There are lot of different baby classes you and your new bundle of joy can go to and, especially if this is your first baby, they can open up a whole world of new experiences for you both. You might choose a class where you can learn a new skill such as baby massage, music, baby sign language, sensory play or baby yoga (to name just a few). Once you get there though you just might find that as well as those skills, and the benefits they bring, there are wider benefits for both you and baby. Here are 3 surprising things you can learn from going to a baby class.
1) You are not alone
Having a small human being to keep alive can be a very isolating experience, there are times when you are awake at night and it can feel as if the whole world is sleeping soundly, apart from you and baby. When you go to a baby class you meet parents who have children the same age as you and there is real comfort in the shared experience.
Even if you know other people with older children, actually talking to someone who is going through the same thing with you at the same time can be very cathartic and reassuring. This is why it is very common for the bonds made between mums (and dads) in baby classes to last long after the class has finished.
2) Your baby is unique
OK, so you know that from day one, there isn’t another baby as beautiful as your own. The trap that many parents can fall into though is worrying if their baby is meeting all their milestones and comparing their baby’s development with another tot the same age.
When you go to a baby class though you will be around lots of babies around the same age as yours and you will see how truly unique each child is. Every baby develops at his or her own pace, and although it is worth being mindful of medically recommended milestones, comparing your child to others won’t bring you anything but worry.
3) You are a baby expert
When you are pregnant (especially with your first), it is common to look at parents and wonder where they learn everything. When the baby is born, the responsibility of being a parent can feel overwhelming at times… and that’s OK.
Hopefully though, you soon start to recognise that no-one knows your baby as well as you do. You can listen to all the experts in the world and get some sound advice but ultimately none of them are experts in YOUR baby.
When you go to a structured baby class, through the process of learning a new skill, spending focused time with baby and seeing other mums and babies interact, you grow in confidence in your own abilities and choices as a parent. Understanding that as every baby is so different and that no-one has the same relationship with your baby as you means that you are in the strongest position to make good parenting decisions for your family.
Create Your Support Network
The problem with parenting in the modern world of the internet is that everyone has an opinion about child rearing and everyone seems quick to criticise other parents, especially when they can hide behind their keyboard. If you find yourself isolated in your house, viewing the world through a screen, it can be easy to listen to the barrage of negativity and believe that whatever you do must be wrong or damaging to your child in some way.
These opinions and criticisms can only affect you if you let them though, and if you are confident in the decisions you take as a mother then what someone else says or does is irrelevant to you. Although you will no doubt meet parents with different parenting ideas at your baby class, you, the connection of a shared activity and a relaxed environment means that instead of criticism, you are much more likely to find support and empathy.
At Tots Play classes, we nourish this supportive atmosphere and give parents space to make these bonds and learn and grow as a parent. The most valuable thing to us is that the mums who attend recognise that they are the parenting expert of their child, and we will always encourage you to follow your instincts and take part in each class in the way that is best for you and your baby.
Our class sizes are also kept small to help those relationships flourish, and, along with your class leader, can form a great support network to help you navigate the challenges and rewards of this precious time in your life.
If you are looking for a class that combines the most popular and beneficial developmental play activities around, including baby massage, music, baby sign language, sensory play and baby yoga, within this relaxed and supportive environment, then why not give Tots Play a try?
Find out more about our classes HERE, with sessions suitable from birth, and then get in touch with your local class leader to book your place.
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Whatever you and your little one are up to this week, enjoy your special time together. Happy Playing!
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