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Done with baby groups

30 replies

whatiszzz · 22/09/2022 13:39

My little one just now would not stop crying in a baby group, none of the mums were even talking to me anyway, they all seemed to know each other so I was sitting there with my baby feeling just quite lonely so just left halfway through. She was not getting on with it.
The ones I’ve gone to have been very clicky. Or I get on with one mum and they don’t come back.
my baby is 3 months, if I stop going would this harm her development? She’s a very fussy baby so always kicking off at some point in these groups too which makes me more anxious :(

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SatinHeart · 22/09/2022 21:41

Not going to baby groups doesn't harm your baby's development. My second DC was a lockdown baby and none of the groups were running for ages. They are quite good for your baby's immune system though!

With DC1 I found most baby groups improved when I signed up for a second term. DC1 was that bit older and it was more fun and less stress. Some of the clicky mums moved on / went back to work and new faces joined who didn't know anybody either.

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RegeJeanPageMeOnMyCellphone · 22/09/2022 21:30

There we’re no baby clubs near me so I used to go to the library when they did singing or story time. That was really nice as although there were a few regulars, lots just drop in as and when so it never got too cliquey.

I used to take DS on a walk around the park every day (and have lunch if it was sunny!) and would often see other mums and stop for a chat.

If you want inspiration for things to engage your DC, the Baby Club show on CBeebies is great.

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Shoopshoopshoopshoopshoop · 22/09/2022 20:09

DC1 went to every group going (mostly so I had a reason to leave the house every day).

DC2 was born in 2020 so went nowhere.

The only detriment was to my mental health, both children are fine.

Don’t put pressure on yourself, maybe wait till your baby is a little older so is less fussy, or try a different group/time of day. You have to find what works for you.

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TheYearOfSmallThings · 22/09/2022 19:56

At 3 months it makes no difference to her whether you go or not. But I would say keep going - not to the same one if it doesn't work for you, but keep trying different ones. Sooner or later you will find a friendly one and make some connections - my baby group friends are from those early days because we actually got to talk to each other. Once the babies start moving it is much harder to chat, so you tend to stick to the people you already know.

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whatshouldIdo2022 · 22/09/2022 19:56

Never took DD to them, she's 2 now and seems unharmed, she has been at part time childcare since 1 and I had/made friends with similar age babies so we spend some time with them too. I know a few others who have also never been to a baby group- they aren't compulsory!

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kikisparks · 22/09/2022 19:51

My baby cried a lot at groups at 3 months old. By 4 months she was much happier at them and started to enjoy them.

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MajorCarolDanvers · 22/09/2022 19:47

Baby groups are for mums - not for babies. If you are not enjoying them find other things to do.

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MissMarplesGoddaughter · 22/09/2022 19:42

Feeellostindirection · 22/09/2022 13:59

Baby groups are quite a modern development, humans have got along and developed very well without them for centuries. I never enjoyed baby groups tbh and found them clicky. I attended when mine were toddler age as I think 3 months is too young for the babies really, at that age it's more for the mum's. I think back now and wonder why I ever bothered.

Just to say that the first baby group I went to with my LO was in the mid 1970s. So over 45 years ago (gulp). I can remember that there were some cliquey mums, so nothing changes....

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PensionPuzzle · 22/09/2022 19:38

Nothing much to add but if you've got a local Facebook group for parents (or even just a community one) it could be worth posting, anon if you need to, to ask either if there's a group that people would recommend that's particularly friendly OR alternatively posting to find someone else who feels like you, believe me there will be loads, who would like to go to one as a buddy with you?

I've been to loads of different things over my two kids and there is one particular group that I always recommend when I see these posts locally as it was the one that really helped me with my new mum anxiety and also general dislike of new things and organised fun 😂 the structure of it and just the people that tended to go made it really easy to settle in and the group leader is great at minimising any worries about nappy explosions, crying etc.

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yikesanotherbooboo · 22/09/2022 19:01

Baby groups are to preserve mothers' sanity. If they aren't doing that , don't go.
Yes babies like nosing around but they can do that at the supermarket or park so please don't feel guilty about this.

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CFinn · 22/09/2022 18:52

Just to add I do think it's important to get out and see people in the early days/months. I just prefer to see people I already know instead of trying to make new friends while dealing with a screaming baby.

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CFinn · 22/09/2022 18:49

Do whatever makes you happy, at least for now. My first baby screamed constantly for the first 4-5 months and I used to find baby groups really uncomfortable because all the other babies (and mums) were calmer and happier, I felt like a failure and didn't get to meet many people because I was always trying to calm DS down! I was in a bad place anyway and putting pressure on myself to go to those groups made me feel worse.

Now with my second baby, we go to one group that we both enjoy and the rest of the time we go for walks, coffees, meet friends for lunch, etc - things I like to do! DD appears to be thriving and is naturally more sociable than her brother. I'm sure the groups do help their development but I'm equally sure they're not essential at such a young age. Baby will get more benefit from having a happy mum :)

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ChildWontStopGrowing · 22/09/2022 18:41

Not trying to tell you to keep going, because I know I would hate them too, but there weren't any open due to covid when my boy was a baby so we couldn't go to any.

We don't go out much so now that groups are open again we go to the local toddlers. He HATES it. Only a couple months in, but he still won't play or engage other toddlers and screams bloody murder if I set him down or get more than half a foot from him. (I know the answer is to keep going and he will eventually get used to it)

If I could do it again, I would definitely go to a few baby groups just to get the boy used to large social groups.

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OM82 · 22/09/2022 18:34

(Hated them)

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OM82 · 22/09/2022 18:34

My HV told me that I didn't need to go if I didn't want to, that until a year it's more for the mothers - and that she hated term herself!

I live rurally so only had one option really, and went once and never returned. I do baby swimming though since she was 3 months old and enjoy the interaction there. She's nearly 10 months now and only the last few weeks been interested in the other babies so I started going to a mum and baby fitness class so I recently feel I enjoy it a bit and she can see other babies (it's in a play area so they can crawl around).

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worrywart33 · 22/09/2022 14:23

I must admit whenever I've gone to a class I have always known someone else. Maybe not particularly well but I do think that it makes it a bit easier if you've got someone to buddy up with.

Having said that I would be quite happy to go alone too. The structured classes don't tend to leave much time for chatting anyway, unless it's at the end.

You won't harm your baby by not going of course. But I do think it's nice for them to experience sensory things and get used to new people and places. Also nice for you to get out and about. Don't let other people make you feel bad, just enjoy the one on one time with your baby.

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Iheartmykyndle · 22/09/2022 14:20

I mostly went to classes with my two when they were under 1. Less of an issue if you don't have anyone to chat too as you're doing activities. I found playgroups ok once they were crawling/ walking because I could trail DC round if there was no one to chat to.

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RedRobyn2021 · 22/09/2022 14:18

Also to agree these groups are more for the mums than the babies and my daughter didn't really start to enjoy it properly till maybe 10 months

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RedRobyn2021 · 22/09/2022 14:17

I have found things like this so hard, I actually decided to keep going and only recently have I really been enjoying going. My daughter is 19 months we started going properly when she was about 5 months.

I noticed after a while that most of the mums weren't talking to each other. Now we are in a toddler group and all the mums have a chin wag, it's a different vibe. Perhaps a lot of women have that feeling of anxiety.

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Feeellostindirection · 22/09/2022 13:59

Baby groups are quite a modern development, humans have got along and developed very well without them for centuries. I never enjoyed baby groups tbh and found them clicky. I attended when mine were toddler age as I think 3 months is too young for the babies really, at that age it's more for the mum's. I think back now and wonder why I ever bothered.

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Phos · 22/09/2022 13:56

Whilst I agree baby groups are as much for the mums as the babies, I think the babies do enjoy them. Ultimately though they also enjoy doing activities at home, 1-1 playdates and going out for a walk in the pram. If you don't want to go you don't have to. I used to go to a lot when on mat leave partly because it gave my week some structure. I preferred the ones that was more activity based (messy play, baby sensory) rather than stay and play types because it felt less like you had to sit around and chat, you could just focus on what you were doing and your baby.

I didn't make any bosom buddies at groups. One or two that I would chat to whilst we were there but never went any further. I had my NCT group for that though so it didn't seem a priority to me.

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LT2 · 22/09/2022 13:54

I had the same yesterday with crying. He was just tired and decided he'd had enough (he had napped before we came but was obviously still sleepy). Before the group was finished I rocked him and managed to get him to sleep in my arms (he's 8 months so this is a rare occurance now!). I would persevere personally. I find social situations hard but I find that people tend to give more when you do - approach other mums, ask how old their LO is - then they realise I'm happy to talk and they continue chatting with me. My boy was shy and just very observant when going to baby groups in the beginning (I think he was about 2-4 months when we started to) and now he's 8 months, he's still quiet and clingy, but he's happy to play with the toys. I had separation anxiety as a child, and have social anxiety as an adult, so I'm sort of hoping groups will help him. Maybe pause the groups for a while and re-join in a few months? I would give it a chance though. First few times I was there I didn't speak really, now there's the usual faces that come over and want to be with us, which is lovely!

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Vitamm · 22/09/2022 13:51

I think you just have to go for a bit longer! People start talking to you after a few sessions if you're always at the same groups.

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Neverfullycharged · 22/09/2022 13:49

People always claim that they are purely for the mums, but I’m not convinced to be honest. I don’t think baby groups are the only way to enjoy spending time with your baby, but the ones I went to involved sensory things, nursery rhymes and singing, lights, puppets, bubbles.

Of course you CAN do those things yourself and even if you don’t, the baby won’t mind, but my baby enjoyed all the above. I also think he liked having a good nose at the other babies.

I wouldn’t worry about not making lifelong friends. Not many do to be honest.

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Wallawallakoala · 22/09/2022 13:49

Sack them off for a bit. I had exactly the same experience and not just on one occasion. Try again in a couple of months maybe but don't feel any pressure to go. Any free library ones so you don't have to sign up for weeks? Could always give one a go if the mood takes you on the day that's what I did and works out much better.

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