If you’re home alone with a squirmy infant and someone knocks on your door with a bag of lip gloss and moisturizer, you’re going to let them in.
It’s even better if they come with toys for your kids, too.
I must confess: Despite being the parenting reporter for JewishBoston, I didn’t know that CJP’s Welcome Baby! program existed until my editor told me about it when I had my younger son.
And now I want to tell you about it: It’s great! A couple of weeks after I signed up, a very nice visitor came bearing a stylish blue Baggu tote bag (ideal for carting diapers and bottles to and from daycare) full of goodies. There was a board book from PJ Library, an elephant swaddle blanket, a stuffed monkey, a rattle and stacking blocks that my drooly spawn promptly shoved into his pie hole. There was a coloring book and crayons for my older son. And for moi? The aforementioned beauty products, plus a nice little coupon to Magic Beans.
Lest you think I’m completely materialistic, it was also extremely nice to have a real live human visit me in my lair. My 4-month-old just started daycare and I’m back to working full-time, so I have an acceptable amount of human interaction, but I could’ve used some friendly chatter a couple of months ago, when I was muttering while watching “Judge Judy” and posting too many Facebook videos of obscure Steely Dan songs. To that end, you can sign up as early as you like, even if your tot is still in utero.
A bit more about the real-live-human part: These visitors also help families, including interfaith families, connect to the Jewish community in whatever way feels comfortable. They have lots of resources, from information on Friday night Tot Shabbats (short, manageable) to information on Welcome Baby! brunches (with mimosas, mind you) through the JCC and other community resources.
“We want to reach out to families on their terms and help them to find activities and connections that fit their lifestyle and needs, something that’s especially tough when you have a baby,” Jodi Jarvis, CJP’s director of families with young children and interfaith engagement (and my friendly visitor!) told me.
Basically, if you have a brand-new baby and want to get involved in the Jewish community with your family without any pressure, this is a terrific place to start. Plus, that cute tote bag! Register here.