Why mum and baby groups are saving my sanity

Fact: staying at home all day with your baby will drive both of you insane.*

Once I got past the good-God-I-can-barely-walk phase of having a baby, I quickly realised the importance of getting the f*** out of the house. Every day. At least once. Staying indoors makes us both grizzly. We just sit around on her play mat all day, having a whine and generally annoying each other.

I’ll do pretty much anything to get out of the house, including going to lots of semi-embarrassing mum & baby groups that the Popple tolerates to varying degrees.

Tiny Tunes/Bounce and Rhyme

These are half-hour sessions based around children’s songs and rhymes. The babies are too young to sing along or do any of the hand gestures on their own, so it’s basically a bunch of grown women (and some men) singing ‘The Wheels on the Bus’ like a bunch of idiots.

The first time I went to one of these groups I hardly knew any of the songs, thanks to being raised across the pond in New York. I mentioned this to Adrian when I came home.

“What kind of songs were they?” he asked.

I thought for a second. “There was one about the Duke of York and another about cooking sausages,” I said.

“That sounds very British,” he said.

Quite.

The Popple finds the whole thing perplexing. She won’t let me clap her hands together during ‘If You’re Happy and You Know It’ or crack a smile during ‘Round and Round the Garden’. She won’t even sit in my lap like the other babies. She insists on standing and staring out at the crowd with her judgy face on.

I can’t say that I blame her.

Rhythm Time

Rhythm Time is kind of like Tiny Tunes/Bounce and Rhyme but with instruments. Cue more standing/judging from the Popple.

The rhythm of the instruments is supposed to help develop your baby’s senses. All I know is that I spend most of the class trying to stop the Popple from the putting the instruments #INDAMOUF.

Mum & Baby Yoga

Mum & Baby Yoga is great if:

  • Your baby will happily lay on the mat while you do yoga and not demand that you pick them up and bounce then around the room.
  • Your baby will allow you to manipulate their limbs into various yoga-like poses instead of going ridged and glaring at you.
  • You can close your eyes and relax with a squirmy baby sitting in your lap.

Not surprisingly, the Popple spends half the class grizzling and half the class putting her feet in her mouth – which is a kind of yoga, I guess.

The Popple with her monkey pyjamas
Yoga?

Breastfeeding support groups

You sit around with a bunch of other ladies (plus a few health visitors, usually) and talk boobs. That’s it. No songs, no dances, no exercise. Even if you’re not struggling with breastfeeding, you can feed your baby while having a whinge about night feedings without having to worry about if people can see your nipple. And that’s worth a lot.

*May not be an actual scientific fact.

2 Comment

  1. How did the Noble/Grand Old Duke of York skip over New York but make it to California? I knew that one growing up – but, yes, it’s weird having to learn a bunch of children’s songs. And yes, they are very British. (Oh, and I don’t like the British version of Ring around the Roses – what’s with the tissues?)

    Is there a Sing and Sign class near you? I highly recommend it. Pumpkin signs like a little pro these days and I definitely think it has helped her communicate with us from a younger age.

  2. I haven’t found a Sing and Sign class, but that sounds great – something that gets us out of the house and is actually useful. Hopefully I can get on one for the new term in January.

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