that sun looks like its out so are we.

Art class: The national gallery run a buggy friendly tour about once a month. I’m no art geek but this was actually very interesting, and free. Details are at this link http://www.nationalgallery.ie/Learning/Tours.aspx

Libraries: lots of local libraries run activities for small people, although to be fair most are geared towards toddlers. That said, a bit of story time never hurt anyone no matter how young and we are planning to pop along to our local library in the coming weeks.

Treats: The salary might be taking a break for a few months but I think you still need to have a few treats up your sleeve. My two favourite, relatively inexpensive, things to do are still mum and baby cinema (although baba is getting a bit wriggly for it) and simply meeting a friend for coffee – Starbucks can be nearly as fascinating as a park to a small person sometimes.

Aside from the above I also did a bit of forward planning towards the end of last year – we signed the baba up and paid for a few activities while i was still getting paid which will start over the coming weeks namely music classes (which I suspect will just be a lot of banging at things and trying to eat instruments) and swimming classes. On the swimming classes I found by contacting the local pool directly I discovered they did their own classes for about half the cost of some of the baby swimming class companies out there. I’m sure those companies are great and obviously they have to pay to rent pools etc but I just found them a bit expensive.

So that is pretty much it, it’s not a lot maybe – but it’s something! The sun is out so it’s coats and footmuffs on and off we go to see how the ducks are getting on. I think mum probably deserves a coffee today too.