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Did you take your baby to playgroups?

43 replies

Chopsicle · 26/06/2019 18:52

If so would you recommend them and what age is best to start going if so?

OP posts:
NEtoN10 · 26/06/2019 20:20

Yes I do lots. My family are in a different city and no friends have babies so I need the company. More of them are catered at parents actually though!

I do Hartbeeps, Baby Yoga, Baby Cinema, Sensory, bring your baby stand up comedy, ted talk style bring your baby and we went to baby broadway the other week with west end singers was hilarious.

When he is older (5months now) I'll do more church hall style I think.

EchoLimaYankee · 26/06/2019 20:25

I liked baby sensory. There is a little bit of group stuff. Then a ‘play’ session winter you can chat with other parents or just play with your baby. Then more group stuff. It’s also really lovely and very entertaining for babies.

Fundays12 · 26/06/2019 20:29

I took him to baby massage, baby swimming lessons, sensory type baby play group plus baby and toddlers.

Once he turned about 14 months I started taking him to more toddlers groups. He has also done a toddlers class that focused on learning to speak (run by speech and language therapists), swimming lessons and a couple of other toddler classes. I think it’s benefited him loads as he is really sociable.

His older brother didn’t go to hardly any of these types of groups as I worked full time and dh wasn’t comfortable taking him nor was his granny and he struggled a lot more socially. I plan to take my new baby to these types of groups as I think it made a huge difference.

Betty1064 · 26/06/2019 20:29

I don't go to any groups anymore. My DS is 19 months but easily looks 2.5 years. He is the boisterous, energetic, clumsy, "typical boy", that unfortunately everyone avoids. I've never made any friends, just got sympathetic or filthy looks.

happypotamus · 26/06/2019 20:38

When DD1 was tiny we went to the baby group at the children's centre. There was stuff for the babies but really it was for the mums to get out of the house and talk to adults. DD2 didn't get to go because you couldn't bring your older child. I went back to work when DD1 was 10 months old, I had Fridays off and thought we should probably aim to do something rather than waste the day at home, and at about that time a leaflet from a local church came through the letterbox which included information about a stay n play group on Fridays. We started going, and DD2 came along from being a newborn. DD2 has got only 3 Fridays until her last stay n play, as she starts school in September. Stay n play for me has definitely been about doing things with DDs, playing with them, doing craft with them. Unlike most people, I didn't make any mummy friends there because I am too anti-social, but on weeks when I was too tired and miserable to want to do anything, we went there and did things together in an unpressured way. It is the only group we went to, and, after 7 years, I will miss it.

Stompythedinosaur · 26/06/2019 20:40

Yes. I made good friends and they kept me sane. The parents I met there gave me information and support, and they are the ones I can now years later ring to have my dc in an emergency.

I went from when my dc was around 2 weeks old. It was totally for my benefit at that age. I have clear recollections of one of the more experienced mums walking with my very colicky baby while I drank tea and people told me that they had been there too.

MaMisled · 26/06/2019 20:41

I moved to a new town when my first baby was 5mths old so went to a mother and toddler group to make friends. 25 yrs on, five women I met are still my closest friends and our DC remain good friends too.

LookAtThatRedSheep · 26/06/2019 20:42

Not until they’d had their mmr

EdWinchester · 26/06/2019 20:43

I did loads - a ridiculous amount looking back. I started at 6 months and found them all very tiresome.

I was bored at home so needed stuff to do...

Bluerussian · 26/06/2019 20:46

Mine went to a playgroup, I didn't have to stay there, just dropped off and picked up a couple of hours later. Then he went to a nursery for a short while but hated it so I took him out of there. Before I knew it, it was time for school, mornings only at first.

CoodleMoodle · 26/06/2019 20:49

I started taking DD to a toddler group when she was about 2. It was in a church hall and was... well, she liked it. Then we moved house and found a new one. We loved it so much we went every week until she started school! They had inside and outside play, craft, songs, snacks... it was brilliant. Most people were friendly and there was plenty to so. Plus, it was donation only and I used to put as much as I could in the pot.

Currently I take DS (11 months) to rhyme time in DD's school. His nap is too early for the toddler group but as soon as it moves a bit later I'll be taking him there as well. He can't walk yet and doesn't crawl but maybe it would encourage him!

DD was quite happy pottering at home but I doubt DS will be, he's a bit more of a livewire despite not being able to move by himself!

HeyThoughIWalk · 26/06/2019 21:12

If you want to make friends, my experience has always been that the church groups are generally friendlier. They often have a couple of people floating about who are just there to chat to anyone looking lost. They are also generally really cheap, with tons of toys and no expensive equipment for your child to break.

MrsJBaptiste · 26/06/2019 21:25

I started when DS1 was 8 weeks old and went to a post natal group. This led onto baby massage which was essentially the same group of people but on a different day.

Then we went to an under 1's group until I went back to work which coincided with DS coming up to 10 months.

As DS was older we started the church hall toddler groups which were great. However it was definitely made easier as I went to these already knowing people there. We loved them and carried on until DS2 started pre-school and I've made some great friends, 15 years later and we still see each other all the time even if the kids aren't as friendly.

Bluerussian · 26/06/2019 21:52

EdWinchester, your post made me laugh, thank you :-).

I would have hated groups but, thankfully, they weren't around when mine was a littl'un. We had plenty of activity including with other children but I didn't have to sit in a room full of other mothers and their children - talking about children. I was far happier working part time.

Celebelly · 26/06/2019 22:11

We do a church group and it's really good value. It's £3 per family and is 30 mins of songs and activities, then the kids all get a snack (so a little pot filled with fruit, veg, breadsticks, cereal etc) and water/juice and then the parents get a cup of tea and some home bakes while the kids play with all the toys (or chill on playmats if they're younger). All in all it lasts an hour and a half. It's definitely the best value class we do for sure.

Frazzled2207 · 26/06/2019 22:16

Yes but before the age of 1ish they're entirely for the mum's benefit rather than the child's, in my opinion!

notacooldad · 26/06/2019 22:22

Personally I hated them!
The ones in my area were full of child minders who all seemed to be joined together, they all walked to the school and back together went to the same parent and toddler groups on the same days and so on so anyone that tried to join in was on a hiding to nothing.
I didn't need them and did other things instead.
That said, my friends in a different area enjoy the ones they go to.

Maybe try a few different ones to see which work out best for you.

daisyboocantoo · 26/06/2019 22:29

I went from birth and loved most of them. It was the only time I felt relaxed. One was really awful and cliquey.

Ten years later, I run them (inc the cliquey one), got rid of all the clique queens, and have built up a little community where everyone is welcome. It makes me really so proud, I would hate for any mum to feel as lonely as I did in the beginning.

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