Baby groups and the big second child question

February 13, 2015


Did you go to a lot of baby groups and activity sessions with your first child? Looking back at the toddler’s first year we went to baby massage, baby yoga, breastfeeding groups, playgroups, play dates, rhyme time at the library, Gymboree and met up lots with our NCT group (we also had a lot of sofa time to balance it out).

So what about your second child?

At nearly four months the baby comes along with us to playgroup, the park and play dates. But so far she has been to a grand total of zero baby-focused activities. She’s not even graced the baby area of any of the playgroups as she’s usually asleep in the sling.

While I do have my hands full with the toddler, she has two days a week at nursery, time we could conceivably use to do at least one baby thing. However, we haven’t…yet. We have been out for nice leisurely lunches, met friends, gone shopping a few times and tried to do bits and pieces around the house. But mostly we’ve napped, watched some Netflix and napped some more.

In my first PR job we were given ‘duvet days’, extra days off where you could call in when you just didn’t fancy going to work for your own sanity. I figure nursery days are as close as I’m ever going to get to this again (despite the fact I’m still looking after the baby on these days, a job that was all-consuming last time, and it’s still a baby who likes to be held all of the time who will only nap on me). It’s almost a guilty pleasure to spend the time in this way. It’s lovely when it is just the two of us and it’s nice to have a bit of calm – something that would have been inconceivable to me as a first time mum.

Someone said to me once that all these classes are basically for the benefit of the mums, not the baby. And this is probably true; first time round we spent most of the time comparing notes on childbirth and trying to make sense of what had happened to us all. Plus lunch or at least cake was always on the menu.

Should I feel guilty for not doing more this time round? I kind of value my sleep and sanity a lot more. I’m up many times most nights and these are the only nap opportunities that are going. I also think the baby needs some alone / us time, and the toddler needs for me to be slightly rested. And I figure there’s always time in time to do something, anything.

Did you second child go to as many (or any?) groups as your first?


  • Carie

    February 13, 2015 at 9:34 am

    When Elma was little Kitty had two days a week in nursery and we used those mostly for napping and lunch, but we did go to baby swimming for a while. That was it though, and Elma spent the rest of her time in the sling or snoozing in her car seat while her big sister pounded the floor at baby ballet! Now there’s three of them it’s a really challenge to find something that could manage all three of them so we tend just to meet up with friends occasionally. Elma now does Mummy and Me gym on one morning that Kit is at preschool and it’s a session that I can let Pip loose in when he gets big enough and starts crawling around. I think if you want to do classes the trick is to find something that works for both of them – and enjoy your duvet days while they last (and yes I’m totally with you on just one baby being blissfully easy!!)

  • Molly

    February 14, 2015 at 11:13 am

    It’s different for me because Frog is at school five days a week so I guess I have more time. I have a much bigger network of mum mates this time around, so we regularly meet up for baby play dates. We do a weekly Water Babies session and a weekly baby group, but I also value my home days where we basically nap or I binge watch Netflix while the baby sleeps on me. When she gets bigger I might do more groups but I’m making the most of the cuddles and quiet time at the moment! x

  • Shirley

    February 14, 2015 at 1:46 pm

    Enjoy your rest days while you can, with your first you relaxed by watching your sleeping baby but this time you need to sleep along with her. Your energetic toddler will not even remember all the baby activities, they were for mums who need adult company

  • Katie

    February 14, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    Firstly this is the first time I have ever commented on a blog post (by anyone) so hi!

    I go to two groups a week and they are with the mums I met first time around. Our children are all 2.5 so they have their toddler time madness whilst my 7 month old watches in awe/horror. I joke (secretly worry) that she isn’t going to have any of her own baby friends at her first birthday party!

    1. gillian

      February 20, 2015 at 10:01 pm

      Oh wow, I’m honoured – thanks so much for the comment! Actually this is a worry of mine – although two of my NCT friends have second babies so they’re all vaguely close in age. I must ask my mum if I had any friends my age at this age (I’m also a second child) x

  • mamasVIB

    February 17, 2015 at 12:16 am

    Love this post Gill! A few of my NCT friends are now on their 2nd baby- and don’t want to come out to play as much as when we all had one baby! Now I sort of understand why….ha ha x x They are watching Netflix and getting some much needed sleep! God for them and you – enjoy it while you can! Duvet days – hello they should be compulsory in all jobs…. xx

  • Steph Oakes

    February 19, 2015 at 11:18 am

    I’m similar to you Gill. Jack had a jam packed social diary when he was a baby, whereas Phoebe attends Baby Sensory once a week and that’s it at the moment. We are starting Aquababies next week too so hopefully she’ll enjoy that but she definitely doesn’t so as much as he did. Having said that she is more stimulated playing with and watching Jack play at home. x

    1. gillian

      February 20, 2015 at 10:20 pm

      At least you do the baby sensory though! I’m really inspired now to actually do something – it won’t hurt to take a few hours out of down time and it would be nice to meet a few mums, I think – I do miss that as it was so lovely the first time x

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    March 27, 2015 at 6:01 am

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