Finding some activities to share with your baby or young child can be a great way to get out and meet other parents and build up a social (and support) network – especially important if you’re living far away from family and friends.
It’s also a chance to have some fun with your little one! And there’s plenty to do in Brussels and the surrounding areas, both in English and in French/Dutch. Below is a little taste of what’s on offer:
Parent and baby groups
- The Brussels Childbirth Trust (BCT) runs all kinds of parent and child activities at its main premises, The Clubhouse, in Ixelles, Brussels. Activities are typically member-only may be aimed at different age-groups (check website for details) and often include music, crafts, stories and free play in a relaxed and welcoming environment.
The BCT also has many local groups in and around Brussels. These member-only groups meet regularly, e.g. coffee morning at each others houses, picnics in the park or meet-ups at a local playground, and are a great way to get the low-down on being a parent in your local area. It goes without saying that dads are equally welcome at all activities!
Website: https://bctbelgium.org/ Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/bctbelgium/
- Antenatal and Baby runs various parent and child activities in and around Brussels. Activities are open to parents who are already known to Antenatal and Baby founder, Jo Everatt.
Website: http://www.antenatalandbaby.org/ Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AntenatalAndBaby/
In other languages
- French-community family association La Ligue des Familles runs ‘bébé rencontres‘ (‘baby meet-ups) in French in various parts of Brussels, Walloon Brabant and other parts of Wallonia. Follow the link to find events in your area.
- Les Maisons Vertes invite babies and children until the age of 3 to come along with a parent, grandparent, or other carer. The aim is to give children a chance to socialise with other children and qualified staff, while their carers are close by … but not too close. Ideal for gently easing your child into social situations as a preparation for going to creche or school. In French. Various locations in Brussels and surrounding area, including Woluwe-Saint-Lambert, Ixelles, Saint-Gilles, Woluwe-Saint-Pierre, Jette. Opening hours differ per location (see website).
Read more about the Woluwe-Saint-Lambert Maison ouverte in this blog post from the Bear & Dragon Photography blog.
Baby massage can be a gentle way to ease your baby’s transition to life outside the womb. As well as providing comforting touch, it can also help ease problems with the digestive system and congestion, and can let you tune in to your baby’s cues.
Here are some of the baby massage workshops you can find in and around Brussels:
- Johanna Tilly (see Johanna’s village profile and Facebook page) is a baby massage therapist, yoga teacher and hypnobirthing teacher who gives individual or group baby massage workshops online or at your home. Johanna also provides a manual with all kinds of massage techniques for after the class. A combination of baby massage and parent-and-baby-yoga is also possible. Contact Johanna at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
- Zwanger in Brussel regularly run baby massage workshops, including some that are especially for dads/partners. It’s also possible to organise a private ‘baby massage party’ for 5-8 babies and parents. Contact Zwanger in Brussel via their website for more info.
- The Brussels Childbirth Trust runs various workshops for parents, including baby massage. Workshops are run by qualified baby massage instructor Joanne Fraser.
Babette Biehne who runs group and private baby massage lessons.
Website: http://babette-babycourses.eu/baby-massage/ Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Kangatraining-Brussels-475888975861530/
In Leuven, Doekjes and Brokjes regularly offer group babywearing workshops in Dutch, but they are happy to offer individual sessions in English. Contact An at email@example.com.
Some perinatal physiotherapists also offer short baby massage courses.
Yoga with your baby
Postnatal yoga is a gentle way to get back in shape after birth, re-strengthening your core and working on your pelvic floor and back muscles. Your baby is usually welcome to come along until he/she is crawling and some classes even do interactive mother-baby postures.
- Johanna Tilly (see Johanna’s village profile and Facebook page) is an internationally certified and experienced yoga teacher, specialised in pre- and postnatal yoga and yoga for stress management. She also offers hypnobirthing, baby massage and prenatal fitness. Johanna offers classes at her studio in Linkebeek and as well as online.
Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about classes she’s currently running.
Other popular English-speaking / English-friendly postnatal yoga classes and teachers include:
|Emily Gold Yoga||1040 Etterbeek||https://www.emilygoldyoga.com|
|Irene Ibba at WeYogaBrussels||1040 Etterbeek||https://weyogabrussels.be|
|Radiant Light Yoga Brussels||1000 Brussels||http://www.radiantlightyoga.be|
|Sophie Girard-Sequeira||1040 Etterbeek||http://www.sophieyoga.net|
Many local libraries organise storytelling sessions in French/Dutch, often on Wednesday afternoons or weekend mornings. Advance registration may or may not be needed.
Ask at your local library for details – if you don’t know where your local library is, check with your commune.
You can find a comprehensive list of organisations running storytelling sessions on the website: