Bring Your Own Baby

Infant-friendly gallery mornings prove you’re never too young to appreciate art

Life with a young baby is a whirlwind of highs and lows. Sleep deprivation and an inability to leave home without the basic supplies of a small village aside, the lows can include losing sight of the person you once were.

But if that person used to love visual art, the National Galleries of Scotland have found a way to combine a cultural life with parenthood. Taking place on the first Monday of every month, Bring Your Own Baby invites parents and carers of infants aged 0–12 months to enjoy one of the Galleries current exhibitions, including a short tour.

‘We want people to feel relaxed in the gallery and feel like it’s a place where you can bring a baby,’ says adult programme coordinator, Grainne Rice, ‘and carry on those interests and pursuits you might have had before they were born.’

Fringe benefits, like special offers in the café and facilities to heat baby food, add a practical dimension – but really, it’s the chance to discuss art, and babies, with others that really appeals.

‘The whole ethos of the tour is that it’s fine for babies to gurgle or grizzle,’ says Rice. ‘During the tours we encourage people to say what they think about the art works, and sometimes we discuss the babies’ response to it. It’s definitely not about critical assessment – it’s all very informal.’

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Mon 2 May, 9.30am–12pm.

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