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Are baby/toddler groups necessary? Feeling rubbish.

(6 Posts)
Chocolateismyvice Wed 13-Jun-18 18:04:02

My son is coming up to 16 months (first child). We have gone to the odd baby group since he's been born but I've never really enjoyed them.

My HV came today for a development check, all good, thriving, etc. She asked if I go to baby/toddler groups. I said "occasionally". She said I really need to start going properly to give DS a chance to learn to socialise. I agree to an extent.

Anyway after she left, it's been playing on my mind all day and I know feel like a rubbish parent sad

I'll admit DS doesn't really have many other kids in his life. My close friend has a DD a few months younger and is due another soon. My cousin has a son a little older. Trouble is, I only see my friend every two weeks or so. And I rarely get to see my cousin and her boy, as I work part time and my cousin's son goes to his father half the week (schedules clash). He doesn't and probably won't ever have cousins.

I work 3 days a week (one day on weekend). On my days off, we sometimes to go Rhyme Time at the library. Aside from that, we go the park, run errands, go shopping, go the park, play at home, go to library, visit family so we are usually busy (we got in down time as well).

I just now feel incredibly guilty that I'm depriving my son of a chance to socialise?? I WILL be going to a local group I went to a couple of times before but I haven't been recently as my son's naps went to shit (waking at 4 30am so napping during the time of the baby group which was obviously more important to let my toddler sleep!)

My son is with my mum 2 says a week when I work, not nursery. He will also be going to a playgroup when he's 2 (leave him there for a couple of hours but is for age 2+) and we are hoping to TTC again soon so will hopefully have another sibling next year!

Sorry for the long post but my HV has really made me feel like crap today because I don't regularly take him to a baby/toddler group. Am I doing wrong by my son for not taking him to groups?

catinasplashofsunshine Wed 13-Jun-18 18:09:56

If he'll go to a playgroup at 2 that's fine.

My eldest did very much enjoy the company of other toddlers from about 12 months old, but she might equally have enjoyed the company of cats or something, she just liked interacting grin

From 2 my kids definitely had friendships in their own way, and asked for specific toddler friends if they hadn't seen them. Not at 16 months though.

TeaAddict235 Wed 13-Jun-18 18:14:19

The playgroup / nursery from 2 is good socialisation and so do not worry. He's at the age whereby you and his other main carers are his main focus, I.e. if you are emptying the washing machine he will want to help, if you are vacuuming then he will want to take the vacuum apart etc, and so as long as you interact with him and keep him stimulated then all is well. True as he gets older he will need more age appropriate socialisation as they learn a lot (both good and bad) from similar aged children, but as said nursery will be good for that.

Caterina99 Wed 13-Jun-18 18:39:05

I don’t think it makes that much difference before age 2 as most kids don’t really play together at that age, just parallel play.

I found the baby and toddler groups were more for my sanity to get out of the house and talk to adults and my DS to play with some new toys and give me a bit of a break from destroying the place. DS didn’t care about the other kids particularly

bookmum08 Wed 13-Jun-18 18:49:54

When he is with your mum does she take him out and about to groups or just cafes /supermarkets etc. At this age - just starting to talk pretty much everything is a social event. Toddlers will chat to everyone and everything.

Chocolateismyvice Wed 13-Jun-18 20:40:31

@Catina, your comment made me laugh. DS loves animals and spent this afternoon chasing and 'talking' to ducks and pigeons!

Thanks for the reassurance, everyone. I'm already planning on taking him to a baby/toddler group in a couple of weeks (already have plans next week when it's on), I went once before then DS's sleep took a nosedive. They all seemed quite nice and it's only a 25 minute walk so lovely when it's sunny (plus there's a bakery nearby so we can make a cake to share grin ). I live in Wales and if there are any Welsh mums here, the playgroup when he's 2 is Cylch so I'm hoping he'll get to know a couple of kids in this baby group (a Ti a Fi one) that will also be going.

I've also recently got back in touch with an old friend from work and found out she has a son a little younger than mine, and we are meeting next week.

Thing is, DS is a lovely, happy, sociable little boy and has lots of stimulation but HV has really made me feel like shit about it. sad

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