To ask how to entertain a baby on a daily basis?(39 Posts)
I feel like a crap mum. I'm coming to the end of my maternity leave (only 2 months left) and I just feel like I've not done much with my baby. I don't know if it's the pressures of social media or if again I'm just a shit mum.
The first couple of months she was born I was bed bound with several post natal infections one after the other. At the same time my daughter was hospitalised shortly with an infection too. After we got over these I promised id make more of an effort to take her to baby classes.
We went for about a month (once a week) and she really enjoyed it and the other babies company. She then got a chest infection before Christmas so didn't attend and then all these classes and things were closed over Christmas so again thought new year, new start!
And then my daughter became really ill it was unforseen and she was hospitalised again with a deadly infection and it's knocked us for six. It's had a huge impact on my mental health and it's taken months for her to recover.
The past few weeks however I just haven't felt up to taking her to these classes. These lovely perfect mums who ooze energy and look fucking amazing.
I'm just a mess, on a weekly basis I see my mum twice (we often go out to the shops or I go to hers and she plays round hers). I also go out maybe once or twice elsewhere on different days. For example the park for half an hour or to the shops again. Sometimes even little drives just to get out the house/get her to nap.
My daughter definitely sees other people but it's mainly adults as not many children in our family. As far as her development goes she's excelling and knows she is very much loved. I give her non stop attention.
I know I'm making excuses for myself and I should just go or try other baby environment places I just don't feel ready yet. I'm still coming to terms with everything thats happened and don't want to be know as "Debby downer" who cant get over the fact her baby nearly died.
At the same time I have this niggling voice in my head saying that my baby is bored and I need to do it for her and time is running out! I can't win!!
So basically AIBU to not go to these yet or at all.. I don't have many friends, well not any who have babies. I'm under the perinatal team and taking medication for my anxiety (postnatal depression has been ruled out).
Do you think it's ok to spend some days indoors? We watch films together, take naps, I put a blanket down on the floor and play with sensory toys for hours, and I read to her and sing to her and give her cuddles.
I did want to try swimming but she's not allowed to go until we've had the all clear after her op in June.
Thanks in advance
get a baby sling
get a comfy bag for the basics
get your trainers on
and go out for days out
just take her out, see the world AND enjoy yourself
fuck the baby places, just see the world, get your wings and confidence back?
I wasted my first mat leave as was too scared, and looking back this is what I would have done
I think you need to be kind to yourself.
Your baby knows that she's loved and that's the most important thing.
There's plenty of time for her to mix with other babies
I did take DS to loads (mostly to get myself out of the house as I’d have stayed in bed on Mumsnet all day otherwise).
It was totally for my benefit, with the exception of baby swimming (which he did enjoy) he gave absolutely zero fucks about the other children or the songs/games/music etc. I took him on quite a few walks as well and honestly he got more out of those than he did from baby sensory (look! A duck!).
He’s been in nursery for about a year now and is very sociable and chatty (crap at sharing but that is normal for toddlers). I don’t think classes make much difference either way, as long as you are interacting with DC and talking to them. Classes are just a structured way of doing that.
I do agree with PP though, that's my plan for the summer: make a list of museums and galleries that I'd like to visit and do it.
But don't put yourself under any pressure
If it's any consolation I went to all the baby classes because I felt like a bad mum. I'm fairly sure I had PND and it was my way of proving to the world that I was coping, and showing off how much I loved my baby.
Now he's a toddler, I go because honestly otherwise I get a bit bored and find the weeks really long.
Do what you want, when you want, how you want, so that you enjoy your last few months. Your baby is honestly not going to remember a damn thing about it!!
We go to baby groups/activities for MY sanity, not for DS. We have something lined up for every day of the week because I really struggle to keep him entertained and want to hit my head against a brick wall after a few hours at home. If it’s not for you, don’t stress it! Presumably when you go back to work she’ll be in some kind of group setting anyway? And she’ll be a bit older and more interested in other babies!
One of the groups we go to is called Singing Mamas. It’s a franchise I think. It’s totally about mums. Babies and children (we have some homeschooled kids come too) are welcome but it’s not for them, it’s for their mums to be put doing something and enjoying themselves. I find it’s a really nurturing environment and it’s nice to do something for me. Maybe you could look for something like that?
I can’t ducking stand baby classes, so I don’t go. Equally I don’t feel obliged to entertain my baby everyday.. some days she gets to roll around the carpet whilst I watch Tv. Realistically as a baby they’re happy doing whatever so you do you, really.
However you may want to take my advice with a pinch of salt because whilst i love my baby very much Iam not a baby person at all!
Stop beating yourself up. Babies don't need to be surrounded by other babies. Go out and do whatever you feel like doing, whether it's a walk to the park or going to town for a coffee.
They don't need to be constantly actively entertained by you. It's good for them to learn to entertain themselves, doing things you enjoy is a perfect opportunity for this and still helps their development
Also, I know it’s hard when they’ve been really ill, but she doesn’t need non-stop attention. In fact, there’s a lot to be said for, at times, ignoring them and letting them get on with entertaining themselves.
Don't feel guilty about this at all, baby groups are more for making mum friends than for the babies really! It sounds like you are having a lovely time and your baby is having loads of stimulation!
Go investigate a few if you want to make friends yourself in a similar situation, this can be really useful for your own wellbeing but I promise your daughter isn't missing out.
P.s. I doubt anyone would think you are a downer for talking about the terrifying experience of having a very sick child but if they do then they aren't worth making friends with!
I’ve never taken my kids to baby classes, but have enjoyed mum and baby/toddler groups. They’re pretty relaxed and easy going, £1 for a cuppa and biscuits and a natter with the older volunteers and other mums is fine. DS3 is only 13 weeks but the last couple times we’ve gone he liked lying on the baby gym and watching/listening to the toddlers play.
All those perfect looking mummies? Talk to some of them. They will be imperfect and have had bad experiences of some sort. Since I’ve stopped worrying so much about how I come across and have started laying my cards on the table emotionally speaking it’s become easier to find common ground with people.
I got chatting to a mum at DS1’s party, she said “I feel like the mums at school are stuck up, they never say hello” and I said “I never say hello, because I’m quite shy and worry what people think” she said “I worry about that too” and now we’re friends. I told my neighbour my house needed TLC because I’ve got depression and had just stabilized on my meds, she said “oh god yeah, I’ve got bipolar and off my meds I mow the grass at 3am, it’s awful, isn’t it?” and now we’re arranging to meet in the holidays at soft play.
O never went to any baby or toddler groups with any of my children because I don’t like them. I did activities I liked instead, while they were young enough not to have an opinion.
They have all turned out fine
Sounds like you are doing really well and your baby is thriving despite lots of illness and setbacks - must have been a terrifying time for you. Forget what you feel you should do and focus on enjoying the rest of your maternity leave with your baby. Believe me it goes so fast. Focus on bonding with your baby, doing things that make you feel happy and forget everything else.
I'm expecting my first and have no intention of going to these groups and classes. Except maybe a baby signing one if I can find one but only because I would like to learn that anyway as I work with children.
My first born had hardly any interaction with other people her own age until she went to playgroup. Even then, she preferred conversing with the adults to playing with other kids. She was very articulate and precocious, and the other children just didn't have the conversational skills she wanted/needed!
As a baby, I took her wherever I wanted to go and showed her everything. In the supermarket - 'look a potato!' or out walking 'how many cows?' Or just whatever. I may have appeared rather odd! And we read and read and played and played. We were so close I could understand at least 8 words from her by the time she was 10 months old.
As soon as she started school she became friends with loads of girls and boys her own age and is now a well-rounded, confident and beautiful young adult.
At this tiddler age, they are just as happy sharing with you, than
not sharing with other babies their own age. Seriously OP, your little one will be just fine being with just you for now.
Be kind to yourself, it's been a tough time for you xx
I take DS out but not really to classes other than swimming, he hates them. We walk a lot, loves the local aquarium, we see family and friends but mainly adults, he has an activity mat, tummy time roller a couple of toys, we have at least one book a day and I talk to him incessantly like the narrator he never wanted. He seems happy. I don't think babies need organised fun, she just wants to be with you, it's the interaction that's important
I had my kids many years ago and there just weren't the whole array of groups and classes there are now. We went to mother & baby coffee morning type things and the rest was all walks etc. Tbh I see things like "baby yoga" as money spinners. That's all. Plenty of happy and productive adults are walking around now that never went to any of these things.
Oh love, just wanted to send 💐 as I too felt like this went I went back to work after my second (who is now 6) and had also had a tough time with illness. I didn't do any baby classes with him for the exact reasons you mentioned.
Now the fog of the baby years has lifted though, I look back and my precious memories are of things we did together just me and him - taking a picnic to the park and sitting under a trees just playing and laughing with him, going for walks together, just getting on the floor at home and playing with him.
Honestly don't beat yourself up - your baby doesn't need anything but you at the moment.
Ah OP, don't worry. My DS is 4.5 months and I have done a baby massage course, tried Hartbeeps sensory and didn't like it, tried Baby Gym and DS doesn't like it, tried Adventure Babies and probably won't sign up for another term as neither of us really get messy play. His face when I sat him in spaghetti... I have signed up for baby sign language but that's more for me! A lot of them I only tried because my NCT group all seemed to be doing classes all week.
Honestly my DS is just as happy with a drive up to the retail park and a coffee so he can sit and nosey at people. When it's nicer I'll go to the park, the library, our nearest city. Combined with cuddles, naps, rolling about on his blanket, a bit of kids TV, that's plenty.
Honestly, OP, your baby will be happy spending the days pottering around with you at home. I take mine out because I would go insane indoors all day but other mums love it. I promise you your baby gives zero fucks whether they are going to baby classes or not. Sorry for all you've been through
I know this, because it's fucking hard having a baby who is poorly and in and out of hospital all the time and we are bloody awesome.
These lovely perfect mums who ooze energy and look fucking amazing probably don't have kids like ours. And are probably faking it anyway lol.
If you feel up to groups, great, go. Weather is getting better and hopefully she'll stay well. If not then there's plenty of other things to do and what she needs is love, and a Mom who knows she's bloody amazing x
Awh You've both been through a lot and you need to build up to activities. If your baby has you to play with her, and cuddle her, she'll be happy. Some of those mums gatherings can be intimidating and if you don't like them you don't have to go. As other said. get out and about. On down days I used to take my little one to an aquarium store and they just loved watching the fish swimming up and down. Or any outing really to break up the day. She's still small so short trips out and about are fine. Its good that you are both on the mend. Enjoy your time xxx
Your baby doesn't need baby classes, she needs a healthy mummy. Look after yourself and maybe look into some support for PTSD.
Kids don't socially interact until they are much older X
Babies don't need classes and they don't need the company of other babies just adults who love them.
Most babies in the world do perfectly fine without any kind of classes. I suspect they might benefit mums but that's all.
Babies don't need to go swimming. Parents are often in a great hurry to take them swimming but a baby is just as happy playing in the bath.
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