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Does anyone else struggle with baby groups?

20 replies

Jedimastermama · 18/03/2018 09:56

Hi
I’m really struggling, my little one is 10months old and so far we’ve done our own thing during the week. We go out for walks, museums, parks, markets etc... and lots of play activities at home. I’ve joined these apps to meet local mums on one to one level but it doesn’t always pan out.

I feel my LO probably should be socialising in Baby groups but I really struggle with these. I went to a couple a few months back and found them awkward and awful, not as friendly as I’d hope. They were too cliquey. I’m quite shy at time and don’t want my LO to miss out on socialising.
I’m worried my LO might start to feel bored does anyone else struggle with baby groups?
Im starting to feel a bit down about this, my friends don’t have children so it’s difficult to talk about.

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PrincessScarlett · 18/03/2018 10:06

Hi OP. Unfortunately some baby groups are not as friendly as others and it can feel like everyone knows everyone else and you are an outsider. My advice is to go at least 2-3 times to the same group. It is hard if noone talks to you but it might be that in the first week they don't notice you but in the second or third week they might recognise you and say hello.

You also need to be brave and strike up a conversation with someone. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't.

However, baby groups aren't essential to the well being of a baby and you can just as easily socialise the the local park.

Good luck!

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Matildatoldsuchdreadfullies · 18/03/2018 10:12

Your 10 month old won't be socialising at all. They're for you not for your baby. They can be great. But they can also be extremely isolating/competitive.

I can laugh about it now, 17 years later, but I still remember going home and crying after one group because apparently every baby in it loved reading. The only interest my dd had in books was chewing on them. I was distraught. Of course, I now realised most of those parents were stretching the truth rather. But at the time I simply felt like a failure as a mother.

Go to the groups if they work for you. If they don't find other things to do. Your baby won't care either way.

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ruleshelpcontrolthefun · 18/03/2018 10:14

I've read things like this loads on mn. I've been going to baby groups for 5 years with DD then DS. It can be daunting when you are new but you just have to get stuck in. I've known some of the other mums for years so we do sit together. We don't watch the door for new mums to either welcome into or shun from our non-existent clique. Just talk to people.

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KochabRising · 18/03/2018 10:15

Your baby doesn’t need to socialise. They just need you

Baby groups are for parents. No four month old gives a flying fuck about baby sensory. :)

If you enjoy them then great - plenty of mums do. Plenty also loathe them and that’s fine too.

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PasstheStarmix · 19/03/2018 12:34

Hi OP, where abouts do you live? I have a 12 month old.

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HandbagKrabby · 19/03/2018 12:46

I go to activity groups and join in the activity rather than stay and play type affairs. I don’t think I’ve been to a stay and play at all and I’ve been wrangling dc for years! I like music classes or physical activity ones. Personally I’d rather join in than chat at the back so this suits me better. It’s finding what suits you and what also suits your dc as they get older.

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IamPickleRick · 19/03/2018 12:51

Not all baby groups are the same. Some are horrifically bitchy, some are full of rowdy big kids, some are cliquey, some are very faith led etc and I tried about 10 groups before I found one I like. It’s a church group and I love it. The leader takes the time to talk to everyone new and everyone gets involved, and doesn’t push religion on to you. Try a different group and you might find one that’s a bit nicer.

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IamPickleRick · 19/03/2018 12:54

ruleshelpcontrolthefun the best groups I have been to do watch the doors for new members and welcome them and make them feel at home. Bring each other tea if it looks like they are struggling etc. Otherwise it can be really hard to try and “break” in to the conversation of women that have known each other for years.

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yikesanotherbooboo · 19/03/2018 13:11

Your baby doesn't need baby groups.
If you are more of an introvert but feel your child is hankering after company go to the park with a ball , ( and a flask of tea at this time of year)your baby will watch the other children but you will not be obliged to hang about awkwardly or to listen to conversations that mean nothing to you.
Alternatively soft play ( if you can stand it) or a large mother and toddler group with a wide range of parents .

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Nuffaluff · 19/03/2018 13:19

I always found that the most friendly baby groups were church ones. You tend to get a real mix of people, not just people who attend the church.

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Jedimastermama · 20/03/2018 13:01

Thank you for your advice. I appreciate it very much. 😊

I did a baby massage class (4 weeks) when my little one was 4 months old and we both enjoyed that. The group was small and yes, having the activity to focus on really helped.

Me and my LO enjoy are days of play, going out, seeing friends. But sometimes when I go to the Baby clinic I’m made to feel I should be getting myself out there to these groups by some of the HVs and then whilst I’m getting my LO dressed I hear other mother’s talking about the baby groups they’ve been to that week.

Thanks again, you all have made me feel a bit better in myself. Flowers to you all

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Kittysparks1 · 20/03/2018 15:35

Hey OP, my one has just turned 7 months and I'm only just starting to venture into the social scene.

It's scary and awkward and there are some really competitive stuck up women out there who will look down on you for not having the right buggy!

I went to one when he was 3 months old and felt so unwelcome it put me off. But I've started to get cabin fever and I don't know anyone locally and my friends dwindled away when I got pregnant and moved.

Try your local library, they sometimes do free story times with babies. I just went along one day walked in and was lucky enough that the First mum I approached was lovely and invited me to sit with her. If you do manage to start a conversation with another mum, ask about other baby groups/classes they may go to. That way you will recognise at least one face if you go.

I signed up for swimming lessons and have met another nice mum that way.

Also there are apps and things and other mums are in the same boat so if groups are not your thing you can meet for a coffee.

But your baby won't care either way!

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PasstheStarmix · 20/03/2018 15:42

@Kittysparks1 I completely see what you mean about the aloof buggy brigade. Mine doesn’t fit in because it didn’t cost hundreds of pounds and isn’t a fancy travel system with chrome trims. I also don’t look like I’m wearing brand new designer clothes for the first time either to match said buggy and no coordinated baby outfit to match mine either.

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EssentialHummus · 20/03/2018 15:49

Six month old DD here. I second activity type groups and rhyme time. I also get caught up with “my baby is missing out “ thinking, but they really aren’t.

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Kittysparks1 · 20/03/2018 18:19

Yeah I feel ya, my pram was a bargain, I even gave away a silver Cross snazzy one (I got gifted) because I love my cheap ass pram. Didn't realise people were so judgey about stuff.

I soon realised that for every "perfect" mum there is a "sleep deprived, sick covered, what's make up?, these jogging bottoms will do, I've lost the dog" mum out there too!

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PasstheStarmix · 20/03/2018 21:21

Haha nothing wrong with a cheap ass pram, ds actually love it too as it’s roomier and more snug than the really posh ones. The ‘lost the dog’ Mum was def me in the early months except I don’t have a dog (imagine that!) Shock

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PasstheStarmix · 20/03/2018 21:22

loves*

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sourpatchkid · 20/03/2018 21:30

Honestly don't worry about Baby socialising. They just don't at that age and I know because I've been taking DS (16 months) to groups since he was 3 months (because I wanted to get out of the house!)

He's only now starting to interact with other kids (and they're mostly ignoring him!)

If you feel you should wait until Baby is older. I'm friendly with other mums but actually I mostly spend my time with DS during groups anyway so once your little one is older you can just follow their lead which makes it much less awkward

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Jedimastermama · 07/04/2018 11:54

Thanks for all the advice. It’s very much appreciated.
I’m just going to enjoy time with my LO, and we will try groups again at some point.

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gryffen · 07/04/2018 12:11

Hiya and yes.

Our area in Glasgow has very few groups and one we did join became so toxic because of issues we were shunned. Didn't help daughter who now has a speech delay thanks to no groups when younger but nursery is helping her much more.

This time round I'm being a hell lot more social and if they don't like it they can leave.

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