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The Highs & Lows of Baby Groups

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Today, I wanted to talk about baby groups as I have had mixed experiences of them over the last 7 years and I’m not sure whether that’s just down to me or if everyone finds them a bit hit and miss?!

When Mia was around 4 months old, I decided I was in a nice little routine, had gotten over the initial shock of having a baby and most of my family and friends had settled back into their own work routines, so I thought it would be nice to go out and meet some other new mums with similar age babies.

We belong to a Catholic church so I thought the best place to go would be our parish’s baby and toddler group. It’s a £3.50 for 2 hours group which was fine but I found the actual environment a little intense. It’s a large hall with lots of older children running and jumping around, with a small soft area for babies. Now at that point Mia wasn’t even sitting up so there was nothing she could do but it was nice for me to talk to other people.

I’m not an overly confident person but I pushed myself to go up to a group of mums and introduce myself, I found the group to be friendly enough but quite cliquey and talked mainly about people and things they all knew out and I tried to join in when I could. It’s fair to say I only went twice and then gave up!

Swimming Pool
Singing choir

 So the second group I tried was a swimming session, part of the Puddle Ducks Franchise and although the sessions are really pricey (£12 a time) I loved how they gave me the confidence with Mia in the water that I needed and Mia absolutely loved it, she still does.

I met some nice mums there who I’m not in contact with that much now but at the time it was great to meet them after swimming and have a chat. We now go to our local pool that does a great session called Aqua Babies, it’s more affordable and means Mia is getting used to a proper size pool environment, with other swimmers and noises in the bigger pool. The sessions are very much the same as Puddle Ducks but are a lot cheaper and although I would recommend somewhere like Puddle Ducks when you have a young baby, there’s nothing wrong with a local pool once their older and your more confident with them in the water! 

When Mia was 5 months old, we heard about the Jo Jingles Franchise which is all about music and singing. It’s amazing and Mia loves every minute of it! We still go to it now. It’s really affordable and really good fun to go along to if your toddler loves music and dancing. We do different things each week and Mia joins in playing instruments and clapping along. It is well worth a look! I have since started taking Lottie along each week and she too absolutely loves it! This is the one group we have carried on without stopping.

There is also a free class we do at the local library each week called Rhyme Time and again it’s all music and singing based which Mia loves. You can go twice a week if you want to and it’s completely free for those in the community. The library staff are really friendly and the toddlers love it. We always borrow a few books for Mia while we are there as her other interest is books and she seems really comfortable surrounded by them!

Library Books

It’s very important as a new mum to get out and meet other new mums. I try and go out once a day even if it’s just for a walk around the park. I think I would go crazy otherwise! You need to do something that doesn’t involve being cooped up at home with a baby or toddler and its less intense if you’re out and about with them than if you’re at home. Sometimes I don’t want to go out though and that’s ok as long as it’s not for any other reason than you just need an afternoon to catch up on the washing! 

When Mia turned 2 1/2 she started Preschool which gave me a couple of hours each morning to catch up on bits I couldn’t do with her around. She absolutely loved it there and still talks about now she’s at school! Lottie is due to start the same on in September and I can’t wait for a bit of time on my own!


If you would like any more information about the baby groups or type of groups I have mentioned, get in touch or simply search the internet for local baby and toddler activities in your area.


  • Helen Treharne

    They are definitely hit and miss, and it’s challenging enough as you don’t know how your child will engage with the activities. Some felt like we were getting judged to be honest! On the whole they were good. The best group was of my own fashioning, meeting with my NCT friends every week. We did everything from soft play to picnics.

    • Becca Farrelly

      Yeah I completely agree! I never did the NCT classes with either of my pregnancies and I hear so much about them. I really wish I had done them as everyone I know has kept in touch with the people they did them with and I could have done with that little support network!

  • mummy and monkeys

    I think you get a feeling for a group fairly quickly. I’ve tried loads over the years and some have been incredibly cliquey! Glad you have a nice routine going on now. Thanks for linking to #PicknMix

    • mummydaddymia

      It seems a lot of mums go through the same thing and I’m not sure what the answer is but its not great when your already dealing with being a parent for the first time! Thanks for commenting 🙂

  • Mudpie Fridays

    I purposefully avoided toddler groups when I had Monkey! They filled me with dread, although we dis go swimming and still do, and we also did a music class for quite some time. Although to be honest I did most activities with my NCT friends which helped and meant I was never really looking to make new connections. This time round I have gone back to NCT for the same reason, we are all on our second babies so it will be interesting to see how the bonds are formed. Plus Monkey starts school in Sept so I am not sure if any friendships may spring up from that as well. Thank you for joining us at #BloggerClubUK x

    • mummydaddymia

      Ahh yes toddler groups fill me with dread too!! I never made many friends while Mia was younger but now shes a bit older, I’m trying to get in with the preschool mums! 🙂

  • catherine@pushingthemoon

    I really struggled with baby groups with my children. I’m very shy in social situations but pushed myself to go. I left three groups before I found one I finally felt quite comfortable in – it was run by the local church. I’m so pleased I didn’t give up completely as my son absolutely adored going there. Xxx #BloggerClubUK

  • lifeasmum

    I loved going to baby groups with my first daughter but then I moved when I had my second and I stopped going! I wish I would have carried on going but to the local ones in the village I moved too.

    Thanks for linking up with #justanotherlinky

    • mummydaddymia

      Ahh I can imagine it’s far more difficult to do to things with more than 1 child, it’s hard enough for me! Thanks for commenting 🙂

  • arthurwears

    In my experience the better groups tend to be the ones where the same people go every week so that you can build up a relationship! Oh and that they are age specific so the parents you meet are in the same boat and you can talk and compare notes etc!
    We have done baby sensory classes for months which have been brilliant!
    I did a few different children’s centre classes like baby yoga and baby massage but they were hit and miss and one week we were the only ones there!
    NCT group meet ups have been the best thing for us – if I hadn’t paid to do the NCT group I think we would have been much more isolated in terms of other mummy and baby friends.
    Keep going and keep trying, I bet most mums feel like you do! X #KCACOLS

    • mummydaddymia

      Ahh thanks! Yes i agree, if the same people attend each week it’s far easier to make friends! I wish I had done baby sensory when Mia was a baby. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  • Hannah Spannah Coco Banana

    I was really lucky as I got over the initial nerves and learnt to just start a conversation with anyone and buy into cliques as a nanny so that when I had my son, I was happy to go anywhere and talk to anyone but I know many Mum’s that have had the same experience as you. Great group choices though. Lots of fun #kcacols

    • mummydaddymia

      That’s good, Iam glad you have had positive experiences. I have gotten better as Mia becomes able to socialise more (shes 2) so that’s helps! Thanks for commenting 🙂

  • Rachel (Lifeofmyfamilyandme)

    I had the same thing when i joined local baby groups when Miss M was younger. I was thankful that there was one group where i knew a childminder who knew everyone! The other 2 baby groups i tried but only went once because the mums i found to be clicky so i felt like an unwelcome outsider. I used to love Rhyme Time too and have met some lovely people because of it. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday.

    • mummydaddymia

      It’s strange when I wrote this post I thought i was being over sensitive an picky but as more and more people have commented, it seems we are all having the same experiences which is sad. Iam glad you have found a group you enjoy now 🙂 thanks for commenting

  • athomewithruth

    I did the whole baby group thing with my eldest. Unfortunately, the only thing you have in common with most mums at these groups is the fact that you have a baby of a similar age. We did swimming and music (the same franchises you mention at the time) – these are the activities where your actually bonding with your child, and are the most beneficial. With son 2, he just had to tag along to play group with my toddler. Swimming was our only group until he was older and I took him to baby play. The mums were cliquey and said some really horrible things about another mum when she was out of the room. It was really awkward but something I came to expect from these baby groups! #justanotherlinky

    • mummydaddymia

      Ahh it’s a shame you had a similar experience to me. We definitely benefited more from swimming and music sessions (we still go now!) and I wouldn’t bother with other groups if we have another baby. Thanks for commenting 🙂

  • mummydaddymia

    Ahh it’s tricky isn’t it!! I think we have over done it with Mia and won’t be so ‘involved’ in groups if we have another baby 🙂 thanks for commenting

  • amumsim

    It’s great if you can find a group or class that you can both enjoy, I found a more organised activity was better for us, less pressure to burst into a clique. Didn’t enjoy baby groups first time around, now with baby 2 and having just moved to a new city we’re hoping to find a nice one!!


  • The Speed Bump

    This is an informative post. Because my daughter went into nursery at 5 months so I wouldn’t have to take any time out of university, I never got to take her to any toddler groups. She’s eighteen months old now though, so I think I might look into our local Jo Jingles session with her! #justanotherlinky

  • mrshsfavouritethings

    I completely agree, I think baby and toddler groups are really hit and miss. I have been to loads. And there were some that I didn’t enjoy and there were some that Little Miss H didn’t enjoy. We had found some fabulous groups that we went to weekly and then five weeks ago we moved to Tunbridge Wells. It was really hard to force myself to go to groups when I didn’t know anyone. But I am so glad I did. As I have already made some lovely new friends. And Little Miss H and I have established a lovely new routine. Thanks for sharing with #SundaysStars. I am sorry it has taken me so long to comment. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

    • mummydaddymia

      Ahh that’s great that you have made some new friends at new groups! We are moving in a few months and it feels like we are starting again but Iam confident we can find some new groups 🙂 thanks for commenting

  • absolutely prabulous

    The vast majority of blogs I come across are by mothers with kids much younger than mine, many still in this ‘baby phase’. It makes me realise it’s very much a ‘stage’ but of course, as I well know, one that feels like it goes on forever. I did bits and pieces with my first as we were still in the UK. Reading this post reminds me how very well set up the UK is for baby groups. We arrived in Malta and there was NOTHING. My second and third kids didn’t get to anything apart from a music group. But expats make their own entertainment and I have the fondest memories of a coffee morning group I belonged to, many of whom I’m still in touch with long after our kids are now growing and entrenched in school life. Hope you and Mia enjoy the activities. I’m almost wistful about the baby stage reading this! Thanks for linking to #BabyBrainMonday

    • mummydaddymia

      Ahh thanks for commenting! Yes it does feel like it’s going on forever but Iam already thinking about Mia starting nursery 2 afternoons a week next month and wondering where the time went! Iam glad you had a positive move to Malta and that you keep in touch with friends from ages ago 🙂

  • Raising Mighty Girls

    I’m past the baby club stage with my youngest having just started primary 1 but I remember that the whole parent toddler/baby club scene was quite mixed. It was just about trying and testing them (where I live anyway). #sundaystars

    • mummydaddymia

      Swimming is fab, I recommend going as early as possible cos I had a break with Mia and she hasn’t liked it as much as she did since 🙁 thanks for commenting!

  • Mrs Tubbs

    It took us a while to find some lovely, friendly baby groups to go to, particularly once I’d gone back to work and Rev T became a SAHD. But once you’ve found the right one, it’s brilliant #mummy&us

  • mackenzieglanville

    I agree that I found them mixed, some groups were cliquey which I found hard as I was already quite shy and wished people were more welcoming, however other groups were amazing and I have lifelong friendships from these! I found I have made so many friends over the years especially from when my children started school, it is a great way to meet other families. Thank you so much for linking up, your cake site looks amazing #mummyandus

  • Jenny @ Let's Talk Mommy

    I loved baby groups and I couldn’t have survived as good as I did without them at first being an expat it really helped me. We absolutely loved puddleducks with both our kids and I have a life long friend from it now. Great that you have tried so many it’s lovely. Thank you ever so much for linking up to Share With Me. I hope to see you again soon. I apologize for my late commenting, just catching up on a hectic week. I appreciate all the blog support. Look forward to reading more of your SWM link ups. #sharewithme

  • Helena

    I too decided to stop going to some of the activities as my daughter was surrounded by toddlers and couldn’t fend for herself. We’ve not tried swimming on account of my daughter not liking to be faffed about with and hating water, bat time is traumatic enough poor thing. My daughter enjoys rhyme time at the library so we make sure to go every week. #sharewithme

    • mummydaddymia

      Ahh bless her, hopefully she will start enjoying watertime soon! Glad you have found somewhere she enjoys though 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

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