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To not want to go to baby groups?

(57 Posts)
AlisonL1981 Mon 23-Sep-13 23:26:43

I'm very new to the area I'm currently living in. I'm very shy and self conscious and don't like meeting new people.

I'm currently feeling guilty that my 6 month old ds is not interacting with and other children. (Shouldnt have watched doc Martin this evening)

Should I go for ds's sake? What type of groups would be best for a 6mo or us it better to wait until he's a bit older.

I haven't seen much in the way if patent and baby activities locally anyway.

ThoraNomiki Tue 24-Sep-13 07:47:20

I'd recommend baby swimming - it's an essential skill, so won't feel like a pointless maternity leave time filler, you interact directly with your child, so you don't have to worry about making small talk with others and will give you memories of spending lovely one on one time with your baby.
Other than that don't worry about him interacting with other babies - he just needs you smile

NewBlueShoesToo Tue 24-Sep-13 07:55:01

Doc Martin was funny- I would steer clear of any group like that.
There's no rush. I started swimming and a music group when DC3 was over 1. She loves the swimming but really I did it just to get us out of the house.
Toddler groups can be okay but the sort where they compare what perfect mothers they all are can be quite dull.
Can you ask your health visitor if there is anyone local she could introduce you too? My favourite days are meeting a friend for a walk and a coffee.

pianodoodle Tue 24-Sep-13 07:59:06

My favourite days are meeting a friend for a walk and a coffee.

Me too! And oddly enough, to talk about something other than babies!

I don't know if that's selfish but I always stayed clear of situations where I knew the conversation was going to be all baby related down to minute detail. I just found it, well... boring blush

Meglet Tue 24-Sep-13 08:02:42

A 6 month old baby doesn't need them but you might find them useful for meeting local parents. If you attend one in your community then those parents will be the ones you bump into at the park, your dc's will attend nursery / pre-school together and eventually school.

It takes a while to find the right group though. Why not try and mix of informal toddler groups and something structured like swimming or baby music classes.

Madmum24 Tue 24-Sep-13 08:04:42

I'm curious how a six week week old "loves the class?"

monkeymamma Tue 24-Sep-13 08:05:31

I found the drop in type groups scary and chaotic at first, with a lot of opportunity for cliqueyness and getting left out (and lots if partial chats that didn't really go anywhere because neither of you knew if he other would be coming back next week). We had moved to a new area and lots of mums obviously knew each other since forever which was offputting. So I gave up a bit, but felt quite isolated and down. Then at ds 3m check our hv rumbled me on all of this, sat me down and called round all the children's centres till she found some of the free classes (the ones you have to sign up for) that had places left. It was bossy, but actually just the right thing to do :-) I ended up doing baby yoga, baby calm and first time mums. I loved the structure and routine it introduced to my life and it was so much easier to socialise in a smaller group. We all swapped details at the end of each course and I made a lovely group of friends. it also gave me the confidence to go back to some more if the drop in type things where I made at separate events two very good friends who have really been there through the ups and downs and now our children are toddlers they have some wee friends to hang out with! So yabu to rule this out altogether imo but yanbu to struggle with it a wee bit, I know how it is to feel shy! X

PicnicPie Tue 24-Sep-13 08:11:37

My DD is 9 months and we started at about 6 months when my daughter was rolling around and napping less in the day. We do a Sure Start freebie stay and play Baby Club once a week and Baby Sensory which we pay for. I'm so glad we've started going. I honestly look forward to both days as it gets us both out of the house and meeting different parents and babies. I've made some nice mummy friends who I'll probably keep in contact with when I go back to work.

Like others have said, give it a go. Maybe start with your local Childrens Centre and see how you get on. You never know you may love it and make some good friends....

AidanTheRevengeNinja Tue 24-Sep-13 08:12:57

I go to baby groups most mornings because it's an easy way to keep my easily bored 7 month old entertained. He sits on my knee and stares agog at the other babies, they stare back, they mouth each others' toys disgusting and it makes the day go nice and quickly. I don't kid myself it is in any way necessary for his development, but it's fun, it gets us out of the house, gives him some stimulation, and takes the pressure off me to think of stuff to do with him. And it tires him out so he sleeps much better afterwards!

I don't go to make friends particularly - I have a pleasant chat with the person sitting on either side but leave it at that. I've met some nice people though and got good tips about things eg nurseries, weaning etc.

I imagine if I was an interesting person with an interesting life who was skilled at playing with babies I would manage just fine without groups, but alas I am not grin

Maybe try one and see, but if you don't like them, don't go, they aren't necessary by any means. They weren't even around in my mother's day and we all grew up fine.

MinesAPintOfTea Tue 24-Sep-13 08:14:43

Are you going to be a SAHP? If not then she will get all the group interaction she needs fairly soon. If you are then maybe you should think about activities to give you both some structure in a few months time.

My favourite is the library rhymtime because its structured. Or the pilates class where we put all the babies on their playmats with toys (from home) in the middle and let them roll around together. Trying to make smalltalk and feeling like the only outsider in the village was horrendous.

Bonsoir Tue 24-Sep-13 08:21:03

Babies need to see other DC from an early age, very preferably in the company of their primary carer(s) with other babies in the company of their primary carer(s). This can be at baby groups or at your local park/playground. Public swimming pools are best avoided until children are 12 months or more, since they are chock full of germs.

DC who have older siblings don't need to go out and about as much, but with a first child, helping them to adjust very gently to life in society is a hugely important parenting task.

JustBecauseICan Tue 24-Sep-13 08:29:58


Just because someone happened to get pregnant at the same time as you, why on earth would that mean you wanted to spend any time with them?

Baby groups must be the modern day definition of the Inferno. All that PFB-ness whizzing round. Urgh.

I never went to any, I went to the park, and happened to get talking to an American woman who became one of my closest friends. I also met at the same time a bunch of other mothers with their pushchairs who given that their brains seemed to have fallen out of their vaginas along with their babies I soon detached from.

Dd is 9 and a social butterfly which I find amazing as I am a bit of a people hating sociopath.

poocatcherchampion Tue 24-Sep-13 08:30:10

swimming pools avoided! confused

Damnautocorrect Tue 24-Sep-13 08:37:38

I'm not a mummy and baby group fan so I didn't go to any, I did do tumble tots once he was walking though and that was brilliant, less intense and stary and judgy on the mums. Babies don't 'need' socialising until much later, some even say three upwards. So don't feel bad, go with what your comfortable with.

Bonsoir Tue 24-Sep-13 08:39:40

The "three upwards" for socialising is when they need to start socialising without their primary carer - DC should have been socialising with their primary carer since shortly after birth.

Oriunda Tue 24-Sep-13 08:40:16

Hmm .... Because he was happy, responsive, smiling? Baby massage helped enormously with nappy changes and even now, at 19 months, DS loves being massaged. It's part of his bedtime routine and he gets himself into position and screams for the lotion.

You may sneer, and it may not be right for all babies, but we got great value and enjoyment out of the classes that we did and still do.

purrpurr Tue 24-Sep-13 08:46:17

I won't be avoiding swimming until 12 months. Chock full of germs, for gods sake. Best avoid the GP surgery then eh? Just for the first year... hmm

Haven't seen anyone else say this but baby classes help me refocus on my DD sometimes. She has bad reflux and I spend most of my time with her trying to soothe her, trying to feed her, more soothing... As my DH says, I go through painkillers like they are biscuits, I have a constant headache from the crying. It gets me down. I cry probably twice a week. Going to baby sensory puts DD in a bright, noisy environment with all sorts of things going on and it seems to help her, distracts her from feeling rotten. It helps me because I get to see my little baby girl smile. Keeps me going for the rest of the week.

Ragwort Tue 24-Sep-13 08:46:54

Of course it is not essential for your baby but what about you? You admit you are new to the area and don't have much interaction with other people apart from your DH.

You might be happy with that but I find it very sad that there are so many socially isolated people in the community - you see many threads on mumsnet about people feeling 'lonely' and unable to make friends.

Of course it takes a bit of an effort at first but what would happen in an emergency, do you have any friends who could help you out? I have moved a lot so I understand it is not easy but I always throw myself into lots of organisations (not necessarily child centred ones) so that I get to know people and get involved in the community I live in.

I strongly believe in the expression 'it takes a village to raise a child'. smile

worsestershiresauce Tue 24-Sep-13 08:47:12

I took my 6 month old for the first time last week. Utter hell. I had to foist myself on people as no one was friendly, and my baby was literally knocked about by feral toddlers whose mothers didn't do a thing about it. I don't feel comfortable man handling other people's kids, but in some cases I had to gently pull them away.

If you go, I'd advise one where babies and toddlers have different play areas.

Rachel778 Tue 24-Sep-13 08:48:42

OP I saw Doc Martin as well , . lol . .

Re your Dilemma its really up to you . . When I was little (admittedly a long long time ago) there were no toddler groups around at all . . Mum would play games with me, read to me, sing with me etc . . Why not find one, go along and take it from there smile

VisualiseAHorse Tue 24-Sep-13 08:51:18

I don't have a choice. I don't drive. Nearest toddler group is 1 hours walk along a busy country road.

My lad is 18 months, and still very sociable and chatty. Last time he saw a toddler was about a month ago. We often go round to friends instead, who have older children, and he has lots of fun there. I don't know if babies 'need' to be with other babies. My lad has been left without me when I go out, and always copes fantastically. I used to live in a very isolated community, and found the children there (often only one or two babies or toddlers in a community of about 40 people) to be like little social butterflies!

Cuddlydragon Tue 24-Sep-13 09:16:09

I'm a big fan of baby swimming. Very structured and doing the same stuff helps break down awkwardness between mummies. Swimming pools are best avoided before the first vaccinations at 2 months and below 10 lbs in weight as the babies get too cold NOT 12 months.

Bamboobambino Tue 24-Sep-13 09:29:23

YANBU. I have twins and they have plenty of interaction with GPs, my best friend who has a baby, and with each other. We also get out every day to the park, supermarket, shops, grannie's place etc. I'd rather eat my own arm than try to manage twins at one of these groups while working out which cliques to avoid! My DTs will go to nursery 2 days a week when aged 7m so will have lots of interaction there too. When sat in the GP surgery waiting for vaccinations I overheard 2 mums discussing the relative merits of local primary schools when their babies are 3 months. I can't be doing with it. It rem

Bamboobambino Tue 24-Sep-13 09:30:49

Reminds me of my housemates trying to outdo each other when revising for exams at university. Not for me, id rather stay away from the competitive parents that seem to populate my area!

MiaowTheCat Tue 24-Sep-13 09:50:33

I endure the hell of our local children's centre one every week for the sake of dd1. For me its shit - we've gone for a year and almost a half and the clique who dominate barely still speak to me, despite my constant attempts to break the silence, and one of the staff is so bad at doing the 'education' part of her role without just being preachy and condescending that she don't half get my back up and last week she was on about ringing the health visitor as I was having a somewhat mardy antisocial day and was playing with the kids and not smiling while ignored by the clique like normal (health visitors comment last time they rang her - to tell her I was having issues getting dd2s neocate prescribed and a situation I also said the HV was sorting out for me - was 'oh god for pity's sake!').

Oh and if they ask me did I know dd1 has had her nose stuck in a book concentrating for 20 minutes now one more time!

I just go because its different toys for them to play with and dd1 benefits from more space to crawl and cruise around really. Quite liked library rhyme time (apart from it being about 10 minutes too long) but our library has been closed for months for a full refurb. And yes were spoilt here with no children's centres closed and investment going into libraries still!

MrsMook Tue 24-Sep-13 09:54:11

Different groups have different atmospheres.

Our childrens centre is quite small, so has a cosy atmosphere and stays calm despite a spread of ages at stay and play. The same circle of people go most weeks and it's nice to see the same aquaintences regularly. I didn't like the toddler group in the community centre, being bigger and more echoey, it seemed to get DS riled.

I've always done something or other as I need to get out and interact in the day. I don't manage well in the house and need motivation to get out. I find I interact better with the DCs when out as there are different stimuli for them.

I like structured things best. Casual turn up and play groups seem to attract more packs of friends and get cliquey. Something like buggy fit which is more parent based is a good one as it's more likely to attract like minded people and gives a better chance of people clicking with each other. I'm not going to claim great social benefits for very young children, but a variety of setting and toys is good. As they get older, the benefits increase.

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