To not go to baby/toddler groups?(82 Posts)
Is my DS(1) massively missing out?
We go to soft play centres every so often but the idea of going to mums groups or children centres isn't for me.
How important is it for toddlers to interact with other toddlers?
We rarely attend any. I get fed up of the parents who go for a coffee and a chinwag with their mates and ignore their little darlings, who are destructive and generally unpleasant to the younger and smaller children. I just try and arranger play dates at our house once or twice a week and go to soft play once a week as well.
I think it's nice for toddlers to get to know each other with regular play groups. Many make friends over the months. Also playgroups are generally cheaper and easier than soft play which can be geared for a wide range of ages. My play group is £1.50 compared to around a fiver for soft play, plus you have to pay for drinks and snacks!
So in answer to your question, it’s not that important in my opinion. If your son is well socialised in other ways he will be absolutely fine.
He's well socialised with adults but doesn't spend much time with other children, unless at soft play.
I don't actually know any other mums locally yet, in part because I'm new to the area and haven't made the effort to go to any of these groups!
I didn’t take my 2 ever ( because I’m socially bad ) they are both well rounded sociable boys. Your ds at 1 has no clue , he will meet lots of friends as he goes through pre school and school years .
I have major anxiety about groups if I'm honest.
I've told myself he won't miss out as he'll be going to nursery and school eventually at which point I'll make an effort to be more social.
I used to feel the same I tried baby sensory for a few months but I didn’t enjoy going and it was expensive. I forced myself to take my son to a sure start playgroup when he was 14 months and I am glad I did he enjoys it and it is very well run. There is lots of different activity options and I think it’s nice for him to be with others his age. I think it helps that the room is really small which makes it easier to chat to other mums a bit but most of the time I’m just happy helping my child with the activity’s and he has great fun. It can be very daunting going on your own I put it off for ages but you might enjoy it and you dont need to go back if not.
My partner has offered to come along with me to quell the first time anxiety of going, if i can find one for when hes not working, but I think I'd look a plonker turning up with a chaperone
I HATE baby groups. Some kids just run wild and the parents ignore them. Some kids are filthy. Some kids are covered in snot and sores, and they’re touching my DC or trying to hand over germ covered toys. Parents chat to their friends and ignore the new person (I.e. me) who ends up hovering uncomfortably and then leaving. The toys are invariably crap and nothing that my DC doesn’t have at home. And I spend the whole time policing my DC to prevent dirty toys being mouthed and DC being hurt by other kids.
My DS, 1 in a week, is very well socialised with adults but used to cry when other children went near him! Was absolutely terrified by the one weekly baby music class we did go to. So I’ve found it very important to bring him around other children, ahead of starting nursery in April. If your child isn’t scared or upset by other children, there’s probably no need- I’ve heard that they only play in parallel (and not together) until around the age of 3 anyway.
I never went to any with eldest and won't go to any with baby. I hate it. No guilt.
With DS1 (age 4) I never went to a single baby group! It’s just not my thing at all. However, my sister had a baby just 2 months before and my best friend had a baby 3 months after so I spent loads of time with them but that’s about it child wise. He is in nursery now and SO SOCIABLE so I really wouldn’t worry.
@CosmicComet that is exactly the type of situation I envisioned and wanted to avoid!
@HappyGoLuckyGo initially DS was very nervous around other children (clung to me at soft play and cried when I tried to encourage him to play) but he's gotten more confident the more I've taken him.
Soft play seems to be less pressurised than baby groups as there's less expectation for parents to mingle
I'm due another baby very soon so have been telling myself he's not going to be lonely, but by the time baby is old enough to interact with him he'll be in nursery and making friends by then anyway
I preferred doing classes. So no pressure to interact but you could do a quick hello and catch up before and after. And also see the same people every week.
YANBU I’m very much the same, don’t handle groups well at all.
I have twins who are 15 months but because of their premature arrival and extremely low birth weight, they are small for their age and the one time I did attend a group I got a lot of very rude/judgmental questions about what I did in pregnancy that caused it and about how I was feeding them etc. (I got some genuinely curious ones too which I don’t mind as much) and knew that it wasn’t for me, this was at a special group for parents of premature babies too!
Not saying they’re all bad, but certainly not everyone’s cup of tea either.
From personal experience both DH and I were raised in an environment with mainly adult interactions as babies I had a brother 2 years older, DH is an only child too.
I’m somewhat antisocial as an adult - but wasn’t as a child :’) DH is extremely outgoing and a social butterfly, only two examples but I don’t think Baby/Toddler groups are the be all and end all. You take DS to soft play which is more than I can manage!
Yeah, partly I also think it’s age- DS was worst around 9mo, but now is much happier. We don’t have softplay where I live, but if it works, it works! Don’t feel bad about it. I will say, I grew the love the baby class I resentfully stuck with and now meet up weekly with various mums from it. We’re not close, but it’s nice to have some adult conversation and a cup of tea whilst supervising the children.
The classes are really fun and in my experience everyone is very friendly. It's lovely having other mum friends and I think you'd benefit from it as much as your child would, especially if you're a bit isolated in a new area. It may seem daunting but most of them are less than an hour long, so if you really aren't keen you can just chalk it up to experience.
The coffee and chat afterwards isn't mandatory so you don't need to engage with it if you don't fancy it to be begin with. I really look forward to that part as well though! (all the mums at the groups I go to play nicely with their babies and certainly don't ignore them, I can't speak for all groups though only the ones in my area!)
I didn’t go to any.
DS started nursery at 14 months that was enough.
He spent lots of time with cousins and family.
The first and last time I went to a baby group was 25 years ago with my eldest DD. I sat there whilst babies & toddlers went over and snatched toy after toy off my DD, with their mothers ignoring them, can still remember the look of horror on my DDs face. After being ignored for (however long the agony went on for) we left. Never bothered again. I now have 3 well-rounded children!
I think classes are a good idea though, wish things like baby yoga and 'messy monkeys' was around when mine were babies.
I never did it with mine but there wasn't much of that sort of thing around then. He went to playgroup for two mornings a week, a couple of hours each I think, I didn't have to be there, just took and picked up. He seemed to enjoy that.
Now there is so much more available, including music stuff for very little ones and I might have made the effort for that but, frankly, didn't like the idea of having to be in the company of other parents for however long, chatting and having coffee.
Anyway I worked part time so probably wouldn't have been able to fit any more in.
He started school (would be called a pre school now though was part of a primary school), the month before he was three so he had company of other young children every morning from then on.
You're not unreasonable, not everyone enjoys enforced company - I like my own company, always have, was very happy with colleagues at work but when at home, loved having time to myself or with my son. I don't think it's that unusual.
People back then often did a fair bit of socialising at baby clinics but I took my child to my doctor for vaccinations, annual check ups, etc.
Ugh can’t stand play group, baby sensory etc. so many judgments, competitive mums there. Just hang out with your own friends.
Seeing other babies and toddlers as soft play is plenty imo. And then nursery later. Don't go unless you want to.
My experience is that baby/toddler groups can be excruciating initially, especially if it feels like everyone else knows each other and you are the only one without anybody to talk to. I think very few people find scenarios like that easy and it's so difficult to break the ice with people when you're on your own and they are already obviously part of a friendship group, but my advice would be to keep trying.
Eventually your effort will be rewarded as people begin to recognise you and your child begins to recognise the other kids. For us this led to us building up quite a big circle of friends that not only made baby/toddler groups more enjoyable, but also led to play dates, party invites and a real feeling of support.
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