With the New Year upon us, and the weather taking a turn for the worse you may be thinking about trying some new activities with your little one and a baby class can be a great way to do this. If you haven’t tried a class before though you may be wondering what to expect, and if it's really worthwhile for you both. Lisa felt the same as a new mum, and shares her experience here of how she benefited from attending classes such as Tots Play with her children.
“When I had my first baby I was so afraid of taking her to a baby class. I was worried that she would get too hot, too cold, be exposed to millions of germs, get attacked by a rouge child; quite frankly the risks seemed endless. To add to my anxiety, I didn’t know anyone and I was convinced that everyone there would be experts in mothering, leaving me exposed as the incompetent mama I obviously was.
After 3 months I had had enough of the 4 walls inside my house and decided to take the plunge so I found a local group. I distinctly remember walking past the door 3 times before gathering the courage to go in. That was 6 years ago and now I am on baby number 3, looking back it was almost a sliding doors moment. Both my baby and I benefited so much from that first step and I’m so grateful I took it.
Here are my top 5 reasons why you should also take that first step and enrol in your local baby class;
1) You get to leave the house
Staying in your PJ’s all day may have been seemed appealing before you were on maternity leave but the novelty soon wears off, especially when your PJ’s end up covered in baby sick. Going to an established baby group gives you the motivation to get out. It can seem like such an uphill struggle leaving the house with a little human and unless you have a time and place to aim for the day can simply fizzle away. Baby classes like Tots Play actually helped me get more organised and encouraged me to have a better morning routine so I could actually leave the house before lunch time!
2) Meeting new people
There is something very comforting about walking into a room full of people that just “get it.” When you go to baby class you will be surrounded by actual grown up’s who are going through very similar experiences to you. They get that you have been up all night, they get that you have baby brain, they get that you only talk about your baby. Having a network of supportive mamas is like gold dust, from my own experience these women have helped me through some pretty tough times in the last 6 years and also been there to help me celebrate moments of joy. I haven’t become best buddies with everyone I’ve ever met in class but everywhere I have gone has been welcoming and accepting; quite frankly just speaking to adults is a bonus on some days!
3) Spending focused time with your child
It can be hard to focus on your baby at home as there are so many other distractions; the washing up, the laundry, last night’s EastEnders on the iplayer. Going to a baby class will give you time to focus on your child as part of the session will be a guided activity. You will have an opportunity to engage with your baby without the sight of the dirty dishes in the corner of your eye. Looking back now baby classes gave me some of the most precious memories of my little ones as babies. It goes so quickly and each moment should be treasured.
4) Learn new skills
There are many different types of baby classes available each offering an opportunity for you to learn a new skill that will help you and your baby bond. Examples include yoga, massage and baby sign. What I liked about Tots Play is that I was able to learn a variety of these activities along with ideas on how to play with my baby effectively which were fun to practice at home. It’s also worth remembering that classes don’t finish when your babies stop being babies; there are also groups available that run sessions for older babies and toddlers. Tots Play is great because you can start when your baby is very young with the Baby Development course (suitable from birth), then continue with classes specially designed for different age groups right up to pre-school age, as your little one gets bigger.
Learning a simple baby massage routine.
Sign language helps communications between you and your baby.
5) Giving your child a range of experiences
Even young babies benefit from a variety of experiences. They are like sponges, soaking up the world around them and the more positive encounters they have the better. Play is a vital part of baby development, children learn through exploration and experimentation. Classes like Tots Play are designed by experts in baby learning and are structured to give your babies the chance to develop essential key skills.
If I could go back and tell myself as a new mum to do something different, it would definitely be to get to a class sooner than I did. So don’t delay like me, find a local baby class today and both of you can start enjoying the benefits.”
If you would like to give baby classes a try we would love to welcome you. Tots Play offers a complete programme of classes, parties and resources to give you the confidence and inspiration needed to play, connect and enjoy special time with your baby or toddler in ways which will enhance their development.
The programme is suitable for children from birth to 4 years, with a range of sessions aimed at different age groups, and activities including massage, yoga, music, sensory play, sign language, physical play and more.
Click HERE to find your nearest class and to come and give Tots Play a try. You'll be glad you did!