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When to start going to mother & toddler groups....(21 Posts)
... and other baby activities.
My baby is just 10 weeks old now and still cries alot - especially when out and about. She squirms and cries... Plus she feeds every 3.5 hours and gets overstimulated if up for more than 1.5 hours at a time.
I feel I can't go to baby groups (M&T groups, baby swimming, yoga, etc) yet until she is old enough to settle more.
Should I stop stressing and be more patient? When were your babies ready to go to outside activities?
I'll be going back to work when she is 12 months (full time) so want to make the most of this year with her.
At that age the baby group is not really for the babies but for you.
But try and get baby to fit in with what suits you instead of the other way around, will make getting out and about a bit easier, the first few months can be really hard.
Get a sling or will baby sleep in the buggy?
Most baby activity classes are quite short eg swimming (probably better when she's had her jabs and is 4/5 months old).
I'd look for mum and baby groups aimed at under 1s, as they're easier than worrying about your baby with toddlers etc charging around, and everyone else is more in your position. Any baby group will understand if you feel you need to go a bit early or something (it's probably better unless there's no issue about numbers to go and leave early).
I went when ds was 3 months. Nice group and someone held my baby for me and made me a cup of tea. I was so grateful. I could BF there as well if I wanted.
So louii is right - it is more for you than for your baby - but it gets you out and also you can suss out if it is a nice group that you want to go to later.
I went to my first baby group when DS was 2 weeks old, mainly for me to talk to other mums,
DS was in the sling, and slept for the majority of the time, other than when i was BFing him.
took him swimming for the first time when he was about 4months
do you have a NCT bumps and babies group near by as this is group specifically for babies under one,
my local group was great and i made lots of friends.
Stop stressing. Babies don't need to go to activities. If you want to get out and meet other mums, then find a postnatal group or a breastfeeding cafe to go to. They will be very understanding of squirming, crying babies!
I started taking DD swimming at about 4/5 months and to a baby gym class from about 8 months, just before she started crawling.
When I was running a M&T, we encouraged mums to come when they were pregnant - we put our info out to the community midwives and health visitors.
These groups are as much for the mums as they are for the children.
ok am supposed to be preparing a picnic so this will be brief (and perhaps abrupt)
logon to the nct website event finder and look for a meet up bumps and babes/tums to tots often held in a pizza express branch
baby massage and baby yoga will be good in a few weeks (12/13 weeks old)
find out if you have a surestart or childrens centre which runs an 'up to one group'
actual mother and toddler groups as supposed to mum and baby classes are for slightly older children walking/cruising generally and tend to be noisy and hectic, with a first baby i would recommend going to the above type of activities which are a bit more for you than for baby but help you meet other mums, as with a second baby it gets taken to mum and toddler groups to watch the older sibling-I really miss the baby and massage classes this time round as you cant take older children
Go to your local church - they offer the most support
I took DS to an under-1s group when he was about 12 weeks old. I was desperate for some adult interaction by that point!
All the other mums understand if your baby cries. They'd also understand if you could only pop in for half an hour.
Now my son is 10months old, I love it when mums bring new babies to the group. I'd happily have a cuddle while mum had a cup of tea.
It also made me more confident to do other activities with my son when he was older - if I knew he could handle mother and baby group for an hour without freaking out, then I felt better about taking him swimming,
Go now! You will find that most mums who have 2 take their 2nd child along whether settled or not.
Its great for the baby as they have endless stimulation watching all the crazy stuff going on and learn to sleep through anything
Baby yoga and massage would be great, will help your DD to chill out in fact. And it's a good way for you to spend some contact time with her too.
We loved going to our yoga/massage group, and only stopped when DD was crawling (away from me!)
go now! find the nearest group in your area for mums with new babies and get together with others in your position. crying babies are hard, you need some support and to get out of the house. put on the nicest clothes that fit you and get back in to the real world!
at 10 weeks your babe won't mind where you are, but sounds like you could do with some support and things to go to? if so, definately try Toddler Groups, my 10 week old'll be accompanying her big sister when we start back next week. We'd make you very welcome at ours and be quite happy to cuddle your baby while you drank tea if that's what you wanted, or just chat and admire her! No worries if she slept for the duration either!
I don't know the answer to the question posed in the OP - but I can say that the first time I went with DD1 she was 9 months. The toddlers group wasn't small - about 20 (from babies to 3 y/o), in a small village hall. Mayhem - pure anarchic mayhem. But in a good sense. I was quite frightened, tbh. And not just for DD's sake! I thought she'd be clingy, if not terrified at the noise and confusion. Not a bit of it. She squirmed to get down as soon as I found a chair, and I put on the floor with some trepidation. She was off!! Crawling into the fray like a veteran. I soon lost sight of her completely - and she was gone for at least 30 minutes. Under tables, cruising on other mums' legs, trying to climb up the mini slide. It was honestly hilarious. I had no idea she'd be that into it. In fact, as it transpired, this same toddlers' group was where she took her very first, precarious step. Some of the mums were watching and clapped her as she did it. It was ace! At first I thought it was a bit hardcore there, mums w/ fags and tattoos who turned out to be grandmas (and even a great gran!!!). Not a bit of it though. It rules. As soon as DD2 turned up (there's a 16 month gap) I took both of them. And as soon as the 2nd could crawl she got stuck in with the best of 'em.
Can't recommend it enough!
I agree with the other posts. It's really for YOU, to get out, meet other mums, and realise that there is still a world out there! Most of the groups are quite short, and you can leave at any time if your baby (or you!) really finds it too much.
I found them very helpful with DD1. She was 4weeks when I first went to an NCT one. I took my last child to the local group when he was only 5 days old, mainly because I am now running it!
When DS was that age I was only going to post-natal support group and BF support groups, where I met some really nice mums. We would also meet at the park or the local pub (no fancy cafees in my area!) and it didn't matter if one or two babies were unsettled. I took him to toddler groups when he was around 9 months old I think. Whereas DS2, he just followed us around in a sling to all the toddler groups from his third week.
DD was 4 weeks when we went to our first group, it was a BFing group and we still go now as its more of a social thing (and free, I love free).
When she was 7 weeks we started to do more stuff, incl. baby bounce and baby massage. She slept a lot, but I needed to get out. Eventually she got more awake and more into the stuff that I was taking her to.
But I do agree that our weekly routine is more to keep me sane than anything else. And I've met some really cool mums that I can chat to about stuff other than our LOs.
If your LO starts screaming or is really unsettled, those at the group understand.... we are all parents with babies. You may even find that she likes the noise of the other babies and is more chilled in their company.
i started when ds was about 6 weeks, i loved the interaction with other mums.
Thank you all! I am fine - I know several new mums via NCT and I get out and about most Saturdays when my husband looks after the baby all day (his chance for quality time with her as he works long hours during the week). So it's not me craving adult company :-) and I'm certainly not lonely.
But I want my 10 week old to have more social time (hence my original query) as she's much more awake and alert now, especially in the mornings. I will take your advice and take her even if she's unsettled and crying (who knows, she may even calm down when seeing all the activity and people around her!).
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