Once you're past the exhausting newborn stage, many mums will tell you you're in the golden age of babyhood. Your little one is extremely portable, so make the most of it!
Meet other mums
Joining a mums' group lets you compare notes, pick up tips and get reassurance. If you're shy with strangers, try a more structured activity like baby massage or mum-and-baby yoga classes.
Where to look for mums' groups and classes
- Baby massage classes are often run by health visitors or practice nurses; ask at your clinic or GP surgery.
- Yoga sessions, as well as mother and baby groups, will be advertised on library or shop notice boards and in local newspapers, and are often held at community or village halls.
Boasting can be a feature of mums' groups – especially when it comes to sleep and developmental milestones. Take everything with a large pinch of salt, and remember that every baby is different. If you feel another mum is being boastful, steer the conversation in a different direction – ask if anyone has managed to watch a TV programme to the end yet!
Start your own mums' group
All you'll need is a little organisation and a baby-friendly venue:
- Baby Café – a national network of drop-in centres dedicated to breastfeeding mums. They open once a week and are set out with coffee tables, comfy sofas and play areas for older children. Find your nearest at thebabycafe.org.
- Parks – take a rug and a picnic and stay put all day.
- Tesco café – join other mums having a rest after the weekly shop!
Go it alone
You don't need to rely on other people to get out of the house. Take a leisurely trip to a department store, or go for a wander round the beauty aisle of a child-friendly supermarket and buy a few well-priced treats. See if your local cinema does parent and baby screenings – they can make all the noise they like on your lap while you catch the latest releases.
How to leave the house on time
- Factor in time for last-minute nappy changes, feeds and finding a fresh top because your baby has been sick down your front!
- Keep your change bag ready to go, packed with wipes, nappies and muslin cloths, then pop in bottles of milk if you're formula-feeding, and a bottle of water for you if you're breastfeeding.
- Keep your pram or buggy by the door, ready to go. If space is tight, keep it in the boot of your car or garage for quick getaways.