Baby and toddler classes are great for little ones, for so many reasons. They help with early learning and development : teaching your baby valuable skills – from movement to language and so much more. If you’ve taken your baby to a class you know how much they enjoy it and are excited by being around so many new people and exposed to new experiences.
But baby and toddler classes are important for mums too. Perhaps even more so!
Classes are important for kids but even more important for mums
Having a baby is a life changing experience. No matter how prepared you think you are and how many baby books you read, when your baby arrives your whole world is changed forever. Suddenly you are in charge of a tiny human who relies on you to meet their every need – no matter how little sleep you’ve had or how hard you’re finding it.
It can be harder than you imagined and lonelier than you thought. Almost overnight you switch from being a busy working woman to being at home looking after a small baby who needs your attention day and night. Chuck in a serious dose of sleep deprivation and it’s no surprise that many new mums can begin to feel isolated and alone like never before.
Why baby and toddler classes are so important.
1) They give you a reason to get out of the house
After you’ve got past the first few weeks in your baby bubble with your partner at home your days and weeks can feel empty: governed by feeding schedules and baby nap times. With broken sleep and being woken at dawn – days can yawn ahead of you. And feel like they last forever. If you have a baby class to go to it gives you a reason to get out of the house – to head into the big wide world and give your day a purpose.
2) They give structure to your week
Every day can feel the same when you’re a new mum at home looking after a tiny baby. Baby classes are something to put in your calendar to give structure and purpose to your week. They give you something to look forward to: a reason to get dressed and up and out of the house. They can be something fun to look forward to in an otherwise empty week.
3)They can combat loneliness
Feeling lonely as a new mum is something we don’t talk about much. It’s a bit of a taboo subject. But one that has been highlighted by the pandemic. In a recent survey over 50% of pregnant women and new mums admitted feeling anxious or lonely as Covid-19 and lockdown has impacted their daily lives. https://metro.co.uk/2020/06/23/new-mums-anxiety-loneliness-lockdown-12889601/
Being at home with a new baby IS lonely. Paradoxically you’re never alone but you sometimes have never felt so lonely. Baby classes are a vital way of combating this. They give new mums a place to meet other parents, to feel like part of a group. When you go to a group you’re part of a team – a room full of other parents who have been through and are going through what you have. It’s a game changer!
4) They provide an opportunity to form friendships and find your tribe
It can take a while but being together with other new mums at baby classes is a great way to find new friends and find your tribe. The experience of going through birth and embarking on the journey of new parenthood is very uniting. You may be in a room with several other new mums and feel shy but you all have something in common and conversation can flow naturally. Before long you can find new friends that make motherhood easier.
5) They make you feel more confident about your parenting skills
Let’s admit it – when it comes to motherhood – we’re all finding our way and learning on the job. Basically – we’re winging it. Which can feel scary at times. Baby classes can help you build up some valuable skills, which make you feel more confident as a parent.
6) They give you a chance to spend focused time with your child
At home there’s a lot to distract you from spending focused and quality time with your baby. The doorbell might ring, the phone might go, there are chores to do. When you go to a baby class you have a length of time to really focus on being with your child and connecting with them. Whether it’s through massage, singing, signing or sensory play. It can be a cherished and focused bonding time together that is hard to carve out at home.
7) They provide a safe space to discuss your birth story and your experience of early parenting
Once we become mothers we have stories we want to tell. And other new mums are the perfect audience. They listen when we tell our birth stories – and are just as keen to share theirs too. They are as fascinated as you about the colour of your babies’ poo (in a way your best friend without a baby will never get!). Baby groups provide the perfect platform for mum chat and as it unfolds – for friendships to be formed.
8) They take the pressure off having to entertain your baby 24/7
Being at home with your baby 24/7 has its own pressures. `You feel like you have to provide them with chat, stimulation and learning activities to boost their early learning. But you soon run out of ideas and energy. Which is why baby classes are a godsend. They give you songs to sing, baby signs to practice, movements to make and stories to tell.
9) You can drink a cuppa and have a biscuit in peace!
The very best baby classes are the ones where you get a chance after the session to have a cuppa and maybe a biscuit too and can chat to the other mums in the class (Covid guidelines permitting!) Every new mum knows how hard it is to drink a hot cuppa in peace. So often we end up bunging our morning cuppa in the microwave to heat it up – and then the moment we take a sip our baby cries again. At a baby class there’s always another parent (or the class leader) on hand to make sure you get your much needed time to enjoy a hot drink and an energy boosting biscuit to make your day. And the best thing is – you get to chat to other mums while you enjoy your restorative cup of tea! It’s a win-win.
We founded Happity to help new parents combat loneliness. By finding classes to meet other mums (and dads). Join the thousands of parents who are searching Happity each week to find baby and toddler classes.
And if you’re a class provider and are not listed on Happity yet – sign up now! Here’s how you can add your baby & toddler classes for FREE – or choose to upgrade so we can manage your bookings and make running your classes hassle free: