To not want to go to baby groups?

(57 Posts)
AlisonL1981 Mon 23-Sep-13 23:26:43

I'm very new to the area I'm currently living in. I'm very shy and self conscious and don't like meeting new people.

I'm currently feeling guilty that my 6 month old ds is not interacting with and other children. (Shouldnt have watched doc Martin this evening)

Should I go for ds's sake? What type of groups would be best for a 6mo or us it better to wait until he's a bit older.

I haven't seen much in the way if patent and baby activities locally anyway.

Retroformica Mon 23-Sep-13 23:33:32

I'd go and chat to the other mums who are on their own. Will be nice to make friends even if toddler groups aren't your thing.

Wingebag Mon 23-Sep-13 23:33:59

I have only just started taking my 8mo dd to a singing group. I'm not a shy person per se, but I hate being looked at, & as dd was bf every 2 hours its only been recently that I've felt happy to go.

She loves it, & I feel happier now I've taken the plunge.

My advice would be try it, sure start groups are free and if you hate it just don't go again.

JoinYourPlayfellows Mon 23-Sep-13 23:36:00

6m old babies don't need to interact with other babies.

They need to interact with their mother and other people they meet going about with her, to the shops etc.

There is no advantage at all to bringing a baby to a toddler group unless you want to go there to meet other people yourself.

BackforGood Mon 23-Sep-13 23:36:05

Not if you don't want to. 6month olds don't interact / play with each other - baby groups are for the parents to support each other. If you feel uncomfortable in that situation, then don't go.
That said, it does seem an obvious way to meet people if you don't know anyone else where you live - personally I'd have thought it would be a lovely thing to do, not only to meet a few other new parents, but also to find out from them where are nice places to go / where to avoid / who knows a plumber or a good mechanic / what the nurseries are like in the area, etc.,etc.etc. However, that is all for the adults, not the children.

SomethingOnce Mon 23-Sep-13 23:44:27

This article from BabyCenter explains how and when infants begin interacting with one another.

Why not see how you feel in a few months and just entertain DS and yourself in the meantime? Lots of interesting things to see and lots of talk and closeness is probably more valuable to him at this age than baby groups.

I wasn't into baby groups - we went to one that happened once a week for a while, but more because I felt I should than anything else. DD started crèche (without me) at 18 months and is now a sociable little pre-schooler. I don't think the baby group made much difference tbh.

Do stuff you enjoy!

AlisonL1981 Mon 23-Sep-13 23:47:02

Thanks for the replies. I went to a parent and toddler group once with a friend and I think that's what put me off. It was a drop in play area with no structure, just a room full if toys. I think if I went to a class or group run by someone it would be a bit easier than sitting in a corner feeling self conscious!

I know it would be more beneficial for me as I really should interact with more people than my ds and dp!

I had a quick internet search but I can't find much in the area I'm in anyway!

AlisonL1981 Mon 23-Sep-13 23:50:31

Thank you for the article somethingonce. Made me feel a bit better! I will just enjoy the time ds and I spend together!

BackforGood Mon 23-Sep-13 23:53:34

If you want to, or are thinking about maybe going along to something, then ask your HV, or, better still, go up to the local Children's Centre and ask there what's out and about in the local area smile

OliviaPope Mon 23-Sep-13 23:55:01

We go to baby massage via surestart and sensory classes through a company called Hartbeeps, DC seems to enjoy both and i've made some good friends. I can also recommend baby swimming classes.

Boobybeau Mon 23-Sep-13 23:55:19

I guess it also depends on your dc. My dd has always LOVED being around other children so I do try to take her to groups as I know she enjoys them and the interaction she gets. If you do want to try something but feel shy/uncomfortable in groups maybe you could go to a local library? They usually have a children's section so you're more likely to meet other mums and babies but in a less forced situation. Not saying you should, just a suggestion. I've got some lovely mummy friends that I met when ds was a baby (he's now 4) and we've helped each other through all sorts so don't dismiss the benefits to you either

polosareverynice Mon 23-Sep-13 23:56:44

I went to playgroup when my baby was 3months old because i felt i had to, but ive only just started taking him regularly now he is one year old he seems more for it iyswim. Agree with other posters go if you want to your baby at 6 months just wants mummy first and foremost

zippey Mon 23-Sep-13 23:58:50

Toddler groups are as much for the parent as they are for the baby. That's a positive thing for both, but if you don't want to chat, there are often activities for children, classes such as music classes etc, which don't ask for much involvement from parents.

Fairylea Tue 24-Sep-13 00:02:41

I never go to any groups with ds and never did with dd. (Ds is 16 months and dd is 10 years).

I'm not very social and they always seemed to be at the wrong time or when it's nap time!

I don't think it's done either of them any harm... dd is very social and bubbly. Ds still gets to meet other dc at the park and soft play.

Everyone is different !

SomethingOnce Tue 24-Sep-13 00:03:50

Yes, an activity/class - singing, swimming etc - is much better as it allows for the possibility of some adult interaction without the pressure of an hour of small talk (aargh!).

And the park is nice for meeting other parents in a low key way - you can have brief chats with lots of different people, and those you see frequently you get to know a bit. It's nice - friendly but bite-sized!

At 6m, all your baby needs is you! (and the adults you interact with - GPs and so on).

I've trying to get over my chronic shyness now for DD and take her to groups - at 12m, as now she actually interacts with other children.

Oriunda Tue 24-Sep-13 06:49:33

We did baby massage at 6 weeks and baby sensory at 9 weeks .... DS loved it and is very sociable. He now does toddler sensory and a drop-in singing class. Something like hartbeeps or baby sensory would be fun for both of you, at the earlier stage it's a good place to meet mums as you will see the same people every week.

GirlWithTheLionHeart Tue 24-Sep-13 06:55:38

Whereabouts are you?

vichill Tue 24-Sep-13 07:10:37

I don't think the babies are learning to be sociable with larger groups at this young age so please don't feel you are holding him back. I think this myth is perpetuated by the nursery industry to make us feel less guilty! To an extent, they will learn how to interact with the outside world by observing you. purely anecdotally my mum was shy and awkward in social situations and me and my brothers are all annoying extroverts.

StuckOnARollercoaster Tue 24-Sep-13 07:11:51

Agree that at below 1 the groups are for the mums rather than the babies.
Does every area have sure start children's centres? Because my local one is brilliant. Last term I went to a weekly baby massage and this term it's baby moves (a sensory type of class) and they're free. (but I wonder if it's because I live in a 'deprived' area) there's also one off things like a weaning course and this week there's something about baby development.
I'm a grumpy sod as well in a new area but it's meant I'm on nodding terms with more people and even off to one of the ladies macmillan coffee morning on Friday, so taking things at a pace I find comfortable. Also getting lots of useful info and best of all I get to see what kind of toys/activities appeal to DD before I shell out on stuff for home, so saves me even more money!
Who knew that a plastic ball with holes would fascinate my little girl way more than some of the fancy well meaning toy gifts we have received!

MisselthwaiteManor Tue 24-Sep-13 07:18:49

I don't see any benefit for the baby when they are young, it depends if you're looking to make new friends. I've been told to join baby groups by everyone and their dog since DD was born but I don't intend to.

janey68 Tue 24-Sep-13 07:33:18

Young babies don't need it. It's about providing opportunities for parents to meet (and being cynical, some of the more expensive specialised classes are about a company making money out of convincing mums that they need to pay to massage, or sing to their baby!!)

The thing is, just because you've had a baby around the same time, doesn't mean you necessarily have anything in common with other mums. If you enjoy them fine, but don't feel obliged to go

pianodoodle Tue 24-Sep-13 07:38:52

It's absolutely fine!

HV never stopped going on about groups to me from when DD was born.

She was obsessed with Bounce and Rhyme group "it's so valuable etc..."

I'm a piano teacher - I play during the day doing lesson prep and also didn't really feel the need to have a special group for bouncing and rhyming at such a young age.

The only benefit then would have been to me if I'd wanted to go out and "meet the other mummies" as HV so patronisingly put it. I didn't and we're all good.

I took DD to her first toddler group and 22 months. She ran off and dived in without looking back so clearly no harm done smile

Lazyjaney Tue 24-Sep-13 07:40:41

Agree with janey68. When they start moving they need it, before then it's for the mothers benefit, and if you don't like the idea don't bother - just read some of the threads about these groups and it's clear they can be a pita too!

pianodoodle Tue 24-Sep-13 07:42:59

The only result of DD spending so much time just interacting with me day-to-day is that she currently has a very clear Northern Irish accent grin

We live in England so no doubt she'll lose it when she starts school!

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