With April 12th anxiously awaited by many for Parent & Baby groups to open inperson; quite a few Mums have confided in me that they have no idea how they'll make it out to a baby group.
'I've learned how to cope with lockdown isolation -
I'm used to my routine now.
I want to get back to classes but they're all
at times that disturb our usual schedule :) !'
Kim - Mum & Baby Strengthen and Stretch
Pandemic mums have had to develop very unique skills: not having a partner with them on the postnatal ward; not having many face-to-face visits with Health Care Professionals; often being distanced from family; and learning to cope with short walks with friends and online classes for mum-connections.
It's been incredibly difficult. The skills of leaving the house with a newborn to get somewhere on time have not naturally developed over time as they would have normally.
So I thought I'd gather some hints and tips from the BellyTots Mamas to ease concerns.
1. It's completely normal to struggle to get to a class on time. It's a rare Mum who strolls calmly in with a content baby 5 minutes before the class! There is no magical secret, it's not easy and Baby Class Teachers know that and should be understanding. I promise I will be!
'It's ok to treat getting to a baby class
like a strategic military operation....
because it is!'
Karen - Baby Yoga
2. 5 minutes matters! If you have 5 minutes the night before to do a quick check of your nappy bag stocks (esp that the spare outfits still fit!) and put in some snacks/drinks for you; it will ease your stress when the inevitable poonami or suprise feed presents itself just as you want to get out the door. Or put what you'll need by the door or in the car. Even just laying out some clothes and having your shoes, phone and keys to hand the night before will help.
3. Sit down and make a list of all the things you might possibly need in the class. A spare top for you can be handy too; in case of nappy leaks, milk leaks & baby sick! Pack everything into your car and/or nappy bag in advance so it's just always there and is another weight off your mind. Having everything you could possibly need available, may help you feel calmer about going to the class too.
'My Yoga mat lives in the car cos
there's no way
I'd remember it otherwise!'
Meera - Mum & Baby Strengthen and Stretch
3. Consider leaving earlier at a good time in your baby's sleep/feed/nap cycle. It may be easier to leave as they need to nap for example, even if that's quite early for the class, so they can sleep on the way. If walking to a class, you could consider making it a leisurely walk via a takeaway coffee so your baby sleeps well on the way to class ready to join in and you arrive feeling a bit calmer. Some Mums keep a flask of tea and a good book in the car for a short bit of me-time (or office time) in the car park before class.
4. Have a practice run to the class venue. Or at least check it out on google maps and images! How long does it take to get there with and without traffic? What would it be like walking on a rainy day vs a sunny day? Where do you park? How do you access the venue? Can you take the buggy in? My venues have on site parking, free parking on the surrounding roads, plus buggies can come into the main hall.
5. Have practice runs anywhere! Set yourself a goal to get to a Supermarket for the class time you've booked. Remember that every day is different with a baby, so it's only a guide for how it might be on the actual class day. Practice short trips on your own to the shops or to the park. Practice getting the car seat in and out of the car; or on and off the pram base.
6. Have a chat with the Class Teacher about what will happen in the class. She can let you know any insider info such as times to arrive so the car park is empty; places you could leave a buggy if necessary. The more info you have, the calmer you'll feel. You can call me anytime on 07946660927 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
And why should you go to all this work and hassle? Isn't it easier to stay at home? BellyTots Mama Kim, says:
'Remember that the baby class is more about you than your baby!
The sense of achievement that you got there;
the chance to chat with other Mums;
and the big mood boost make it all more than worth it.'
Kim - Mum & Baby Strengthen & Stretch
Next blog post we'll talk about how to survive the class itself!