Baby and Toddler Classes Archives - Happity Blog

Baby and Toddler Classes


Is loneliness a new epidemic amongst new mums? It’s a paradox because as a new mum you’re never alone (with your new baby with you every day and night) but you can also feel so very lonely.

A recent study by the Red Cross found that more than 8 in 10 mums feel lonely some of the time. Another survey by Channel Mum revealed that more than 90% of mums in the UK admit to feeling lonely since having children. A statistic that is shocking, but perhaps not surprising.

Loneliness as a new mum is something we don’t talk about enough. 3 in 5 new mums surveyed said they tried to hide their feelings and 38% have never told their partner.

In the past 18 months, as we’ve all gone through lockdowns, this epidemic of loneliness amongst new parents has surely got worse.

Nicola from Team Happity opens up about how much loneliness affected her after having her first baby. We hand over to her to tell her story:

How loneliness as a new mum took me by surprise

I’d done everything I thought possible to prepare for having a baby. I’d bought all the kit, read all the books, been to all the antenatal classes. But one thing I hadn’t prepared for was loneliness.

Loneliness as a new mum was something I’d never expected and something I hadn’t prepared for. And it hit me like a ton of bricks.

I hadn’t ever felt lonely before: through school, through university and at work.

I was the first of my friends to have a baby. All my friends were busy with work and with their own lives. Suddenly I found myself alone all day, every day with just my baby for company.

I felt lonelier than ever before. And it had a huge effect on my mental health and my confidence.

Where do all the other mums go?

I found myself with every day yawning ahead of me with nowhere to go. I walked with my baby in her sling or her pram finding myself in an unchartered daytime world. I passed pensioners, hurried people on their way to goodness knows where.

I also passed other new mums pushing their prams with more purpose than me. Where were they going? How did they know where to go?

I smiled at every other mum I passed trying to put out ‘Please be friends with me’ vibes!

lonely mum staring out of the window

Accosting the postie!

As the weeks went by I found myself craving adult company. Here I was, day after day, feeding, rocking and soothing, and talking to my baby (who at this age gave very little chat back!).

I used to head out to the corner shop and talk to the till assistant for longer than was socially acceptable. And when the postman rang the bell to deliver a parcel I would strike up a conversation and keep him on the doorstep. I was just so desperate to speak to another adult human being!

Plucking up the nerves to get out there and confront loneliness as a new mum

I eventually found out details of baby classes and baby and toddler groups near me and plucked up the courage to go along to one or two each week. After weeks of being at home alone with my baby, suddenly getting back out there was daunting.

I used to have to steel myself to go. And often had to pause at the entrance to try and settle my nerves before walking into a room full of other parents. Would they all be friends and would I be left out? Would my baby be the only one that cried and then would everybody judge me?

Slowly finding my tribe

group of mums at a baby class

I didn’t make friends instantly. Often I’d feel shy and awkward in groups and leave feeling a little lonelier than before.

Things changed when I found a lovely baby music group that was warm and welcoming. There was time at the end of each class to have a cuppa and chat.

Having babies is a great leveller. I think we were all feeling lonely to some degree and we all wanted to share our stories with other parents who might ‘get it’.

I soon found that over cups of tea we were sharing birth stories and breastfeeding struggles; tales of sleep deprivation and new mum worries. Over time we opened up more and more. Feeling OK to admit we were having a tough day or that we’d had a cry just before class after an exhausting morning where the baby just wouldn’t stop crying.

I began to look forward to Wednesdays as ‘baby music days’. And over time, as we swapped numbers, the other days of the week were filled with coffee dates and walks in the park.

Nicola spoke about loneliness as a new mum over on Instagram. You can watch the Instagram video here.

Loneliness: How the pandemic affected new parents

While loneliness is something many new mums feel, things got tougher still for new parents during the pandemic. Lockdown forced new parents to tackle the challenges of bringing up a baby without the usual support network of classes, family and friends to help them.

Talking to the BBC, one mum, Zunaira from Peterborough, describes how it felt:

“It’s lonely. You lose your own self, you forget about yourself – and all the focus is on another person. Your identity goes and I fel like I was suffocating. You just want to sit in a cafe, have a bit of cake and a talk.”

Talking to The Metro, Theresa Raymond, who gave birth to her daughter just before lockdown, said:

“Not being able to let my family see my baby or have face-to-face follow-up midwife appointments have been the hardest things to adapt to. 

Especially as a first-time mum, I had this image of how it was meant to be which has been scuppered a little.”

Thank goodness that classes and groups are now back.

Find a baby class: meet others who are tackling loneliness as a new mum

Happity was set up by Sara Tateno after she herself felt lonely as a new mum. Emily Tredget, our co-founder, experienced severe PND and anxiety after having her son and one of the things that helped her recovery was getting out of the house and going to groups and classes to meet other parents.

One of our missions at Happity is to combat loneliness for new parents by connecting them though baby and toddler classes.

If you’re feeling lonely – do go along to a class or group. We know it can be daunting. But it’s definitely worth it.

Find a baby or toddler class near you here.

You might also like:

6 reasons why mums friends are so brilliant

Why baby and toddler classes are so important

9 brilliant benefits of baby and toddler classes

Lockdown has been a rough time for everyone, especially mothers, families, and those providing baby & toddler classes. However, during these trying times, Happity has stayed hopeful. We have remained passionate and driven in pushing for the importance of baby classes.

Our fully remote working team has gone from strength to strength as we’ve welcomed more and more members into the family. What started off as a small support team has now grown with new faces bringing renewed energy to help spread the Happity name.

But, despite having been running since 2017, only a few of us had actually met in person! That is until recently…

Where did Happity, and it’s passion for baby and toddler classes, begin?

Co-founders Emily and Sara set up the company as mothers themselves. Both understand the struggles that mothers go through with PND and the loneliness.

Both have had previous successful careers. Emily is a former employee at innocent smoothies and Sara is a former employee at BBC Radio One. But, the two of them were united (and we are so glad they were!) through their joint passions.

What was their mutual drive? To simultaneously help parents learn how to maintain their mental wellness while also providing an easy place to find baby classes. And, thus, Happity was born!

To read more about Emily and Sara’s stories, click here!

Who is in our team?

Happity has welcomed many more likeminded individuals with the same ambition to help mothers through these difficult times. With this they have welcomed many members!

Nicola, the social media star (and a mother of two fully grown daughters) with a creative minds that has no bounds. Lisa, a mother and a true people person with a whimsical delightful aura. Sophie, a mother and a master of advertisement. Andy, a father and a tech wizard capable of several technical feats.

And then we also have our great team of young kickstarters!

Alex, a mother and an Admin superstar who can dot the i’s and cross the t’s like no other. Leanne, Happity’s very own Bard, except instead of writing epic poems like Homer, she focuses on epic blogs. Jack, a marketing muse who brings his own creative flare to the marketing team.

Kayleigh; a zestful mind with a great passion for the work she does. And we recently gained a new member to our team: Adelayo! She will be Andy’s assistant in the challenging world of tech support. She has a great passion for coding and can’t wait to get stuck into the new tasks Happity has planned for her.

This has become known as the Happity family, and as you can tell, it will continue to grow exponentially in the coming years.

The Happity team- toothy and elated to be together in person for the first time!

Team training (in person!)

Only a few of us had actually met before. With coronavirus having still been a risk, we haven’t had the chance to, until now!

The opportunity to meet each other finally arrived on the 10th of August. Thanks to Lockdown restrictions being lifted we were able to celebrate Happity Day as a collective. We still remained vigilant however, each taking lateral flow tests beforehand to make sure we were preventing any potential spread.

The day started off with a team building exercise run by Sara. We looked at how we can better utilise our work time. This then led into a little quiz in which we were able to identify what type of workers we all were.

The results ranged from the prioritiser, to the planner and others such as the visualiser. This fun little quiz helped to give the team a better idea of how each of us works best and how we can better work together. (You can find out your own personality type here!)

Mental wellness with the baby and toddler classes crew

After putting our brains on full blast with the team building, we then took the opportunity to put them on ice as we went into a group yoga session to give us all an insight into the feeling of a clear mind and a method to relax. This involved a 10-minute meditation period, listening to guide talk us through the way we can engage our muscles and connect with our body while lying effortlessly on the floor.

After a glorious looking lunch, which Emily had generously provided for us along with a glass of prosecco each, it was Emily’s turn to run a training session.

Emily conducted a session that helped us evaluate our own self worth and what we all value in our lives. As a trained life coach, she helped us to better grasp our aims and how we can all individually better ourselves through our day to day lives.

This would help us to gauge the values that Happity as a company also holds dear; through its commitment to helping with the mental wellbeing of all its clients.

It’s not all fun and games working for Happity… Apart from when it is!

(From Left to Right) Lisa, Kayleigh and Emily from Happity (Baby and Toddler Classes site) stand as mini golf victors!

With the ‘work’, done it was time for the challenging part… Crazy golf!

All of us raced up to the golf course for a horse racing themed extravaganza. There were highs, there were laughs and there were miseries as we all realised that none of us were as good at golf as we had once thought.

At the end of the day Kayleigh was the official winner, yet all of us had a greater sense of victory.

We had come together on a lovely day to celebrate the work we had done and the company that we had grown to become accustomed to on what turned out to be a unforgettable Happity Day.

We had such a lovely day. And we’ve actually put a reel together showing you the best bits! Check it out here – and be sure to leave us a like and a comment!

Would you like to join our award winning baby and toddler classes team?

If our team sounds like a group that you would like to be a part of, then here’s some good news: you could be! We have some great opportunities within Happity ready and waiting to be filled.

If you are aged 16-24, and are on Universal Credit, then check out our opportunities here. If you’re 24 or over, check out our opportunities here!

Hopefully this will be the first of many Happity days for us to share!