Once you’re past the exhausting newborn stage, many parents will tell you you’re in the golden age of babyhood. Your little one is extremely portable, so make the most of it!
Meet other parents
Joining a parents’ group lets you compare notes, pick up tips and get reassurance. If you’re shy with strangers, try a more structured activity like baby massage or parent-and-baby yoga classes.
Where to look for parents’ groups and classes
- Your public health nurse should be able to point you in the direction of local mother/father-and-baby groups.
- Yoga sessions and other groups are often advertised on library or shop noticeboards and in local newspapers, and are often held at community or village halls.
Competitive mums and dads
Boasting can be a feature of parents’ groups – especially when it comes to sleep and developmental milestones. Take everything with a large pinch of salt, and remember that every baby is different. If you feel another mum or dad is being boastful, steer the conversation in a different direction – ask if anyone has managed to watch a TV programme to the end yet!
Start your own parents’ group
All you’ll need is a little organisation and a baby-friendly venue:
- A local café – ideally one with comfy sofas and play areas for older children.
- Parks – take a rug and a picnic and stay put all day.
- Tesco café – join other parents having a rest after the weekly shop!
Go it alone
You don’t need to rely on other people to get out of the house. Take a leisurely trip to a department store, or go for a wander round the beauty aisle of a child-friendly supermarket and buy a few well-priced treats. See if your local cinema does parent and baby screenings – they can make all the noise they like on your lap while you catch the latest releases.
How to leave the house on time
- Factor in time for last-minute nappy changes, feeds and finding a fresh top because your baby has been sick down your front!
- Keep your change bag ready to go, packed with wipes, nappies and muslin cloths, then pop in bottles of milk if you’re formula-feeding, and a bottle of water if you or your partner is breastfeeding.
- Keep your pram or buggy by the door, ready to go. If space is tight, keep it in the boot of your car or garage for seamless getaways.