How to make mum/baby friends(19 Posts)
I appreciate I sound like a sad case. Just wondered if people have experience - have 2 older children (9&11) but pregnant with a late 3rd edition. All my local friends are from my current children's younger days and won't be having any more babies. I mostly lone work and am based from home, I don't have work 'friends'.
I'm also only going to be having 3 months off after baby's born - so how do I maximise the time and create friendships with other new mums to keep me sane and develop childhood friends for baby? Appreciate I'm not new to it, but it has been a long time and I'm out of the loop, it's actually bothering me that I know no one with a baby/having a baby and I really would like a little network. I remember trying mums and tots groups when my eldest was born and feeling like everyone knew each other and it was a waste of time taking a small baby as I spent most of the time too scared to put him down (in case he got trampled by the toddlers) so I'm not convinced going to those will be successful! Any tips - best places to go with new baby etc?
I think if you're not sure about meeting people you're better off in a group with a 'leader' (that's probably not the right word) i.e. someone who is there without a baby whose job it is to run the group. Surestart groups are good for that as they usually have a person there to run the group, also some church toddler groups (if you don't object to that sort of thing).
The sort that are run by parent volunteers can be harder for people who don't know anybody I think because however friendly the volunteers are they will always have half an eye on their own children, plus organising the group, plus trying to catch up with their own friends, so it's harder for them to focus on new people. That's my experience though and all groups will vary. Is there a facebook group for parents in your local town/area?
Are you UK based? If so the Children's centre groups are pretty good and age appropriate. They have baby groups, also put your name down for baby massage classes and some of them also do baby yoga, sounds crackers but it's something you can do in school hours with your baby and three or four other mums, it's a structured activity but with time to chat, and people often swap numbers and meet for coffee. I'd also suggest NCT but you will meet a load of first time mums, or private baby classes like Lazy Daisy. Good luck with your new arrival.
Sorry meant to say baby signing classes as well. Anywhere with little babies and you're right to avoid the toddler group / playgroups with the new born
Definitely look into your nearest children's/sure start centre. I didn't know anyone when I started to go to the weekly baby group but now see many of the same people at other local (church) run groups. Also you should be invited to the postnatal group by the health visitor when they come within the first couple of weeks and there you will meet mum's with babies of a similar age.
I go to a playgroup for under ones at a sure start centre. I went when he was 8 weeks old so he couldn't do a thing but I spoke to an adult!
Childrens centre is my advice too. Our area did baby massage but used to have a postnatal group which was very popular. Some playgroups have a baby corner but it depends on size of room as to how comfortable you would feel with boisterous toddlers.
You might have an antenatal visit from your health visitor - you could ask her then, or postnatally.
The other thing if you can afford it is to do antenatal exercise classes like yoga or swimming. That is how I met some friends when I moved to a new area at 35 weeks!!
That is an expensive way to make friends!! Having said that, I considered it but they weren't running when I needed them. But folk who did do them here have pretty exclusive "NCT gang" meet ups. If you've got two older ones and are going back to work at 3 months I suspect you'd find your priorities may be quite different to first time mums.
Do nct again and something like Lazy daisy Birthing. NCT offer Bump and Baby groups in my area.
Try to get to as many Sure Start centre/Mum and baby groups/baby sign/yoga/massage as you can after your baby's here.
I'd also try to be a bit pro active about actually making friends rather than just chatting at groups. I made some of my good friends when ds was tiny because they had limited time so were really up for going for a coffe/walk/picnic and were quick to suggest meet ups. Facebook (whilst crap generally!) is really good for this sort of thing because you can get and keep in touch with people you don't necessarily know very well.
- NCT classes
- Baby swimming classes - as there's no coffee/tea involved in the actual class, it's a good class to ask others if they fancying going for a coffee after
- Buggy fit classes
- Baby signing classes
- Bumps & babies coffee morning at local Surestart centre and similar thing run by local NCT group.
I think you just have to try a bunch of different classes/activities/groups until you find 'your people'. I made four solid friends on mat leave - one I met at the NHS antenatal class, one through the NCT email group for my area (I didn't actually do NCT classes), one I met in the GP waiting room, and one was a near-neighbour. In each case once I'd clocked that they seemed nice and on my wave length I made an effort to befriend by suggesting meets ups/ attending groups together etc. I also met plenty of other mums at groups, etc, who remained acquaintances during mat leave (ie saying hello and chatting at groups, or when I bumped into them at the shops) but that I didn't stay in touch with
It can be daunting, but you just have to put yourself out there
Ante and post natal yoga? Again with coffee or pub lunch after.
Be proactive and suggest going for a group coffee after baby classes. I go to baby singing class, swimming and various other classes with a friend- after each class we always say to the group 'we're going to grab a coffee at [insert name of coffee shop] anyone fancy joining us?' Then we all chat for a couple of hours over coffee and cake.
We also organised a couple of day-trips which was great excuse to swap numbers, one was a trip to aquarium where we got a group discount.
I'm in a similar position and have just started an NCT post natal course to try and make a new network.
As others have suggested massage and yoga were great cos there's a focus to the sessions. Our teacher was great on that she started off topics of conversation. Also be brave and ask people if they want to meet up. I wasn't brave and think I missed do the chance of making friends. That said I think I overestimated the importance of having baby friends, ds now at nursery so socialises there. I felt like I was failing him when he was little as I hadn't made friends! Hormones!
Thanks all, some really good ideas on here. I must admit I was steering away from NCT in my head because I imagine I will be in a different 'place' compared to lots of first time mums, however it's worth a go.
Antenatal classes, antenatal swimming, hypnobirthing - that way you get in touch before baby's here, as you're short on time after baby arrives! I'd second creating a FB/whatsapp group, it was a sanity-saver for me when I had no clue what I was dealing with when DC arrived, I could just post on our group and see if anyone else knew what the heck was happening! At the end of our antenatal group sessions one girl suggested we keep in touch and everyone was really keen (I was hoping someone suggested it but was too shy to do it). We've kept in contact 10 months later and really glad she suggested it.
In a lot of areas NCT run a 'refresher' course for second/third time mums. A friend moved areas before third baby and found a group of like-minded friends that way. Beats a course with all first-timers. Sign up early as places go! Also have another friend who moved after giving birth and did an nct postnatal group to meet people. Another way would be to post on a local mums forum (search facebook for local baby/mums forums or post on mumsnet local on here), basically saying your expecting a third baby and would anyone in similar situation want to meet for coffee?
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