You are not alone.
While you may like the idea of going to a baby class, we know that actually attending can be a different matter entirely. Firstly we want you to know that it’s OK, we get it, mainly because we have been there too.
There are a few things that might be stopping you from getting through that door and in this post we hope to alleviate some of these concerns, reassure you that they are very normal, and give you the confidence to take that first step.
1) What if I can't get out the door on time to make the class?
When you have just had a baby, the prospect of managing to get yourself and your baby dressed and out the door at a specified time seems absolutely impossible, especially when you consider how many things you will need to take with you. It sometimes seems so much easier just to stay at home in your pyjamas. After all, it is likely you will only get baby sick over your clothes anyway.
The truth is that practice does make perfect (or near perfect anyway). Just like when you are learning to drive a car, when you begin it can be very overwhelming to remember everything you have to do at once. At some point though, it clicks and you find yourself in a flow. We promise that the more you leave the house the easier it will become.
Even if the worst happens and you forget something, turn up late or you go out wearing your slippers, the people who actually understand these challenges more than anyone else are other new parents, and baby class leaders, who work with them every day. With this in mind, a baby class is the most supportive place you could be.
2) What if my baby cries? (or needs changing or feeding)
This is a huge concern to so many. Babies are rarely predictable and it can make you feel very anxious when your baby cries and you can’t seem to quieten them down. It can feel daunting enough in your own home and so the idea of being in an enclosed space can be very worrying.
A crying baby can make some mothers feel like a failure but if you feel this way, we can assure you, you are no such thing. Every baby cries, it is their natural way to communicate with you. Your baby is no exception and every other parent knows what you are going through.
If your baby does cry in a class, you will not be judged, instead you will be supported. Baby classes are designed to be facilitated with babies at the centre of them; they are baby led sessions where their needs come first. You will be told by the class teacher that if your baby cries during the session you simply attend to their needs. You might need to change them, feed them, cuddle them, or rock them. You simply do what you have to and everyone around you will understand.
3) But I won't know anyone?
Regardless of who you are or how old you are, meeting new people can be nerve wracking. Your emotions after having a baby can feel even more intense and so going to a baby class can feel especially daunting.
You may also be less confident due to lack of sleep and time for self-care, being a new mum is exhausting and as we have already mentioned, getting out the door with everything you need is a big enough challenge, never mind trying to apply enough make up to make yourself look awake.
The people who will understand this though are the very people you are nervous about meeting. Being a new mum can feel very isolating, finding other people who are experiencing the same thing at the same time can be reassuring and comforting. You may or may not have a supportive partner, family or friends, but the mums you meet in a baby class will provide something not many people can; a shared experience.
While you may be doing activities as a group for part of the class, there will usually be time to have a chat and start to get to know some of the other parents, and once that first contact is made you will almost always find lots of common ground to chat about, even if it goes no further! Many lifelong friendships have, though. been formed at baby groups and classes, so why not go along and see if your new best friend is there waiting for you to say hello!
4) What if I don't know what to do?
It may be a good while (perhaps when you were a child?!) since you have sung a nursery rhyme or shaken a maraca and you may worry that you won't know what to do or wonder what the class entails.
A class will usually have a structure of some sort and a class leader whose role is to take you through the activities and help you to join in, so it can often be easier to feel a part of a class than an unstructured play session.
You will be encouraged to take each activity at your own pace and join in in a way that feels right for you and for your baby, and everyone else will be doing the same things along with you, so you will soon get to know how things run and feel part of the group. Before you know it you will be humming those nursery rhymes at all hours of the day and playing those baby sized instruments like a pro!
5) What if it's not for me?
Of course, not every class is right for everyone, but the best way to find out if a group is for you is to go along and give it a try. Pictures, video clips and comments from those attending the classes can be a good way to get an idea of what a class is all about, (and if you are thinking about trying out a Tots Play class you will find lots of these on our website) but for most classes you will be able to go along and try out a few sessions, or attend a taster class, before making a further commitment, which should give you a good basis for you to decide if you would like to continue. If you have any specific questions beforehand then the class leader for your session will be happy to answer them. so don't be afraid to get in touch with them.
Remember - You are not alone
It is worth remembering that these fears are not yours alone. If you do get to a baby class, look around, everyone in the room will have had the same concerns to different degrees. The benefits of overcoming these fears far outweighs the anxiety they cause beforehand; a place to connect with other parents, a place to relax with your baby (crying or not) and a place to learn a new skill together.
There really is no better place to be.
Why Not Give Tots Play a Try?
At Tots Play we understand that going to your first class can be daunting, but we are here to help you every step of the way.
Classes are relaxed, friendly and completely child led, plus we limit the size of our classes so we can really get to know you, and well as help you get to know the others in your class. As well as getting out of the house and making new friends, you and your baby can enjoy and learn about baby yoga, baby massage, baby sign language, music and sensory play.
You can read more about what goes on at classes HERE,
So if you are still nervous about joining a baby class then let us show you a warm welcome, and that you really have nothing to be nervous about.
Click HERE to find a Tots Play class near you, and take the first step to making new friends and learning new skills.
See you there soon, in the meantime, happy playing!
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