Well you’ve done it! You’ve survived nine challenging months of pregnancy morning sickness, swollen ankles, gherkin cravings and stretch marks and now your baby is earth-side, lighting up your world and making the whole experience worth it!
To support your journey and this next chapter of your life, we’ve compiled a host of Central Coast activities you can do with your baby – from newborn stage through to their first birthday. Plus, we’ve also included a heap of postnatal services that will be there to help you celebrate the exciting times and support you in those more challenging moments.
From newborn photographers and baby music classes to breastfeeding support groups and exercise classes with an on-site nanny, we’ve got a list you’ll just want to keep revisiting again and again!
JUMP TO: Newborn Photography | Postnatal Exercise Classes | Playgroups, Parents and Mothers Groups | Baby Classes | Breastfeeding Clinics | Free Immunisation Clinics for Children | Support Services | Nursery and Baby Stores
Proud new parents can bottle up those exceptionally precious moments of their bub’s first few weeks at one of Soul Story Photography’s newborn photo shoots. Run by Renee, an award-winning professional photographer with over 20 years experience in the industry, these portrait sessions will capture this very special event in your life and turn it into artwork that will melt your heart for years to come.
Renee possesses a talent for creating a comfortable environment for everyone, making these sessions a cherished and intimate experience for your family. Plus, with a great selection of props, clothing and backdrops, you’ll be able to choose a unique style of shoot that perfectly complements the décor of your family home.
PHONE: 0474 216 647
Jessie Walker is a local Central Coast photographer with a passion for capturing precious moments that families can treasure. Her delicate style and love of the camera comes through in her beautiful newborn photography that will take pride of place in any home that has just welcomed its tiniest family member.
LOCATION: Hamlyn Terrace (although Jessie is happy to travel for sessions from Newcastle down to Sydney).
PHONE: 0434 011 225
Kendell of Kendell Tyne Photography just loves her job because it means she gets to witness and celebrate some of the most beautiful and memorable times in a family’s life – and that includes capturing the first precious days after welcoming your newborn into the world. A mama herself, Kendell knows kids and knows how to create a perfectly relaxed environment that will allow you and your family to enjoy this moment now and for years to come.
LOCATION: Kendell services the Central Coast, Newcastle, Hunter Valley and Sydney.
PHONE: 0452 211 242
Postnatal Exercise Classes
Specifically designed for Mums between 6 weeks and 6 months postpartum, the “Belle Babies” Reformer and Mat Pilates class at the Belle Movement studio in Ettalong focuses on pelvic floor, pelvic stability, upper body strength and core restoration – the ultimate recipe for postnatal recovery.
One of our favourite things about the Belle Movement studio is that you can have your new baby right by your side through the entire class. Plus, there’s a nanny on site to give you a hand with the rocking, the burping and the settling. Mums with young children can also make the most of the on-site creche which is separated from the exercise room by vertical panelling. This means that little ones can play in their own defined space but still be able to see mum – a perfect option if you have a child with separation anxiety.
LOCATION: Ettalong Beach
PHONE: 0435 800 079 or 0434 406 308
Mention Playing in Puddles for a FREE TRIAL
Healthy Bumps VHAB (Vagina Rehab) sessions are postnatal exercise classes with a difference! This 6-week outdoor program is run by accredited Exercise Physiologist Alison and gives women (from 6 weeks postpartum) the opportunity to re-build their pelvic floor and core strength as they return to exercise properly and safely.
Alison places a firm focus on the rehabilitation of pelvic floor ligaments and abdominals that have gone through the stress of vaginal childbirth or C-Section. During a series of 40-minute sessions, she will work with you to rebuild strength and confidence while decreasing your chances of incontinence and prolapse later in life.
PHONE: 0405 150 240
If you’re looking for an affordable exercise class where tots are welcome, Mum + Cub outdoor fitness classes in Chittaway Bay are a fantastic option. Run by the lovely Emma – a qualified personal trainer nationally accredited in pre- and postnatal exercise – these classes are designed with both mums and babes in mind.
Sessions cover a range of training styles from HIIT and circuit to resistance, cardio and boxing – a great option for mums who want to get out and get active. Kids are 110% welcome to come with you AND it’s JUST $10 per session!
LOCATION: Chittaway Bay Pirate Park
PHONE: 0432 677 928
Mention Playing in Puddles for a FREE TRIAL
Landete Health provides a great 6 week fitness program to help get women back into shape after having a baby. Small classes mean women get one-on-one attention and can ease back into exercise slowly and safely. There is also an on-site babysitter, and a small area for kids to play!
Mums that Circuit isn’t your typical mums and bubs exercise group – for one it’s FREE! Run every Monday morning at The Haven oval under the shade of the huge pines, this 45-minute circuit session is run by a group for mums who want to get active and outdoors. Unlike a personal training session where exercises are instructed, this group allows women to come along with their kids and workout at the circuit stations at their own intensity and pace.
LOCATION: Terrigal Haven
This yoga class is suitable for women who have recently given birth, including those who had a c-section. You can join these classes as soon as you feel ready to, and no previous yoga experience is required. Plus you can bring bub with you!
LOCATION: Umina Beach
Kangatraining is a complete workout with a focus on enhancing cardiovascular endurance and muscular strength. New mums need not worry about finding a babysitter or minding an unsettled baby during class because the babies are worn on them and get to be part of the action!
LOCATIONS: Erina, Long Jetty & Tuggerah
Playgroups, Parents’ Groups and Mother’s Groups
The Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) was founded by a group of mothers with the intention of supporting other mums in a ‘peer-to-peer’-type environment. Mums can head along to one of these organised local groups, where they’ll get to chat to other mothers who’ve ‘been there’, share tips and tricks in their journey of early motherhood and make new friends. They can also talk to a trained volunteer breastfeeding counsellor if needed.
LOCATIONS: Bateau Bay, Erina and Kariong
This is a group for mums who love to surf! Surfing Mums is a national, not-for-profit volunteer organisation with a presence on the Central Coast. Coordinated by local members, meet-ups are organised on specific days, at locations with the best beach conditions on that given day. Attendees pair up, decide who will surf and who will watch the kids first and after 30 minutes, swap over. This is a great way for parents to take to the waves for some exercise, whilst knowing that their kids are being watched AND having a ball in the sand! It’s also a fantastic way to make friends.
The Community Playgroup at Gosford Presbyterian Church meets once a fortnight on a Thursday at 10.30am during the school term. Everyone is welcome to head along to the meetups, which usually take place at a local park – perfect for little ones who want to run around and play while the parents and carers enjoy catching up with each other. To find out more about the next playgroup meetup, visit their Facebook page, or send a message through their website.
Mama Tribe is a national mums meet-up community whose mission is to ensure that no mum feels lonely, isolated or without support. Every month, Mama Tribe Central Coast host a catch up for local mums to meet-up and mingle – you can find locations and event details by joining their Facebook group.
PLUS, through Mama Tribe, you can invite other mums to your own events such as your weekly walks, coffee dates, park play dates or kids activities! Simply create an event or “get together” in your local Mama Tribe Facebook group, share the event in the group, double check who’s coming the night before by posting in the event, take a selfie and use #nomumleftbehind so they can repost it!
LOCATIONS: Various locations across the Central Coast
A project of the Peninsula Environment Group, PEG Nature Playgroup is a Facebook group for families with pre-school-aged children who want to get together for nature-based play in the great outdoors! They get together weekly for bush walks, beach days, picnics, gardening, arts and crafts, farm visits, community events, celebrations and park plays.
LOCATIONS: Woy Woy, Umina and Ettalong
Playgroup NSW has a directory of playgroups that are being run all over the Central Coast. Visit their website to find details on a playgroup near you!
LOCATION: Central Coast wide
Wild Child Playgroup is an outdoor bush playgroup located on the north Central Coast. With a focus on authentic, nature-based, all-weather play experiences for children 0-6 years, these groups run weekly on a Friday at 9.30am.
LOCATION: Various locations across the Central Coast
Central Coast Baby Classes
Getting messy is all part of the fun at Messy Little Munchkins in Niagara Park! This is the first dedicated space on the Central Coast for messy play, and we love how messy it looks! During the ‘Mini Munchkins’ sessions, tots aged 3 to 12 months can join in a whole heap of sensory fun, starting with playful interactions with music, sounds and sight before exploring the world of messy sensory play. It’s a ton of fun that will definitely require a change of clothes!
If you have children who are slightly older, they can make the most of the ‘All Messy Munchkins’ sessions where they’ll take part in lots of cool craft activities, along with the trademark messy sensory play!
LOCATION: Niagara park
PHONE: 0432 800 070
We’re a big fan of baby music classes, and the ones run by Sharon at Musikbugs are so special. Tiny tots and their mummas can expect lots of singing, dancing, instrument bashing and story-telling at these welcoming classes that are proven to assist with early literacy, language abilities, social-emotional skills and cognitive development.
Not only will bub have a ball at these gorgeous classes but you’ll also get a chance to bond with your baby in a nurturing, friendly environment.
LOCATION: Niagara park
PHONE: 0424 446 778
The baby music classes at the Central Coast Conservatorium of Music will have you bouncing, patting and singing along with your tiniest family members as you indulge in 30 minutes of creative fun together! Not only are these classes a great way to bond with your baby, but they’re also a great place to meet other parents and carers within our community.
Classes are held in a lovely heritage church in Woy Woy and at the Conservatorium in Gosford. Mention Playing in Puddles for a free trial class.
LOCATION: Gosford & Woy Woy
CONTACT: 4324 7477 and email@example.com
Suitable for children as young as newborn right up to school age, Mainly Music is a fun music group that parents and primary caregivers can attend casually with their little ones. Classes run at various locations across the Central Coast.
LOCATION: Erina, Bensville, Ettalong and Gorokan
This little swim school, tucked away inside the mini-precinct at Daleys Point, is the perfect place to take your little ones for their first Learn to Swim classes. Expect lots of singing, kicking and splashing during the 30-minute classes that provide a great bonding experience for you and your bub!
Parents with teeny tots who are wanting to take their preschoolers or older children for swimming lessons will also find this pool a great option since the pool area is fully fenced, meaning tottering bubs can’t escape! PLUS there’s great coffee next door at the Daley’s Kitchen cafe!
LOCATION: Daleys Point
Central Coast Postnatal Support Services
It Takes a Village is a unique counselling service for mums that focuses on helping women to feel empowered in their journey of motherhood. Women are invited to join in small group sessions that are held in a relaxed ‘mother’s group’-style environment at Wamberal Park and facilitated by qualified Counsellor Kate.
Kate’s group sessions run for an hour over the course of 5 weeks and give mums the opportunity to openly discuss their feelings and challenges around what it means to be a parent in a friendly, safe and non-judgmental environment. Children are welcome to come along, making this an excellent option for mums who don’t have childcare help or who want to have their bubs with them.
Kate also offers private one-on-one counselling sessions in Tumbi Umbi or she is happy to come to you. Get in touch with Kate through her Facebook page to chat through what might work best for you.
LOCATION: Wamberal and Tumbi Umbi
PHONE: 0420 543 404
The ‘First Weeks’ program at Gosford Private Maternity Services is a 5-week course designed to provide parents with support and guidance during those precious first few weeks postpartum. During the sessions, parents will receive an introduction to baby massage from an accredited therapist as well as lactation advice from experienced midwife educators.
PHONE: 4304 3260
Facilitated by Alita Blanchard at the Luna Physiotherapy and Women’s Space at Daleys Point, this fortnightly, 5-session women’s circle is for new or soon-to-be mums who are looking for the unique opportunity to rest, share and connect with other like-minded women. As a trained Rites of Passage Facilitator, Women’s Circle facilitator and trauma-informed Conscious Parent Coach, Alita understands that becoming a mum can be the most glorious, exciting and beautiful journey – and that it can also be filled with apprehension, fear, challenge and loneliness.
LOCATION: Daleys Point
Breastfeeding Clinics on the Central Coast
During the Breastfeeding Basics class run by Gosford Private Maternity Services, you’ll learn the basics of breastfeeding, beginning with how breasts make milk, the varying breastfeeding positions, correct attachment and the transfer of milk. You’ll also learn how different birth types can affect feeding and what to do if your baby won’t feed, as well as other breastfeeding tips.
This course is available to women birthing at Gosford Private Hospital as well as to mums birthing at other private or public hospitals.
LOCATION: GOSFORD PRIVATE MATERNITY SERVICES
PHONE: 4304 3260
The Australian Breastfeeding Association run interactive webinars for parents wanting to gain confidence in breastfeeding their baby. The 1.5 sessions will give parents the opportunity to learn about how breastfeeding works, chat with other parents and take part in a live Q&A session with a breastfeeding mother.
Free Central Coast Immunisation Clinics for Children
Immunisation ‘drop-in’ clinics are provided at various Central Coast locations for children under the age of seven. Clinics are usually held monthly on either Tuesdays or Fridays. There are also two Saturday clinics conducted each month.
Appointments aren’t necessary so you can just turn up with your bub at one of these clinics. It’s recommended you attend with your child’s ‘Blue Book’ and Medicare details.
Nursery and Baby Stores
Shopping for baby clothes and nursery items for your first bub is an exciting experience, but also a little daunting! To help you find a great selection of items to suit all budgets, we have compiled a list of baby stores, children’s clothes shops, kids boutiques and markets around the Central Coast so you can get shopping!
Baby Bunting, West Gosford
Baby Bunting is the major baby store on the Central Coast! Selling everything from Boori cots and Stokke high chairs to Maxi Cosi car seats and a huge variety of baby toys, this large store has everything you need to prepare for your little one’s first few years of life.
Phone: 4322 1000 | Visit Website
Buckle My Shoe, Long Jetty
This cute shoe shop caters for tiny feet taking those first few steps, with their awesome selection of soft sole shoes. They stock brands including Bobux, Plae, Saltwater and Young Soles to name a few! Plus they have some truly beautiful toys and nursery items, too.
Phone: 4332 0116 | Visit Website
Little Wren Designs, The Galleria Ettalong
Set inside The Galleria in Ettalong, this baby and kids boutique has a gorgeous selection of baby clothes, Jellycat soft toys, dolls, and a variety of wooden toys, including train sets and puzzles.
Phone: 0490 450 267 | Visit Website.
Magnolia Home, East Gosford
If you’re on the lookout for unique baby gifts, Magnolia Home in East Gosford has a great variety of goodies guaranteed to please. Stocking brands such as Toshi, Dreamtime and Living Textiles, you’ll find swaddles, rattles and giftset galore!
Phone: 4323 2400| Visit Website
Ohana Boutique, Westfield Tuggerah
Ohana Boutique at Westfield Tuggerah is a baby and kids store that features a selection of loved, local and Australian businesses such as Milk & Poppy, as well as some of the world’s best known brands such as Alimrose and Yumbox. You’ll find everything from clothes and toys to nursery art and lunchboxes at this awesome local store.
Phone: 0477 968 623 | Visit Website.
Precious Little, Terrigal
Located under the Crowne Plaza in Terrigal, this little boutique has a very special selection of clothes, books, toys and accessories that would make the perfect gift for any newborn.
Phone 4385 1082 | Visit Website.
Tiny Folk Co, Long Jetty & Erina Heights
Tiny Folk is a store specially curated for ‘dapper little babes’. With stores in both Long Jetty and at Erina Heights, you’ll find an amazing collection of goodies including stylish little outfits, educational toys and a wide selection of unique yet practical baby gear.
Phone: 0404 142 542 | Visit Website.
Zarlak kids, Terrigal
Featuring brands such as Children of the Tribe, Kapow Kids and Quincy Mae, this trendy store in Terrigal has an amazing variety of baby and children’s clothes. They also have a gorgeous selection of wooden toys, including stunning dolls houses and all the furniture to go with them!
Phone: 4384 7815 | Visit Website.
Written By: MANDY EKMAN
Content Producer & Social Media Manager
Mandy started her media career at a digital media agency in London, before relocating to Sydney in 2008. Over the past 11 years, Mandy has gained a wide range of experience across bought, owned and earned digital media channels and after moving to the Central Coast with her husband and three kids in 2017, is really excited to be part of the Playing in Puddles team.