Socialising my perfect firstborn!(15 Posts)
My DC is 7 months old (also a perfect firstborn, this might be relevant). We live in a relatively rural community which also happens to be a university town, so there's always loads going on. I don't have any mummy friends and am increasingly aware that I probably need to start taking the LO out and introducing them to other babies.
I've lost the art of being sociable whilst on maternity leave and am struggling to overcome a bit of (very mild) social anxiety; I'm also probably a bit reluctant to start letting my squishy baba out into the world.
Gentle kicks up the arse would be really appreciated.
I must admit I never really worried too much about introducing my DS to others at that age - for me it was more about forcing myself out to meet others because I was lonely and bored and desperate for coffee and chat. But I guess it wouldn’t hurt to meet a few local people and chuck your kid on a rug next to theirs so you can watch them fight over toys . What exactly is it you’re worried about in terms of getting her out and about a bit more?
How do you spend your days at the moment? At that age socialising was more about me than it was for them, I don’t think a 7 month old needs ‘socialising’ necessarily. I would have gone insane without plenty of adult interaction though and we didn’t have family nearby.
Pick something a bit structured like a signing class or baby yoga or something - not just a coffee morning/meet up. You will be able to get through without too much small talk and you'll see it's not that scary.
It's a good idea to get the baby mixing a bit, even if it's only now and again. Especially if they will be going into childcare at some point. It might be better to do it at this point when your squishy baby won't be running or crawling all over the place too much!
Really though you can get through any mum's meet up by saying something like 'how old is this little one' and taking it from there. Compliment something about the baby, say you're finding x (sleep/weaning/whatever) tough and you'll soon be relating all over the place.
@hilbobaggins I suppose I just feel like I should be doing more with her? I mean, we go for long walks, sing and play etc., and I've taken her swimming once or twice. I think it's because we went past a local park the other day & her head nearly went all the way around trying to get a peek at the kids there. I felt a bit 🙁 that I'd maybe not been as active as I should've been with her.
I mean this from a place of kindness but what are your concerns about letting her out in to the world?
I have an 8 month old baby girl and I go to about 3 groups now. We do baby sensory, a local baby group and a singing group. She loves hanging out with the other babies. One thing it's helped with immensely is her not crying when she gets grappled by another baby or screeched at! As babies are inclined to do!
It will do both of you a lot of good to meet some other mums (and dads) with babies. It's so good to be able to ask if something is normal or hear others talk about the same problems you are having.
Well that’s ok Dwayne just take her along to something next week. Pick one thing and go and do it. She’s honestly not missed out on anything and there are years and years of socialisation time in front of you. If she’s keen to see what other kids are doing at the park it does sound as if she’s ready for a bit more engagement with others
What about you though? I struggled to make mum friends at the beginning amd was quite depressed - out of desperation I talked to anyone and anything and actually ended up making a couple of quite good friends by the end of the first year!It can be a bit awkward to begin with at these groups but that’s totally normal. To be honest I never particularly enjoyed but once in a while I had a nice conversation with someone and my DS seemed to enjoy them. Go in with low expectations (you’re there simply to give your baby a new experience, not to make fantastic friends for life) and then anything else, a quick chat or whatnot, is a bonus. It’s just something to do really. And it does help to know some local people with same age kids - those conversations can be very supportive.
@hilbobaggins Sorry, I don't check this regularly enough! I'm ok, I think? I've had PND and baby brain is ferocious (particularly as I previously had a research-based job). I guess I've just realised how small my world is. None of my friends have babies, and I do feel quite isolated. I find I spend a lot of time alone in coffee shops, so I suppose I just worry that she'll be lonely with me.
@DwayneDibbly as long as she has you at this age, she won’t be lonely. She’ll enjoy being around other kids, yes, but the loneliness is yours, not hers, and that isolation you describe is definitely something to work on, particularly if your recovering from PND. Even if you don’t meet great people immediately, it’s something to do that will break up the day and give you both something else to look at! And I bet you’ll be surprised at how keen other people are to connect. You won’t be the only one in this position.
Im in a similar position. Ive been on matenity leave since 29 weeks pregnant and my little girl is 7 weeks now. Sometimes I just love my little bubble in my home and can easily feel intimidated by others. I made myself book and pay for some baby classes to make sure I actually go !!
@DwayneDibbly... great name! My DH is a huge fan of Red Dwarf!
Anyway I digress..I remember feeling exactly like this 5 years ago. After a traumatic birth I was reluctant to take DS out and was v depressed. But then I found a local baby group at the church and they changed everything for me. They were hugely welcoming and supportive and would say to me "we don't mind if you turn up in your Pj's! Just come and see what you think " and I'm v glad I did that although it took literally months to take that leap.
Also another group I managed to get to was our local breast feeding support group. Wonderful ladies there who actually praised me when I went back when DS was two saying I was still b/f! (Much to my mother's disgust at the time!!) "Good!" they said! They even helped me with the car seat when I had no idea what I was doing at the time!
So I wish you all the best and i'm sure you will get out there and your DC will have a wonderful time..Just do it when YOU are ready xx
Just wanted to thank the kind-hearted few who commented on this - PFB is now in nursery and socialising happily with the other babies (barring 30 seconds of screaming when I drop her off!). Although the downsides of socialising are that she's had a cold since January and has picked up cold sores from a nursery worker.
Thank you all for your advice!
Have you seen the baby club program on bbc. It's quite similar to how baby clubs run so it might take away some of your anxieties about what clubs are like
Yes I have, it's brilliant! And the baby absolutely loves it. Thank you for the heads up though, it's just the thing. :-)
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