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Bonding time: Parental leave

Making the most of parental leave

From SheKnows Canada
What a life-changing event! After months of waiting, your newborn has finally arrived. You've done the planning and are now ready to take parental leave to care for your little one. Make the most of it with these ideas!

New mom and baby

Taking maternity and parental leave gives a mom the opportunity to stay home and care for her newest family member. As any mom can attest, this is a great time to bond and enjoy a baby's first year! Read on for ways to make the most of this wonderful time.

Create special memories

Take your baby out into the world — to the zoo, a mommy and baby swimming class , the library or whatever suits your interests. Your baby will love the time spent with mom, although he or she will be too young to remember any of it, but you will, and that makes it special.

Work on the baby book or scrapbook

Having a newborn can be exhausting, but it will be a time you will want to remember forever, so why not use the time you have off from work to work on a baby memory book? Time flies by, but updating it frequently will ensure you've recorded all the milestones and memories that are important to you.

Get back into shape

Yes, you'll be busy caring for your baby, but what about caring for you? When your doctor gives you the go-ahead, get back into your regular workout schedule, and make some headway on losing the baby weight. Make it fun by incorporating your little one into your routine with mommy and baby exercises.

Make new friends

Now that you're a mom, there is a whole new world of friends you can make — other new moms! It's easy when you have something in common such as a brand new little one. Check out your local mothers' groups and baby and mommy classes, and you'll make mom friends in no time.

Decorate (or redecorate) the baby's room

Perhaps you didn't have time before your baby arrived or found the baby's room not suitable after he or she was born, but decorating the nursery is a good way to make use of your time off work. And it's a great excuse to show off your baby while shopping for all the fun, decorative gear the nursery will need!

Take some "me time"

While your baby is the reason you are taking parental leave, you need to remember that not only are you a mom, you are a woman too! Take care of yourself and do some things just for you. Try joining a book club, taking a cooking class or starting a new hobby. Not only will this allow you to have some "me time," but your partner will be able to enjoy some one-on-one time with the baby too!

More on baby care

Tips for baby-proofing your home
Homemade baby foods
Nursery checklist

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