Challenge # 18: Check out the Library is one of 52 challenges for new moms on this site.

Baby's first outing to the library #rookiemoms

Easy peasy. After our previous Cruise Director meltdown, I felt sure that checking out the library would prove to be a walk in the park, literally.

I am really lucky to live in a town with an AWESOME library. A couple of years ago they tore down an old dingy thing with a sign out front reading “Public Library” (much like the library I would frequent as a kid, smells and all) and replaced it with the type of building I have regularly argued devours small town character and turns America into one big strip mall. But in this case, they did it right. All that glass and chrome results in a library that glimmers like a shrine. The city built it and the people have come! This library is hoppin’. It’s got the triple f’s covered; fancy, free, and fun.

The Gear

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Baby buggy
  • Library card

Baby's first outing to the library #rookiemoms

Riley and I pulled it together and headed out the door in record time. After having my face re-arranged during the last challenge, I decided not to over think this one.

The library is just a 15-minute walk from my house. It is also located right on our civic park. I’m not really ready to take this babe to play at the park, but I am guessing he’ll want to go at some point. For now, he can’t sit up and I don’t really feel like listening to other kids scream and run amok. Plus there is the germ factor.

I am a serious germaphobe, a quality much challenged in my years spent traveling abroad on a budget. Exposure and necessity will cure you of a great many things, but hand sanitizer is still my friend. My best friend, actually.

Riley and I trolled the perimeter of the playground at the far end of the park where, to my surprise, there was a whole ring of mothers, on their own, away from the screams, shaking tiny bottles of hand-sani and wiping down everything in sight. My people. We hang out on the fringes. Now I know where to come to hit on a (germ-free) new mama!

But I digress. On to the library. Piece of cake. Strolled right in, and even checked out a little light reading. Things were going so well I decided we’d take the grand tour and check out all the facilities. Changing stations in the clean bathrooms – check. Private conference/study rooms – sweet. Café, yes, CAFÉ – ooh la la.  This is my kind of place.

I should mention: Riley is such a quiet baby, sometimes I forget he can wail with the best of them. I guess he thought the far corner of our tour would be a good time to remind me. So we strolled in and we screamed out.  I guess a little noise was all he needed, that and a high-five.

Rookie Moms Challenge #18, we SO checked you out.

Dusty Sleeves

  • Aside from the germiness of any public place, especially those where children roam, I dealt with it. Checked out a copy of The Vaccine Book, by Dr.Sears while I was dealing.
  • Riley’s squealing at the end took me totally be surprise. It hadn’t even crossed my mind that he might cry. There is only one thing to do when your baby starts screaming in the library: Run! Fast!

 Best Sellers

  •  I’m glad I had a chance to scope out the park, it was great to see some mamas, like me, hanging out on the fringe.
  • The library was totally do-able. A quick walk, some fresh air, and an environment to stimulate both of our developing brains. I give it an A+.

 Baby's first outing to the library #rookiemoms

[Photo credit: Suzanne Curletto -- all rights reserved]

Rookie Moms Challenges -- weekly adventures for moms and babies

Editor’s Note: We recommend the library as an outing for new moms because the children’s sections feature places to read and snuggle with baby; schedules for baby circle times are posted; and there may be other free resources to discover. Make sure to put a library visit on your maternity leave bucket list. Find more baby activities in the 52 weekly rookie mom challenges.

If you’re already participating, use hashtag #rookiemoms on instagram or twitter so we can cheer each other on.


I have tried many things to make mornings run smoother in my house — especially school days — like reconfiguring my kitchen so kids can make their own breakfasts, making lunches the night before, and choosing clothes a week in advance.

One of our more successful family hacks is an alarm set to kid-approved music that tells us when it’s time to leave the house. We use a SONOS speaker that alerts us ten minutes before we need to leave, but any cheap musical alarm clock will work for this. When the music plays, we all drop what we’re doing and report to the backpacks and shoes area get ready to leave.

How to get shoes on and kids out the door with no yelling

This trick radically improves the need to remind or raise my voice to get action because the music just keeps on playing without me saying a word. (For kids upstairs, we will often yell “SHOE TIME” once but after that, they know the drill.)

Music plays for about 15 minutes and if we’re still home, then I raise my voice and act crazy. But that only happens about 2% of the time so I’d say we’ve found a good trick.

Would this work in your house?

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