Hot on the baby heels of Manchester's first-ever week devoted to tiny tots last year, Baby Week is back again for 2023 with a packed programme of events for parents, babies, and parents-to-be.
From Monday 12 June to Saturday 17 June Manchester's cultural venues, leisure centres, and parks across the city will be going all out to champion babies and parents with a week full of fun activities and opportunities to take part in - and all of them free of charge.
The city's Sure Start Children's Centres will also be getting in on the action, with activities and information sessions on offer, all helping to highlight the importance of those first early days of a child's life.
Baby Week 2023 kicks off on Monday 12 June with a special day-long launch event from 9:30 am - 4 pm in the city centre that takes in both Manchester Art Gallery and Manchester Central Library.
From pop up percussion jams, to baby centred Shake Rattle and Roll music and dance sessions for little ones, interactive story times, artist led messy play sessions, a special theatre production for the under twos, a postnatal rehab fitness session, and a chance to chill and learn to relax your way through parenthood using mindfulness, the not-to-be-missed day is guaranteed to keep parents and babies smiling and happy, and learning as they go along.
Experts will also be on hand throughout the day to provide information and guidance on all kinds of baby and parent related matters, with advice available to all aspects of bringing up baby - from child health and development, nutrition and feeding, to literacy, learning and special educational needs.
Baby Week isn't however just confined to the city centre - around 200 activities will be taking place during the week this year at venues across the city, including libraries and parks.
The city's leisure centres are also getting in on the Baby Week action and will be offering a range of swim baby, aqua natal, and soft play sessions for tinies - all completely free - throughout the week.
Baby Week will sign off on Saturday 17 June with a fantastic day of outdoor fun in the sun for families with babies in city parks including Debdale Park, Alexandra Park, Queen's Park, and Wythenshawe Park.
With around 12,500 under 2's in Manchester, and as the city works towards gaining recognition as a UNICEF UK Child Friendly City, the Council is determined to do everything it can to give parents and parents-to-be the tools they need to help ensure their children grow up healthy, happy, and successful.
It is also part of the city's five-year programme to reduce health inequalities called Making Manchester Fairer. This action plan tackles a range of factors including where and how we live, education, employment, cost of living and other issues that not only affect health, but opportunities in life.
Councillor Garry Bridges, Executive Member for Early Years, Children and Young People, Manchester City Council, said: "Our first ever Baby Week last year was a big success with parents and an even bigger hit with all the babies who got to take part in some amazing activities!
"We're back again this year for another jam-packed week of activities and opportunities to take part in, both for families with babies and parents-to-be, to help them navigate both the transition to being a parent and the first years of their baby's life.
"With plenty of chances also available during the week to get advice from baby experts and other parents, if you're newly in charge of a little person, or are about to be, Baby Week is definitely not to be missed!"
Find out more information about what's on during Baby Week here