Having a baby is a wonderful thing in so many ways, but it certainly turns your life upside down! The first few weeks tend to go by in a blur of feeds, snatched pockets of sleep and lots and lots of visitors. Then you finally feel ready to venture out with your new bundle and decide you want to try out a baby class.
You book it, you look forward to it, then you realise you will be meeting new people. People who have babies. Babies that may sleep better than yours, that don’t do explosive poos at least 3 times a day, that don’t cry unless you are holding them constantly. What will they think about you and your baby?
You start to think it would be safer to stay at home, in a feeding/winding/whinging fog, rather than facing this unknown territory with your little one - but when you feel like this, a baby class could just be the best place you could go to.
A Nervous Start
Hanna, who runs Tots Play classes in the Northampton area, tells us about a recent new member to her classes who was nervous about attending her first baby class, and how she reminded her of herself at the same stage.
“Last week I was teaching my Discovery Tots session and saw a woman at the door; she had a small baby and I knew she wanted to enter but was too nervous. I watched through the small glass window as she walked away, and I felt I needed to encourage her. You see, I’ve been there before, that first week of a new class with a head full of questions: “Will I fit in?” “Will my baby cry?” “Will I make friends?” We all have different apprehensions, right? I decided to leave the classroom momentarily to pursue her. She was worried because she was a little late (hey, that’s babies for you!) and that her baby had bad reflux and would cry. I’ve been there too with my first, but I explained that the best thing she could do would be to stay and enjoy her time and that it really didn’t matter if baby cried. I told her mums are supposed to be there to support each other and she should stay. She was hesitant at first and I had to persuade her but finally, she decided to stay and enjoyed the class.
We got to the end of the session and she was still a little worried that her daughter was too small compared to the rest of the group. I agreed with her, so suggested she stay for the following session which was the first week of our six week Baby Development Course. Week one is always a bit nerve-racking for people, they enter very nervous, not really knowing what to expect. I remember feeling like this myself and nursing anxiety at getting out and about for the first time after having a baby. All women do and we all experience it in different ways.
She was happy to stay for the following session, and I explained that although it would be a long time for baby, she would get something out of it. She stayed, she smiled, and do you know what? She fitted in to the group like a jigsaw puzzle piece. Nine ladies walked in nervous and all on their own journey of new motherhood and yet nine people walked out with smiles on their faces. The class ended and I packed away around them. As I tidied away, I listening to them all chatting. They stayed an extra 30 minutes making friendships and the best thing is I know she’ll be back next week."
A Common Story
This lady was certainly not alone in being nervous, almost everyone is the first time they join a class or group with a new baby. As anyone who has been there knows, having a baby is an emotional rollercoaster, but coming along to a class where everyone is on that same journey can really help you to understand that all those ups and downs are completely normal, and you will start to create a network of mummy friends who can support you on those down days and celebrate the wins, both big and small, with you, and who you can be there for to do the same.
Hanna goes on to say that "I know people are nervous because I get messages like this one all the time: “Me and my little boy are coming to the baby development course on Friday and we’re really looking forward to it but I’ve been so nervous about it my tummy’s been in knots! I’m even worried about just getting there as it’ll be my first time driving with him in the car, gahhhhh! So glad it’s normal to feel nervous, I know the jitters will go after the first class, just need to be brave! Xx”
Each of us has different experiences and anxieties personal to us, but having a place to talk about those worries, or just being around others who understand a little of what you are going through at this, often overwhelming, stage, can really help you appreciate that feelings like these are something we all share, and that alone can help to alleviate them a little.
Take the Pressure Off
The other great thing about coming to a structured class, like Tots Play, is that you don't have to feel awkward walking in not knowing anyone, because your class leader will guide you though all the activities. This gives you something to focus on while you get your bearings in this new situation, and the chance to enjoy some special time with your baby, rather than wondering if anyone will talk to you! She will also help to welcome you into the group and to get to know the others there at a pace you can feel comfortable with.
When you join one of our Baby Development courses, everyone starts together, so we include a simple ice breaker activity to help you get chatting in that first week. And in that first week you will certainly see mums with nerves, but also with smiles, the second week you can see developing relationships and well, by week three, there’s a new WhatsApp group and coffee dates (and the odd talk about baby poos and sleep patterns thrown in for good measure!!)
Come and Join Us
So what I hope you take away from this blog is that if you are nervous or worried about starting a new baby class, the best thing you can do is come along and join us, as it is the perfect place to be with people who completely understand those feelings.
So go on, book that Baby course that you have been thinking about!It will be the best decision you’ve made and will give you, and your baby, friendships that will probably last for life, along with lots of fun activities to enjoy together along the way.
You can find a class or course near you HERE.
P.S. For any of you who were wondering, the lovely lady who inspired this blog has just booked on to the Discovery Tots course with friends she made in her Baby Development Course xxx
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