Celia Venables from the family activity app Hoop on the things to consider when you’re ready to venture into the world of baby classes…

Being pregnant for nine months felt like the hard bit, then labour happened and, well, surely that was the hardest bit? But now your little bundle is here so small, innocent and, well, rather demanding! How do you actually get out of the house – is this the hardest bit yet?

Once you’ve started to feel a bit more like yourself, it can be exciting to think about getting out and meeting other mums, as well as trying all of those classes that you’ve heard about… Exciting as the prospects are, it can also feel a bit overwhelming – the thought of navigating transport, talking to strangers and figuring out which classes are worth your sparse maternity leave cash. Here’s a few things to consider that will hopefully get you well on your way.

Dipping your toe in the water…

If you’re itching to get out in the early weeks, go for it. This is about what’s right for you and your baby, so try not to be deterred by other people’s opinions. In the early weeks when your world has most likely turned itself upside down and spun around a few times, you might be feeling a tad overwhelmed by it all. We recommend you look at mum and baby cafes and story time events – these are supportive environments filled with mums that are just as shattered and bewildered about everything. If you want something more practical that involves your baby, then baby sensory is a great place to start. Think music, bubbles, parachutes and lava-lamp style moving lights – your little one will be transfixed.

Life after the all-important 6-week check

Anyone who has had this check will know that it can be rather underwhelming. However, the good news is you have hopefully been cleared to do activities that require a tad more movement – and maybe even fitness classes. There has been a huge boom in these classes over the last year – from baby and mum pilates, yoga, zumba, sling fitness, buggyfit – you name it, it exists. So if fitness is on your list, the good news is that there’s tonnes out there to get you moving again with your baby. And if even reading about that was just too tiring – going to the pub is equally fine.

Baby in need of some Zen?

A couple of months in you’ve likely given most of your tips and tricks for dealing with the witching hour and spontaneous melt-downs a go. If your little one is in need of some zen, baby massage and yoga are the way to go. These classes can help improve sleep and aid digestion too. The best bit is that these classes are often offered in your local children’s centres for free – but they are in demand, so get your name on the list.

Learn the lingo

If you’re keen to develop you and your baby’s communication, baby signing can be a great place to start. With baby classes from 7 weeks – this is a class that can take you and your baby right up into the toddler years, helping them to find ways to tell you how they are feeling before they’ve found their words. A word of warning…‘more’ tends to be one of the first signs they grasp!

Mums just wanna have fun

After a few months, you’re likely to be starting to get the hang of this baby thing. This is the perfect time to find entertainment designed for parents in an environment that welcomes babies. Enter the world of daytime comedy with the likes of Bring Your Own Baby Comedy, mum and baby salsa, local baby-friendly film screenings, baby-friendly pub quizzes and even baby raves – Ministry of Sound anyone?

Don’t worry about:

  • Whether your baby will be ‘well behaved’ and will sleep through while you chat – *spoiler* they won’t. Babies are really clever even in the early days – they know when you have a freshly brewed cup of tea, or need to use the toilet and they can’t wait to challenge your abilities to juggle.
  • When your baby spends the whole class staring at the mum/baby next to you, and you feel like you’re singing to yourself – you’re not a worse singer than the mum next to you, honest!
  • Arriving just in time to feed your baby, then spend time in the toilet changing an almighty nappy breach and only make it for the goodbye song. There’s always next week.

Check out Hoop to find local classes and activities for kids.