Now that you have had your baby and are settling into a routine, you may want to join a group class with your baby. If you are a little hesitant to join one, just give it a go. Honestly, you will be surprised by what you get out of it.
There are so many benefits of attending group classes. Of course there are the physical development aspects such as gross motor skills, cognitive development, visual tracking and just as importantly the social aspect for both Mum and bub. Group classes are great fun and a special bonding time, with no distractions such as mobile phones and of course housework!
I always found our group classes a great break from our day-to-day home life. My weekly Mum/Bub’s group truly was one of our favourite days of the week. It was great to share experiences; concerns, triumphs and milestones with other Mum’s and to just have a good laugh together each week. My oldest is 6 years old now, and we still frequently catch up with our friends from Mum/Bub’s group. Our kids have enjoyed celebrating birthdays with their friends, camping trips and many play dates together. I am sure that some of their friendships will continue for many years to come too!
There are so many Mum and Bub classes on offer. Most classes offer a free trial so you can see which one best suits you and your little one.
The benefits of baby massage are more far-reaching than they may at first seem. For an infant, massage is much more than a relaxing experience. It helps the baby’s internal functions work smoothly, helps babies settle and calm themselves more easily, fosters intimacy with your baby and helps to nurture your special parent/child bond.
This special time will help the baby to feel loved and cherished, a benefit that will remain with your baby for life.
Baby Sign Language:
Needing something and being unable to communicate and explain what is wanted frequently results in crying, frustration and in older babies, tantrums. Baby sign language gives your baby the ability to express his or her needs and thoughts. Classes at this young age help to promote the development of basic language and communication skills. These group classes are also a great way of meeting other parents and babies and are a great social experience for both Mum and Bub.
Baby Yoga has always had me intrigued, and I wish that I had tried Baby Yoga Classes with my kids when they were little. Baby yoga classes provide Mum’s with skills on how to handle babies in ways that they enjoy and that is beneficial for them at every stage of development. These skills can then be used at home throughout the day when your baby may be unsettled.
It is a great bonding time between Mum and Bub. The short sessions provide physical activity for your baby. Regular movement and stimulation of the digestive and nervous systems, promotes a more settled behavior in many babies and also promotes more and better sleep.
Most swim schools commence baby swim lessons from around 6 months. My kids all loved the water at a young age. Classes are aimed at introducing water safety and building confidence in the water. Babies and toddlers are also introduced to taking turns, following instructions and are given the chance to socialize and meet new friends.
Baby Gym and Sensory Classes:
Baby Gym and Baby Sensory classes such as Baby Sensory and Gymbaroo/Kindyroo are a fun group class for both Mum and Bub. The classes include aspects such as music and singing, movement and vestibular stimulation, tummy time, massage, rolling and age appropriate sensory play and development exercises focusing on all areas of development such as vision, hearing, movement and touch. I was given some great ideas from these classes, which we continued at home with the kids when they were little. BabyGym was one of my favourite classes to do with my little ones.
Baby Rhyme Time:
Most local libraries offer Baby Rhyme time classes at no cost to members. It is a great way to meet new Mums and bubs and enjoy some one on one time with your little one. Classes are normally 30 mins and include some fun rhymes and stories. They are normally upbeat and fun so that your little one will be kept entertained for the session.
What little one doesn’t enjoy music? Group music classes are fun way to spend some quality Mum and Bub time. Classes such as Kindermusik and Mainly Music are great at introducing your child to music and movement and are lots of fun. Mainly music classes offer morning tea afterwards, which is a great opportunity to meet families with children of a similar age.
Playgroup is a great way to meet other parents in your local area. My oldest is in Primary School now, however we still catch up with some of our friends from Playgroup on a regular basis. We have so much in common and it is great to get advice from friends with children of a similar age. The kids love playing together too! Some playgroups are informal, others are more structured…generally if you try a few in your area you will find that one will really suit you and your family. It is a great social class for both Mum and bub. Little ones will be introduced to sharing, turn taking and will enjoy exploring new toys, songs and when a bit older crafts.
If you haven’t started any group classes with your Little One, I urge you to give it a try. There are classes that suit all budgets and schedules. You and your bub will learn new skills, meet new friends and most importantly have a lot of fun! Enjoy the special times you spend together with your little ones there!
About the Author: Elise Easdown is a busy mum of three little ones who loves getting out and about around Australia. She is the owner of the award winning business What’s On 4 Australia, which helps parents find local events, things to do and party services.