Playgroups can be a wonderful experience for both you and your baby. They allow baby to interact with other children close to her age and they allow mommy a chance to talk to grown-ups for a change. Playgroups also allow parents to talk to other parents who may be experiencing the same things with their children. Sometimes it is just easier to ask another mom about breastfeeding to potty training than it is to ask a doctor. Playgroups can be fun for all if structured correctly and care is taken that your little one is up for it. There are, however, a few things that you should remember before embarking on a playgroup adventure.
Location. Some playgroups are at parks while others rotate at members’ homes. Decide where you and your baby are most comfortable and jump right in! If you don’t mind visiting in a stranger’s home then that may be a good option for you. But if the neutral ground of a park is more your style, then by all means go for it. If you are uncomfortable your baby will be too.
Kids. Make certain that the playgroup is geared for your baby’s age group. You don’t want her getting left behind at a toddler playgroup when she is only six months. On the other hand, you don’t want her to have to sit in on a baby playgroup when she is a curious toddler. Age matters.
Safety. Sure, you will be watching your baby like a hawk to make sure she is safe, but you have to blink sometime and that is when accidents can happen. Make sure that the location of the playgroup is up on all the age appropriate safety measures. The last thing you need is for your playgroup date to end up with a trip to the emergency room.
Attitude. Baby will be much better company for her new companions if she is well rested and not hungry. Try to arrange the playgroup time for mid-morning, after breakfast or after her noon nap. Bring snacks and a bottle or sipper cup just in case she gets the munchies or needs a break.
Comfort. While it may be tempting to dress for cute when going to the playgroup, opt for comfort instead. Dress her in airy, loose fitting clothing that allow her to move freely. She will be less fussy and you can get more chat time in.
Though a playgroup is great for baby to socialize, it is also a great way for mom to get a little break. Try it out. Find a playgroup in your area and you and your baby can make some new friends together!
Please feel free to comment if you have any suggestions or stories about playgroups!