Looking for a path to take baby and stroller on you inaugural outing? Here is a list of paved path locations you may enjoy in the Corridor. These are also perfect options for wearing baby without having to worry about the terrain underfoot or little walkers who do best on an even surface.
Playground stop and jog in Lower City Park
Photo credit Suzanne Halekas
Lower City Park, Iowa City
Enjoy the ducks and geese on this flat paved path near the Iowa River.
Waterworks Prairie, Iowa City
This quiet park features prairie and wetlands - perfect for spotting butterflies, birds, and other wildlife.
Fall at Terry Trueblood
Photo credit Heather Trana
Terry Trueblood Recreation Area, Iowa City
Enjoy a 2-mile stroll around Sand Lake. The recreation area also features water rentals and a playground constructed of a natural materials.
Strolling on the Northridge Trail
Northridge Park, Coralville
This figure-eight paved path features a pond with fountains. Take the trail under the interstate for access to the Coral Ridge Mall or follow it out of the park for a stroll on the Northridge Trail into North Liberty. This trail does feature some elevation changes as it winds through the Coralville neighborhood, so keep that in mind as you plan your outing.
Little walker on the Clear Creek Trail
Clear Creek Trail, Tiffin
For a quiet walk punctuated by the occasional train, take the Clear Creek Trail starting at the Half Moon entrance.
Train watching at Cedar Lake
Cedar Lake, Cedar Rapids
For an urban stroll, check out the 1.5 mile loop around Cedar Lake. While a portion winds through some trees, the majority edges along railroad tracks, which may delight any kiddos who are train fans. For more mileage take the Cedar River Trail north or south.
A sweet stop at Dan and Debbie's
Hoover Trail, Ely
For another launching point on the American Discovery Trail, hop on the Hoover Trail section at Ely Pond. To make your walk a bit sweeter, stop in at Dan and Debbie's Creamery and grab some delicious ice cream.
South Troy Park Trail
South Troy Park Trail, Robbins
The short and sweet South Troy Park Trail connects to the Cedar Valley Nature Trail - another stretch of the American Discovery Trail! Enjoy the a short stroll in the park or connect to the trail heading north or south for more distance.
Bridge and creek on Donnelly Park section of Boyson Trail
Lindale Trail, Marion
To access the paved Lindale Trail via a short stretch of crushed stone trail, park at Thomas Park and head north or park at the quieter Donnelly Park and head south.
For a longer adventure on crushed stone, take the Boyson Trail in either direction.
Do you have another favorite paved path in the Corridor? Share it in the comments below! Looking for more family adventures in the Corridor? See all posts on that topic here.
The transition into life with a new baby stretches everything - your patience, your partnership, your identity, and so much more.
The transition into toddlerhood is something else, though. The baby who previously needed to be transported everywhere can suddenly get places under her own power. The baby who only needed milk and snuggles suddenly voices a whole host of other needs and desires, adamantly and at increasing volume levels.
Just like having a baby stretches us as parents and asks us to grow in new and surprising ways, the transition into parenting a toddler asks perhaps even more.
As Dr. Shefali Tsabary writes in The Conscious Parent: "The transition to parenthood is complex, requiring us to surrender to an irrevocable loss of our identity as we have thus far known it. To create the internal space required to embrace the tending of a new spirit, the pillars of our old lifestyle have to crumble. Who we were before becoming a parent doesn't and cannot exist with the same ferocity. Once children enter our life, their impact is indelible and we are required to reinvent ourselves in response" (96).
If you are anticipating the next stage of baby's development into a toddler or find yourself already in the sticky middle-of-toddler-years days, check out these fabulous resources for setting loving limits and holding them with love and respect.
Peaceful Parents, Happy Kids by Dr. Laura Markham
To get a sense of Markham's approach, check out the AhaParenting website, which has an awesomely helpful index by age and stage. This is one of my first stops when a new kiddo stages throws me for a loop.
It's Okay Not to Share and Other Renegade Rules for Raising Compassionate Kids by Heather Shumaker
One of the most anxious points of toddler parenting for me was learning how to navigate my kids social interactions - when to stand back, when to hop in, and how to be helpful. Shumaker gives so many helpful examples for how to handle situations in a positive and productive manner.
Playful Parenting: An Exciting New Approach to Raising Children That Will Help You Nurture Close Connections, Solve Behavior Problems, and Encourage Confidence by Lawrence J. Cohen
In rough stages, sometimes you just need a fresh tool or outlook to come at problems from a positive and collaborative place. If you find yourself in that place, this is a great read.
Siblings without Rivalry: How to Help your Children Live Together so You Can Live Too by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
Toddler parenting takes on a whole new dynamic when you've got sibling squabbles in the mix. Faber and Mazlish made this a super quick read that's easy to distill and implement. And, it helps me remember that sibling conflicts are normal and the perfect opportunity to build skills of conflict negotiation and compassion.
The Gentle Sleep Book by Sarah Ockwell-Smith
While we'd like to pretend that only tiny babies wake at night, the reality is that waking for reassurance during the night is developmentally normal for toddlers, too. Ockwell-Smith offers gentle suggestions that can help the whole family get more rest while still meeting your toddler's needs in a developmentally appropriate manner. (If you find you need more support making gentle sleep transitions, head on over to Nested Mama's Sleep services.)
Mothering your Nursing Toddler by Norma J. Bumgarner
Wondering what's normal as you nurse your baby into toddlerhood? This book from La Leche League International provides awesome perspective. (And if you find yourself nursing into a pregnancy, Adventures in Tandem Nursing by Hilary Flower is the essential read on the topic.)
As a doula and sleep educator, I work with a lot of parents when they are at their most tapped out.
As a parent myself, I have plenty of moments that seem more like surviving than thriving.
I coach my clients to uncover areas where they can find balance and meaning, and self-care is often a pivot point that can tip survival mode into flourishing for the whole family.
When I take a fair assessment of my own life, I find that my moments of frustration with my children or my partner often emerge from my own lack of balance. As the saying goes, you can't give from an empty cup. And, no one knows that truth more deeply than a parent of young children.
As important as self-care is to overall wellness, there is another piece that I suggest can be just as significant - finding joy WITH your children. Here, I'm not talking about delighting in every moment - some are challenging and some are just plain hard - no one needs the pressure of loving every second.
Instead, try to find mutual points of joy in your life. Maybe you all enjoy a particular series of stories or chapter book read alouds. Maybe you all love your routine of getting a donut on Saturday morning. Maybe each of you can relish the feeling of sand between your toes at the beach. Maybe you geek out together over the same comic book.
Whatever that source of joy is for all of you, seek it out. Be intentional. Make time for it, and soak it in.
For me, I am my happiest when I'm outside, and I discovered early on with my first child that she loved to be outside, too. Now that I've got a busy trio, I plan to be outside every day, if possible, and make a couple significant excursions to local trails and parks every week.
On the best of days, I can carry that feeling with me through the tricky pre-dinner time and all the way until my kiddos are at rest. And, my ease sets the tone for everyone. Most importantly, we all find joy together.
How do you find joy with your little ones?
Are you in need of relief for back, hip, or pelvic pain in your pregnancy? Want to keep your pelvis aligned for optimal fetal positioning? Check out this list of highly recommended chiropractors who offer prenatal chiropractic care in the Iowa City and Cedar Rapids area.
At Robinson Family Wellness we believe Chiropractic is a more proactive, conservative approach to health & wellness. As a chiropractor my main focus is to support patients in reaching their optimal health by allowing the body to reach its full functioning potential. By using very specific low force adjustments I have helped and continue to help many families overcome many obstacles. I love to serve families through all walks of life, particularly focusing on mothers and children. Having a passion for growing families, I chose to continue my education and next summer will officially become a Board Certified Pediatric Chiropractor. In our office we do everything we can to accommodate our patients and families, we even have a private nursing & play space complete with a comfy rocking chair, changing table and a scale for moms to do weighted feeds. We look forward to continued growth in the local community, empowering families to be well and live well.
We offer concerned parents who feel like something is missing in their birth team, a different path that allows them to achieve their best birth possible. Pregnancy can be one the most exciting times in a woman’s life. It can also be one of the most uncomfortable. A properly aligned pelvis and nervous system will help create an optimal environment for your baby to grow. Dr. Mike is certified in the Webster Technique that helps to reduce nerve interference and restore pelvic balance. Chiropractic care can also aid in a smoother labor and delivery.
I have a passion for treating women during the motherhood transition! From preconception to prenatal to postpartum, mothers will receive the absolute best in holistic care. My approach includes chiropractic care with the Activator instrument, which is very gentle, while also utilizing the Webster technique for pregnancy. Additionally, I treat many women with acupuncture for infertility, nausea, pain, inducing labor, and postpartum depression. Being a mother of twins myself, I know how difficult this season of life can be! It’s truly an honor to care for mothers.
My goal is to make moms as comfortable as humanly possibly during pregnancy. I'm certified in the wonderful Webster Technique to relieve tension on the uterus, which gives baby the room they need to grow and develop without restriction. However, all the certifications in the world don't hold a candle to experiencing pregnancy, loss, birth, and postpartum myself. Being a mom helps me treat other moms because I've been there. I've had horrible morning sickness, and the dreaded "lightning crotch." I've wrongly blamed myself for miscarriage. I've rebuilt strength after giving birth. I've cared for a baby with terrible reflux. I adjust moms and babies to help their body's function at 100% and reach their full health potential, but I'm also attentive to their needs nutritionally, mentally, and emotionally. I want moms to feel cared for because they deserve it.
At Awaken Family Chiropractic, we understand that optimal health for a pregnant woman is crucial, as her health and well-being affects the health and well-being of her baby. Ensuring proper nervous system function is vital to the development of the baby, as well as to the health and comfort of the mom. Chiropractic care during pregnancy offers a number of benefits for mom and baby, and I am certified in Webster Technique . Chiropractic adjustments can help alleviate the aches and discomfort that often come along with pregnancy. Expecting women under regular care have reported shorter labor times, less birth interventions, more energy, improved sleep and more. Adjustments while pregnant are safe and gentle for mom and baby. Our goal is to help moms experience the best pregnancy, labor and delivery that they can!
I enjoy working with pregnant women because of the huge effects chiropractic has on the woman and her baby. This, and caring for babies and children, is the reason I completed my Diplomate in Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics through the International Chiropractic Association in 2005. Chiropractic helps women stay more comfortable during their pregnancies, which allows them to stay active and be at their best during pregnancy. For pregnant women who already have children, it helps keep them active so they aren’t slowed down by pain and unable to engage with their family the way that they desire. I use a combination of chiropractic and soft tissue release, including Webster’s, to allow for optimal position of the pelvis and to balance the supporting ligaments so there’s no constraint preventing the baby from getting into optimal position for birth. By removing interference in the nerves that are exiting the spine, it allows optimal communication to the uterus so there are coordinated contractions to drive the birth process. I also think it’s important to coach pregnant women in regards to nutrition and lifestyle. The investments a woman makes in her body during pregnancy will positively effect her and the baby!
Moms choose me as their Chiropractor because I help them achieve the healthiest and most comfortable pregnancy and birth. They bring their whole families to me to achieve and maintain optimal health so that their children may grow and develop to their optimal potential.
I have been in chiropractic since 1996. I have been a doctor of chiropractic since 2010. I have extensive post graduate training in pediatric and prenatal chiropractic. I am also a member of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association. I have been certified in the Webster Technique through the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association since 2008. I re-certified in 2017 and in 2018 became an examiner for other doctors to receive their Webster certification. In addition to my extensive prenatal and pediatric chiropractic training, as of 2016 I am also a birth doula, so I have extensive knowledge on how to care for women physically and emotionally through out pregnancy and birth. As well as extensive experience adjusting newborns, adjusting 100's in my career, some of my doula clients only hours old.
Fall is my favorite. I'm pretty jazzed to share this guest post over on the Doulas of Iowa City blog. In it your find the perfect pint-sized fall bucket list to keep you in rhythm with the season for baby's first fall.
What's your favorite local fall event? Share it in the comments below!
Johanna received a Ph.D. in English in 2014. Now a postpartum doula and educator of childbirth, breastfeeding, and infant sleep, she blogs about pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and parenting.