Groups and other good resources for new parents?

dinosaurs at old Buckingham Park playground

Katie emails:

I'm a new first time mom and it's been suggested that I look into "mom groups" in the area while I'm out on maternity leave. Do your readers have suggestions on either groups of some sort to look into or other resources they found valuable with a new baby? I don't know if I'm the "group type" but it seems like getting out of the house will help me maintain some semblance of sanity, I'm just not quite sure where to start.

Meeting new people can be hard, especially if you're new to a place or situation. But being able to connect with people in a setting where you already know they're sharing the same experience can be a big help. If anything, you have something to talk about right from the start.

So, got a suggestion for Katie? Please share! And a sentence or two about why you're recommending a group/activity/place can be helpful.


The Family Life center does a moms meetup called mother to mother on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday each month. There are facebook groups that are really great for asking questions that aren't worth a call to your doctor, but are pressing. If you're in Albany lots of neighborhood playgrounds end up being unofficial meetup spots (I am always at the one on the plaza after work). It's sort of like freshman year - you have to be awkward and stick your neck out. I promise it gets easier when your kid is mobile and can be charming and make friends themself!

New parent in the Albany area? If so we have a Downtown Albany Parents facebook group you can join.

There's also other local mom groups on facebook too if you're not downtown. I suggest going to the Albany Public Library story times to get out of the house with baby and meet other parents/caregivers. You can also join the local chapter of Hike It Baby where you meet up with other capital region parents and hike (some hikes are carrier only, some do allow for strollers).

And if by summer you really need a break from baby, I host this mom's only event called Mom Camp. It is a weekend retreat for young moms (and some veteran moms too) where you get to relax, catch up on sleep, take part in summer camp activities, and meet other moms.

If you're breastfeeding, Saratoga Hospital started a monthly support group. I've gone a couple times and have enjoyed talking and learning from the other moms. Very relaxed and judgment-free atmosphere. You can find the meeting details here:

When I was a new mom I tried lots of different activities. My two favorites were the public library programming. There are a ton of story hours in the area. You could hit one every day of the week and you see a lot of familiar faces after a few weeks and get to know the other parents. They are at a variety of times which helped for the constantly changing nap schedule. Check out library websites for more details.

I loved the Baby Bootcamp of the Capital Region. It was great to get a workout in and social time with other moms. It was the one activity that was about the moms instead of the kids which really helped with isolation.

I also tried the meet up group and the moms were all very nice. But it was focused more on the needs of stay at home moms and had more stuff for toddlers rather than babies and moms on maternity leave.

Lots of online groups on Facebook and Meetup: (search what you want, toddler groups, etc)

Also, some pre-schools and churches have community play groups. Example: New Covenant on Western Ave. in Albany:

Hey Katie!

We would love for you to come check out Baby Boot Camp of the Capital District! We offer a 60 minute stroller fitness class for moms and their little ones. We focus on safely and effectively regaining your strength after child birth! We also have fun after class play dates and Moms Night Out too! Would love for you to come check out our tribe ????

Another strong recommendation for the Albany Public Library story time!

Music Together is another good way to meet other parents. Not necessarily during maternity leave, but a good option as your baby approaches 1.

And the Downtown Albany Parents FB group is a great resource. Parents with children of all ages are on it, from infant through high school and college.

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