19 things CBeebies’ The Baby Club gets wrong about baby clubs
We’ve been watching CBeebies’ The Baby Club, which is brilliant, but here’s what it gets wrong about baby clubs…
OK, hands up in the air, we are a few years too old for CBeebies’ The Baby Club’s target market. But after a long sofa session with a sick four-year-old, we accidentally ended up watching it and we were both transfixed.
Have you seen it? Hosted by my best-friend-if-I-ever-met-her Giovanna Fletcher and Nigel Clark, The Baby Club is a TV-friendly version of a baby activity session for children under 14 months and their parents and carers. There’s that familiar circle of parents bonding with tiny babies, stories, singing and interactive activities.
If you’re a new parent, know that it’s very friendly, calm and soothing. Especially if the last time you slept was September. It’s also much better than the eternally weird Baby TV, which on the occasions we watched it featured a cartoon grandfather hiding in some bushes and a phallic-looking mushroom chef.
However, lovely as it is, the baby club environment CBeebies’ The Baby Club depicts – where both children and adults are *not* half a millisecond away from losing it, the carpet is clean and none of the toys come pre-chewed with a side order of all the germs – is possibly a little bit detached from the everyday reality of baby clubs.
And as a real life graduate of many, many baby clubs, I couldn’t help but notice that there’s an awful lot that happens in real life baby clubs that probably wouldn’t make it to TV. Things that anyone who’s been at any kind of baby club – be it playgroup, Gymboree, Monkey Music, baby yoga, baby massage or baby wine tasting* – will recognise.
* OK, not real – but would it be a lot more fun (for the adults, obviously).
Here are 19 things from real life baby clubs that CBeebies’ The Baby Club misses out on:
All the babies shrieking at glass-shattering decibels throughout the entire session.
50% of the room having a boob or bottle out, 100% of the time. Meaning everyone basically sits out the entire ‘activity’. Again.
A long, detailed discussion about everyone’s birth story, at length, including those really gory bits, and why no-one told you it would be like that or that that would happen. Repeated every week, without fail (this is why this happens, and why it’s a very good thing).
Wails of ‘Why won’t my child sleep at night? Whyyyyyyy.?’
But forget falling asleep during the ‘relaxing’ wind-down session at the end, your baby will instead fall asleep at worst possible time. Like right at the start. Meaning you miss it all again.
Someone sat on a cushion, still smarting from the 50 stitches.
A low grumble about that ridiculous thing the health visitor said.
Something something centile.
The manic-eyed parent waving a black and white book an inch from their baby’s face and telling everyone who’ll listen how advanced they are and they already have 56 words and know the Farrow and Ball paint chart off by heart (‘Sulking room pink is her absolute FAVOURITE!’)
While you hug your baby, safe in the knowledge that your one is the best one.
Spotting someone with REALLY jazzy patterned muslins that are much jazzier than yours and having a huge case of muslin envy.
Your baby having a nappy explosion all over the fancy expensive Scandi babygro it took you two hours to put on them.
You, trying not to join in with the chorus of crying babies.
Lamaze toy spotting (‘Oh LOOK! The cool-looking mum has the butterfly too!’ And the Lone Dad has the octopus!’)
Discussion of how you say Lamaze. Is it LAmaze? Luh- maaays? (Which one is it?)
Everyone wearing one or all of the following: Breton stripes, fresh-out-of-the-box Selfish Mother T-shirt, grey top with leaking breast milk marks, grey face of utter exhaustion.
Having a room full of brand-new best friends who’ve all bonded about the state of your collective reconstructed post-birth vaginas, but being clueless about what their actual names are (‘Erm…Evie’s mum?!’)
The deeply surreal experience of waving a baby around or waving things in their face, singing loudly in public when you’re not even drunk while having sick in your hair and milk on your top and being beyond caring. Trying to remember what it was like before it all changed so very much.
Being so tired you wonder if you’re hallucinating it all.
Watch CBeebies’ The Baby Club on CBeebies or iPlayer. More posts! 32 things you’ll obsess about in your baby’s first year, things they definitely did NOT tell you in NCT classes and the politics of Paw Patrol