As I’ve said recently, today I’m gonna write how you and your baby can be active in Istanbul. Did you do any sport during pregnancy or after the postpartum period? Great! Do you involve your little ones in exercises? Even better! So why give up on your holiday? If you go to Istanbul and you want to continue the physical activity with your babies, you’re in the right place 😉 Below you can see the places, where you can release endorphins in your “free time” with your babies 😉
However, many webpages are in Turkish, so I recommend you to read the little dictonary before:
Age of Toddler:
……ay – …… months old
…….yaş / yaşında – ……. years old
Days of the week:
hafta – week
pazartesi – Monday
salı – Tuesday
çarşamba – Wednesday
perşembe – Thursday
cuma – Friday
cumartesi – Saturday
pazar – Sunday
Other useful words:
dersler – classes
bireysel ders – individual lesson
tanıtım dersi – introductory lesson
grup dersleri – group classes
iletişim – contact
oyun – game
çocuk – child
anne – mom
şubeler – departments
(Kişibaşı) fiyat – price (per person)
doğum günü – Birthday
havuz – swimming pool
emzirme – breastfeeding
yüzme okulu – swimming school
a) My Gym – fitness club for little children with classes from the second month of life till the age of 13. It offers learning and playing in one. Trainings led there are directed to children alone or babies with mums. Furthermore, the club organizes birthday parties for little members 🙂 “My Gym” is situated in many locations in Istanbul and out of Istanbul. You can check the schedule in chosen location clicking on the tab “şubeler” (in English: departments) and typing the closest district. The class names are written in English. Some departments even lead several classes in this language.
b) Doum Mom & Baby Yoga – DOUM school has been established for yoga fans, who are expecting baby and for those who have recently given a birth to baby. There are three kinds of yoga classes: yoga for pregnant women, yoga for women after childbirth and also yoga for moms with babies. Moreover, you can find many different exercises there: pilates, breathing and meditation in pregnancy, massaging the baby… There is also a birth school and a lactation center. You can find out more about the program and fees on the English version of the official website. DOUM is located on the European side in the Sarıyer district on Emirgan Sokak (street) 16/1.
c) Swimming – there are plenty of swimming schools organizing classes for babies with their parents.
The most popular one is Aqua Tots. This school is situated in two districts: First one is the Etiler neighbourhood in European district called Beşiktaş (address: Seher Yıldızı Sokak 23). The other one is Göktürk in, also European, Eyüp district (address: Kayın Sokak 2). Babies can start learning to swim already in the sixth month of life. The school offers eight levels of teaching depending on the child’s age. Aqua Tots has the English version of the webpage. You can order a free trial lesson there.
Below I’m giving you information about other swimming schools (leading their websites only in Turkish).
First one is Sensory Swimmers. It’s part of a school for parents and toddlers “Baby Sensory”. Classes are divided on three age groups: 1) from newborn till the age of one, 2) from 13th month till the age of two, 3) from 24 to 36 months. Classes take place in Asian district called Ataşehir (Barbaros Mahallesi) on Evren Cad. 56/A. “Baby Sensory” not only leads a swimming school, but also many educational programms for Toddlers and practical seminars for parents preparing for the best care for a baby, eg: sensory classes for infants and small children, preparation for potty training, seminar of effective baby sleep and even learning the infant “sign language”. Participants have the opportunity to take part in various events arranged by “Baby Sensory”, eg. holly days or Birthdays. Furthermore, you can also go to the lactation center there or order a professional photo session for your Star 🙂
Second swimming school is Aqua Babies, which is situated not only in Turkish cities, but also in the UK, Northern Cyprus, Thailand, Australia and in several European and Asian countries. Classes are directed for kids from the second month of life till the age of 5. They take place in the European district Bayrampaşa on 50. Yıl Cad. (street) 111. Third school is called Swimlabs. It organizes classes for toddlers with parents in two age levels: 1) 6-18 months old, 2) 18 months – 3 years old. Groups are up to three people. Three-year-olds can already start lessons for beginners just with teachers, without parents. Classes are taking place in the European side, in Beşiktaş district (Akatlar neighborhood) on Uğur Mumcu Cad. 8. It’s the building of Mustafa Kemal Culture Center Mall (tr. Mustafa Kemal Kültür Merkezi). And the last swimming complex organizing exercises for small children is called Dolphin Babies and it’s located in Asian district Üsküdar (address: Cumhuriyet Mah, Nurol Sokak 31). Classes for the first group of babies (0-15 months) take place on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Second group (15 months – 2,5 years) can attend on Saturdays and Sundays. Third group “Toddlers” (3 – 4 years) has an opportunity to participate in swim classes on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. You can see the details of schedule HERE.
Sometimes in the Internet you can find in older articles the mention of school „Swim Baby Türkiye”, which led classes for babies (also newborns) in two Istanbul locations. I just wanted to say here, that unfortunately, since 2017 this facility works only in Bodrum (info from the official website).
4) Dance – I don’t know what about you, but my Bibi is very musical🙂 She likes to dance and even create the songs from her babbling 😉 Most schools, however, organize dance classes for children from the age of four. If you’re currently in Istanbul and you want to dance, you can use two possibilities, even, if your child isn’t one year old yet. Both websitewebsites have their English versions.
First option is Joimove. It’s the international dance school founded by Selen Yılmaz. Classes are designed for mothers with babies in slings or baby carriages. You can learn different types of dance: salsa, bachata, belly dance, ballet, rock and others… Before class starts, moms take a part in a short seminar on the safe babywearing (the school has the reserve baby carriages if you don’t have yours). Moreover, Joimove provides water and snacks for participants and organizes various integration events. The minimum age of baby is 8 weeks (maximum is around 18 months). Before signing up for classes, they recommend a routine appointment with a gynecologist (most of the newly-minted mothers do this in the sixth week after delivery). Answers to the most bothering questions you can find on the official website. Beside Istanbul, Joimove is situated in Izmir, Bursa and Antalya as well. Joimove works also in the United Kingdom, USA, Mexico and in many European and Asian countries. If you want to know more about the program and location, you can find the country and the city that interests you in the tab Find a class, and then click on the name of the selected instructor. You will find there an e-mail address or links to social media through which you can contact directly. If the names of trainers in your country don’t have a link to the contact details, you can use the contact form.
The other option is Salon Sanat Music Together. This school is more focused on all musical activities than strictly dance (singing, dancing, playing instruments, movement activities). Classes are conducted in different age groups from newborns to age of five. Salon Sanat is located in two Istanbul districts. First one is Caddebostan on Asian side (address: Mustafa Reşit Belgesay sok. Aydınlık apt., No: 40/1). Second location is Beyoğlu on European side (address: Cihangir, Susam sok. 11/1). „Music Together” works also in Ankara (İncek district).
This article is dedicated not only to Moms who stopped with their children in the former Constantinople on holiday. I also highly recommend it to foreign wifes/girlfriends of Turks, who live with them and their children in Istanbul or decided to give a birth there… And there’re plenty of them. I spent most of my maternity leave in Turkey. I didn’t have so many friends there (almost all of them were singles), so I often felt lonely. Taking up some activities with your baby, you have this positive feeling, that you do something more than „only” babysitting – that you do something for yourself. Moreover, you meet some new people, with whom you have a lot of common topics to talk about 🙂
Next entry will be a bit unsual, because I will write about the children’s hairdressers in Istanbul 🙂 We already have experience with one hairdressing salon, so I’m going to review his services, so that you can read the article for the familiarization purposes afterwards 😉 I’ll also inform you about other available hairdressers for children in the city.