I’m now the owner of two small humans, so when it comes to baby groups I’d say I’ve got a bit of experience.
I’ve sat through many a class where I don’t really understand what is going on, sung many a nursery rhyme with ‘a bit of a twist’ and spent a lot of time wondering why I’ve even bothered turning up to them. So I decided to compile a list of my top #3 baby groups that have helped with bonding, have stimulated my child enough to make them take a nap and have also been a place where I have met other mums, to try and help other parents from going through the excruciating elimination process.
This is by far one of the favourite things I’ve done with my two, especially with my eldest. With my eldest, there was a lot of upheaval before his arrival, the delivery was long and in all honesty horrendous and so that instant bond people talk about wasn’t there. It started to become quite distressing for me, so when he was about 6 weeks old I started a local baby massage course.
It was such a lifeline for me and once I started the course, I began spending a bit of time each and every day doing baby massage. By the end of the course we had developed such a special little bond and that special little bond just keeps on growing.
This is also the place where my main ‘mummy friendship group’ started. I’m now very good friends with two of the women from the course, who are actually the godparents to my youngest. We all meet up at least 3 times a month for playdates, our partners all go for their ‘dad nights’ and we all take it in turns to host our annual Christmas dinner each year. The babies, who are all now toddlers and big brothers have even become close friends and attend the same nursery.
For me, Baby Massage is such a special baby class to attend and I always highly recommend it to new Mums. (You can read my full review of Baby Massage here).
I only discovered Baby Sensory classes with my youngest and they were quite honestly something I really looked forward to each week.
I’m not sure if this is the case for all Baby Sensory classes, but for the one I went to, the class was split into three segments. The first and third segments are structured sensory activities, which are split by a short break in the middle where you can either play with your babies or chat to the other parents there.
The sensory activities themselves are fantastic and I found so many little tips for what to talk to my baby about. This meant that from a very early age, Elijah has been used to hearing me ask him questions and talk about the world around him, which I think has contributed to his early speech.
The closing song is absolutely stunning and is such a great way to calm the session down after all of the exciting activities. For us as least, I think the closing song added a great bonding element to the class, which made it feel like our special time.
When people ask for a recommendation for a class or group to go to with their babies, this is always in the top 3 of my recommendation list. Also my child who I’m pretty sure has an allergy to naps, always took a nap after this class! If nothing else sells it to you… that should!
The main reason for swimming making my top 3 is because it’s such a fun activity to do and the children have so much fun in them.
I actually haven’t started swimming classes with either of my children until they turned one because in my opinion, before this age neither of them would have taken much of it in and I thought it was a lot of money for bobbing around a pool. As they got older and took more notice of what was going on, the classes became quite beneficial.
We now use Puddleducks swim school and their classes are quite structured, which has actually helped both of the boys build on individual areas. For example, little splashes become a doggy paddle and grabbing onto a bar turns into pulling themselves out of the pool. The children also learn how to get in and out of the pool safely, which is obviously very important as well.
The eldest has recently decided he doesn’t want to do swimming anymore and would rather do outdoor things like trips to the woods or sports instead. The youngest still loves them though and so I do still take him each week.
Personally I find swimming a great activity for when babies outgrow other classes but aren’t quite ready for things like dance or football yet.