Be Well Family: 10 Philly Places Every New Mom Should Know About

From play groups to baby-wearing workshops, these awesome parenting centers have got your back.
iStock

iStock

As more parents populate greater Center City, more places dedicated to serving parents have popped up — and thank goodness for that. Because sometimes all you need in life is a nursing group. Or a carrier tutorial. Or potty-training help. Or some mom friends. Or a just really cute onesie. You can find all (or most) of those things (and more!!) at each of the places listed here — places devoted to helping moms in all sorts of ways.

The place: Minnow Lane

The hood: Fishtown
The scoop: Minnow Lane is a natural-parenting-focused boutique with a full roster of programming. The store side has toys, books, carriers, feeding and bathing gear, diapering needs, furniture gifts and more (all of it geared toward babies, kids and young families); the “gathering space” offers workshops and classes.

The place: The Nesting House

The hood: West Philly, Mt. Airy, South Philly and Collingswood
The scoop: Nesting House has a super well-edited selection of new things for babies and kids (clothes, toys, cloth diapers, feeding supplies) as well as a ton of consigned stuff (shoes, clothes, strollers, bouncy seats, car seats and more). On top of all that? They offer classes, such as workshops about baby-wearing and cloth diapering, as well as new mom groups, childbirth prep sessions, music and dance classes, baby-and-me yoga, and more.

The place: Ali’s Wagon
The hood: Fairmount

The scoop: Ali’s Wagon is a great, homey little boutique with smart, fun gifts for grown-ups and all sorts of kids gear out front, and a well-known parenting center in the back. Owner Jessie Menken has run and continues to runs a whole variety of great programming for parents in the space, from breastfeeding groups to storytimes to special workshops to Q-and-A sessions with pediatricians and sleep coaches.

The spot: My Fabulous Mama
The hood: South Philly

The scoop: Owner Marisa Piccarreto offers a whole slew of baby-planning services (nanny placement, preschool selection) but also has a parenting center with classes and workshops, ranging from breastfeeding education to nanny share workshops.

The place: Hall-Mercer Child and Parent Center
The hood: Washington Square West

The scoop: The Penn Med-affiliated program is really well known for its weekly playgroups and discussion groups that focus on informal mom education (via a facilitator and via peers) while the kids play. It’s not a boutique, and not even really a “class” in the way that most of us would consider a class, more of a playgroup with a chance to learn about your kid’s particular developmental stage while your child present, and to get advice from childcare professionals. A session runs roughly two months; prices vary by age group. Many local moms will tell you that they met their best mom friends here. (Note: Nearby is Solutions for Women, a Penn-run shop with breastfeeding supplies, a scale and helpful staffers who are happy to offer kind words of support and advice.)

The place: Mama’s Wellness Joint

The hood: Washington Square West
The scoop: The wonderful, nurturing yoga studio is forever offering wonderful, nurturing classes and workshops that go way beyond yoga (and also beyond childbirth, though those are popular classes, too). There’s been infant massage, basic newborn care and feeding, sleep classes, solid food courses, going-back-to-work workshops and more. Not surprisingly, it’s a very mama-friendly and family-friendly spot.

The spot: Nest

The hood: Midtown Village and Chestnut Hill

The scoop: A lot of people know Nest mostly as a gathering spot for kids, but like Hall-Mercer, Nest tends to offer discussion/playgroups that incorporate playtime and learning for kids and discussion/social time for parents. (They cover infants, toddlers, preschoolers, parents welcoming their second kid, and more!)

The spot: Pennsy

The hood: Washington Square West
The scoop: Most hospitals offer some form of childbirth and/or nursing classes, but Pennsy also offers courses on baby-care basics, baby CPR, a class based on Dr. Harvey Karp’s The Happiest Baby on the Block book, and more.

The spot: Center City Pediatrics
The hood: Graduate Hospital

The scoop: One of the most popular pediatrics offices in the city, Center City Peds goes beyond just medical care for their patients, offering regular classes and workshops like infant massage and sleep help, lactation support groups, and how to approach behavioral challenges with classes like “Biters, Kickers and Hair Pullers”.

The spot: Lilypad
The hood: South Philly
The scoop: The people behind the amazing CityKids Consignment Sale and the Kids South of Washington listserve also offer new mom groups, new dad groups, family playgroups and more — all helping connect 1700+ families in South Philly.

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Be Well Family is a collaboration with Wee Wander, a site dedicated to helping Philadelphia parents navigate their city. See more in this series here, or keep up with all of  Wee Wander’s tips, guides and Philly related parenting help on Facebook

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