When you have a new baby, leaving the house can be a daunting task. I remember it taking me two hours to actually leave some days and I’d still be thinking about whether I had everything I needed (I often had too much stuff!). However, once you leave the house it can be so liberating. I remember when Jamain went back to work after his paternity leave and I got to a point after a few days of feeling like I needed to get out. So I decided to start off slowly and go for a walk with Theo in his pram. Once I got outside and started walking it was amazing! Theo enjoyed being in his pram and would usually fall asleep. This meant I could walk and have some time to myself to just exist and enjoy the fresh air. From that point I knew I wanted to find some classes for Theo and I to go to together.
Below, are Three classes that we’ve really enjoyed! All of these classes are local to us (so I can walk there), not expensive and really provide richness of experience for both me and Theo.
1 – Baby Sensory at our local Children’s centre. This was actually the first class that Theo and I went to alone. Theo was three weeks old and it felt like such a huge achievement for me. I loved this class because it was a time for Theo to experience different toys with varying textures, with lots of different sounds and also toys with lights. This sensory experience was great for Theo’s development and I could watch him to see what he was most interested in and toys that he particularly liked so I could buy similar toys for him to have at home. As this class was so local (5 minute walk from my house) I also met lots of local Mum’s with babies of varying ages (other babies were between 12 weeks old and 11 months). Not only was it great to have some adult conversation but I could also ask lots of questions and share my experiences. This was invaluable in the early weeks as being a new parent is difficult as everything is so new but speaking to mum’s of older babies gave me confidence that I was doing a good job and things would get easier. As Theo got older and other mums joined the class with babies younger than Theo, I could also help them and provide advice.
2 – Rhyme Time at our local library. This is a 30 minute session of nursery rhymes with instruments and toys. Theo loves rhyme time and I really believe its one of his favourite activities. His face lights up while we’re there. I’ve always sung nursery rhymes to Theo and it seemed like he recognised some of the songs when we first started going. The joy on his face is so wonderful to watch as we sing, clap, jump up and down and row, row, row our boats gently down the stream. Theo also likes watching the other children. There are children of all different ages, from babies like Theo to school age children. Theo would happily watch the older children dancing and doing the actions to the songs. I’ve also learnt some new songs to sing to Theo (so hopefully he won’t get bored of my singing).
3 – NCT Post Natal class. This is a structured class run by NCT. Jamain and I didn’t attend the NCT antenatal classes but I was very keen to do the post natal ones when Theo was born. I had so many questions and thought attending these classes would be a great opportunity to ask them. The topics covered (which included safe sleeping, baby massage, parenting styles and baby development) were also great and I feel like I learnt loads. Jamain and I went to the first of the 6 classes together when Theo was 2 weeks old, the classes were at 10am on a Friday and it felt huge to be dressed and out of the house at this time (it did get easier as the weeks went by and now we can make activities at 9 am!). In addition to the ability to ask questions, I loved this class because I met mum’s with babies of a similar age to Theo and so it felt so nice to be able to share my experiences and to feel like the person I was talking to really understood where I was coming from. I have a really good friend that I met at this class who helped me massively when Theo was so young with her advice and willingness to listen. I also had a lot of fun at these classes, we had lots of laughs over tea and biscuits and I always left really really uplifted.
Now that Theo is older, while we still enjoy these classes, we have also started some new classes. Our favourite at the moment is our weekly swimming lesson. Theo really does not stop smiling from the moment we get into the pool until we have to get out at the end of the lesson (he often makes clear that he’s not happy about having to get out of the pool). He splashes around and is really taking to the water like a little water baby! I think there’ll come a point when I’ll need to take some swimming lessons myself just to keep up with him! We are are also going to Hartbeeps (baby sensory class full of songs, dressing up, baby yoga and baby massage), which I heard such wonderful things about from friends. We’ve attended one session so far and it really is great! I would definitely recommend it- classes get booked up quickly as it’s so popular so make sure you book early.
Have a look at our YouTube video below, where I talk about the 3 classes that Theo and I have been enjoying together.