Fun activities and helpful services for you and your baby
Written by Yoanna Rachovska, edited by Scott Green, photos by Pixabay
Your baby’s first year can be a great time for making new friendships and trying out new activities. It may also be a period when you sometimes need extra support, and encouragement. We have prepared for you a list of various services and activities that mothers and babies in Varna have found fun and helpful.
La Leche League meetings
You can start here, even before your baby is born if you are planning to breastfeed. La Leche League (LLL) is an international volunteer organization that supports and promotes breastfeeding. Babies are always welcome at LLL events, and topics discussed range from early days to weaning. All Varna LLL leaders speak English, and you can contact them and check the date of their next event on their Facebook page.
The first days and weeks after the birth may feel a little overwhelming. A postpartum doula can help you process your birth experience, get feeding off to a good start, discuss your physical and emotional recovery, and give you ideas or referrals if necessary. She may even fix a quick meal for you or hold the baby while you shower. You can contact English-speaking doulas that offer postpartum services here (Yoanna) and here (Marika). They offer both in-person and virtual services.
Baby-wearing has many benefits. For instance, it strengthens the bond between you and your baby, promotes healthy physical and emotional development, and reduces various health risks. It may also simply make your days easier and leave your hands free, which is quite a benefit in itself.
Parents in Varna can use the services of two Baby-wearing libraries: Seahorse, owned by Yana, who lives in Varna, and Fairy Knot, owned by Tsvety, who often visits Varna. Virtual consultations are possible, and they both speak English. You may rent various carriers until you find the best fit and decide if you would like to buy your own.
Both you and your baby may enjoy spending some fun time in a safe, relaxing pool. Parents in Varna often recommend the Kid’s zone of Aqua House in St. Constantine and Helena resort. It can easily be reached by bus and parking is also available. Dvata Delfina pool is another interesting option. They offer baby swimming groups, but these are not always active, so you may need to check the schedule and availability.
Karin dom’s toy library
Once your baby starts exploring the world, at some point after the end of the third month, you may consider visiting Karin dom’s Toy Library. The toys there are organized according to age and developmental stage, including 0-3 years. Visits are free. Please contact Karin dom before visiting.
Varna’s Green Sea Yard
The Green Sea Yard of Varna is a play center that welcomes children, aged 0-3, and their caretakers. It follows the idea of French psychoanalyst Françoise Dolto’s for a child-centered place. Here, babies and toddlers play with age-appropriate toys while parents and caretakers can meet and talk to various early development specialists. The center is a project of Varna Medical University and aims at socialization and early intervention if necessary.
KindyROO is a science-based, fun educational program aimed at supporting the natural development of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers; preparing them for school years and life. Classes are based on parent-baby interaction and can start from birth. Varna has two KindyROO centers: KindyROO Mladost and KindyROO Central.
Group coaching for mothers
Blagovesta Kraleva – life and business coach from Varna, organizes group coaching sessions for mothers of children aged 0-7. Babies are welcome. Common topics at the sessions are the participants’ goals, dreams and challenges, and what they can do to be happier. You will be invited to exchange ideas and share your experiences. For these events, you will need to understand and, even better – speak, basic Bulgarian. Blagovesta herself speaks English fluently.
Halotherapy (salt therapy)
If you are a fan of halotherapy or would like to try it for the first time, you may want to explore Varna’s halotherapy centers. Some sources say babies can attend halotherapy after 4 months of age, but be sure to check with your child’s doctor first. Two suggestions for halotherapy centers in Varna are Salt Rooms Flora and the salt room in Grand Mall Varna.
Babies are meant to be raised in a community, and mothers do best when supported by peers and specialists. We hope you find some of the above ideas helpful in building your own circle of support. If you are reading this article while still pregnant, you might want to check our guide to choosing a hospital for your birth in Varna here.