5 Things I *HATE* About Baby Classes.

5 Things I *HATE* About Baby Classes.

In my pre-baby days, I’d once naively assumed that baby classes were meant for parents to learn baby skills and thought “ How amazing – they actually teach you to parent! Eek, will there be an exam at the end of it?” Turns out that baby classes are meant mostly for your baby’s physical, cognitive, linguistic, social etc., development to ensure they’ll get a place in Oxbridge by age 10.

By the time my daughter was 3 months old, we were both itching to get out and explore the wonderful promise of enrichment and character building through baby classes. We’ve been to baby swimming, baby music, baby book reading, baby sensory play and oh so many others and 6 weeks in, I’ve become the person who goes on to recommend baby classes to all my mum friends. But in the interest of full disclosure, here’s why I’ve come to hate them.

  1. TIMING

Baby classes always seem to happen somewhere between me getting my first cuppa (about 11 am, on good days) or during my baby’s longest nap of the day. Ever woken up a baby to make sure she can enjoy the expensive classical music class you brought her to? Mum-to-mum tip no.1: DON’T TRY IT! Sit through the class with a snoozing baby on your lap and you might actually get to enjoy the music.

  1. PREPARATION

Inconvenient nap times is just one of the many ways my darling daughter decides she doesn’t want to go to class. There’s also the obligatory poop, spit up or her choice of bodily secretions to ruin our outfits of the day five minutes before the bus is due. I think she secretly enjoys me running her in the stroller to the bus stop only to see the butt end of the bus go by.  Mum-to-mum tip no. 2:  Announce to your baby that the class is 30 minutes before you actually need to leave and hopefully it’ll confuse them long enough for us to get our act together.

  1. AGE GROUPS

“Suitable for 0-12 months” can be pretty misleading and putting all of them 8-12 month old nearly-toddlers in the presence of 2-4 month-old babies is a recipe for accidentally squashed noses, fingers and toes. This is why, mum-to-mum tip no. 3: Practice carrying on a conversation with a mum/dad next to you without making eye contact, so you can keep your eyes on your little rugrat. Chances are, they’re doing the same.

  1. CONVERSATIONS

Baby classes are great to make mum friends but as an introvert mum, it takes a lot out of me to get out of the house with my baby, when I’d rather be sat on the couch cuddling with her and watching the next box sets of true crime shows (I only do it for the prospect of her going off to college by age 10). So all my conversations with other mums go somewhat like this –

 Me: How gorgeous, how old is your baby? [Note the neutral “baby” to avoid guessing boy/girl]

Mum: xx weeks/months + yy days [Note: Don’t do the math to whatever units you’re used to]

Me: That’s so adorable, doe s/he do [insert age appropriate milestone] yet?

Mum: Yes but [self/baby deprecating comment about how they’re struggling with the next one]

Me: Oh I’m sure they’re great!

Spend next 15 minutes discussing the minutiae of our babies’ sleep, eating, pooping, favourite activities and whatnot; with someone we just met [Imagine discussing our own lives in such graphic detail!!!]

Mum: Do you live locally, let’s swap numbers?

Me: Sure [inward cringe]

Mum-to-mum tip no.4: It just gets me down to hear when mums gripe about babies being too chunky/too skinny/eating too much or too little/being too active or too sedate/sleeping too little or too much! I’d just love if mums could take pride in their babies as they are and just say – “Yep, I’ve made this gorgeous little creature here and she/he’s perfect for me. We’re still getting to know each other and have good days and bad, but wouldn’t trade it for the world.” It’ll be an honest reply that’ll resonate with all of us moms. Because deep down, we know that our baby is hands-down the best one in the class.

  1. RUNNING OUT OF STEAM

Cancelling on baby classes make me feel like a terrible terrible person, like I’m denying my child a profound experience, though I know we’d only have succeeded in getting Itsy bitsy stuck in loop in my head for the rest of the day and missing a crucial nap time. Most of the times I cancel for genuine reasons (sick baby/mummy, missing a bus due to said poop emergency, or my favourite afternoon telly) but sometimes, I’ve just run out of steam to sing rhymes or shove “sensory play” velvet at my baby and thinking – we could’ve done this at home and saved a tenner. Mum-to-mum tip no. 5: You are your baby’s best friend and favourite play toy. While she’ll love the occasional day out to see other babies, she will always turn to you for any and all forms of entertainment and no baby class will ever come close to quality time you spend with her.

So to all mums with little bundles, don’t fret about missing out on baby classes and enjoy the cozy afternoons cuddling them up!

Baby playing musicLoving our work? Get more of it in your life by following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Read more of our brilliant blogs here.

 

SHARE
Rachel Millington is a mum of two. In her spare time, she works in PR, hanging out with people who are all a good 10 years younger and a lot more glamorous than her, which is terribly good for the self-esteem. She also volunteers for Mind & MumsAid, because she very definitely believes that maternal mental health matters. She can be found tweeting (/ranting about politics) @rachmillington and is also charting her absolute hatred and despair of the weaning process on instagram @mummyledweaning (whoever said it was easier second time around LIED).