Tag Archives: baby groups

A Few Bits of Baby Advice for Kate

Now seeing as Royal Baby Fever is imminently upon us, I thought it only right that I pass on some pearls of baby advice to Kate, seeing as I had a baby 4 and a bit months ago, and it’s all very fresh in my mind. I am of course sure she will see this, and if you are reading Kate, a little comment at the bottom of this would be nice, eh? 😉


A Few Bits of Advice

1. Going Topless

You were worried about those topless photos? Dear me, you may be in for a shock. I don’t think I wore a top for about a week, as I tried to master the skill that is breastfeeding. They were out for all to see. There wasn’t a midwife or a Maternity assistant in the building who hadn’t seen my baps. So sorry about that.

2. Buy loungewear

I would tell you to invest in some track suit bottoms, and t-shirts. You will live in these for about the first 5 weeks. You might not even change out of them. All those pretty dresses and coats, and high heels, yeah they’re great, but not when you’re up for 48 hours, and baby sick and bright yellow poo probably is quite difficult to get out of a Hobbs dress.

3. Pack Your Bag Carefully

My Hospital Bag was so full, I could barely put in the essentials. In fact, I had one bag for baby, and one for me. By the time I got to delivery suite, I had so much crap with me, I had to put all my bags on the wheelchair and walk down to the room! Only pack the essentials, people, maybe one of your security team can bring in anything else.  Forget make-up,you will be barely able to brush your teeth.

4. Get used to using one hand

I guess you may have had practice from all that waving, and holding handbags at the same time. But substitute the handbag for a baby, and the waving for trying to grasp a cup of tea, and you’ll see what I mean.

5. Don’t worry about your weight

It’s all very fashionable to lose all the baby weight in about 3 days, but really, you’ve got more important things to do, surely? I know the press are obsessed with your weight, and they seem to be incredulous that you put on weight in pregnancy, but don’t be pressured to lose weight. Eat cake. Eat chocolate. You will need the energy. Let Pippa worry about the size of her bum, about forget about yours, for a bit anyway.

6. If you’re Induced

If you are unfortunate to be overdue, then I am sorry. Everyone, EVERYONE, will offer their words of advice about how to kick-start this labour. I was induced and it is pretty long-winded, so my advice is to stock up on magazines, chocolate, and box sets, and wait. And tell the next person to offer you a Vindaloo where to shove it.

7. Paternity Peeve

Your partner will drive you mad when they are with you on Paternity Leave. Yes, it’s great that they are there, and there to ‘help’, but I tell you when that call comes for Wills to fly off in his helicopter, you will be relieved. Men get in the way, and you can’t actually get anything done, that doesn’t involve an Xbox, whilst they are there. DOn’t bother trying to get into any sort of routine until they’re gone.

8. Family and Friends visiting

Argh. You’re trying to get over the birth, and sleep deprivation, and you think you can relax for a moment as the baby is starting to doze off, when DING DONG, the doorbell goes and 50 people come in and wake up the baby and keep you talking, and tell you that you look tired, and use all your cups and plates, then leave you with a pile of washing-up, and a screaming baby. Now you’re going to have to psyche yourself up for this, as you’re married into quite a large family. People you have never met will barge in on you breastfeeding, believe me.  My advice is just pretend you’re not in, although that may be pretty difficult for you without setting off a massive security alert.

9. Names

Everyone has their opinion on names. For goodness sake Kate, don’t tell ANYONE the name you want, as it will only result in people saying that they either hate it, it reminds them of an old Count someone who disgraced their family, or that you can’t call your baby that as they were a traitor to the crown, or something. Personally I think whatever name you like, just tell them all when it’s born. They can’t say anything then! I don’t know whether you’ll go down the line of naming the baby after ancient family members, but it does seem to run in the Royal Family. For what its worth my bet is of Margaret for a girl, and James for a boy. (I literally just picked those names out of thin air, and a vague understanding of who’s been in the royal family.)

10. Socialise!

You need to enjoy yourself. Having a wing of a hospital to yourself will be lovely but you also do need to socialise with other people who have had babies. Go to some baby groups, talk about baby poo, and moan about your family in law. It has to be done. I personally can recommend Baby Massage and PEEPS, if you ever fancy coming down to Bristol. But beware, not all Mums are friendly. I was scared to talk to anyone at first, and I have been embarrassed a few times, but try to find people on your wavelength.

What advice would you give to Kate in the run-up to her due date? Let me know in the comments below!

By The Way, I have also written some other posts about advice in the first few weeks of being a parent, here and here – go take a look!


Making Moves Group: Baby Groups and Making Mum Friends – Group Number Two!

So, me and bubs have gone to our second group! I decided to bite the bullet and go to another group after the success of the baby massage, which we are still going to and really enjoying. I am starting to chat to the people who attend that group a bit more, and I feel more confident than I did at the start. I can’t say I have found anyone I really click with yet though, although everyone has been really lovely.  So I thought why not expand my horizons, and get out of bed and go to Making Moves.

Making Moves is a group about Music, Movement and sensory play. It is a group for under 1 year olds. This seemed perfect for Bubs as she loves singing and music. When I walked into the room, I saw a few mums and babies sat around the mat. One end was crawling, trying to walk babies, at the other, were the babies lying on the mat, trying to wriggle about, or even newer born babies being cuddled by mums. It was clear that a lot of the Mums new each other and to start with I was a little flustered as everyone was talking to everyone else, and I didn’t know how to start. So I just sat there with Bubs, and talked to her instead! The lady who ran the group came over and I wrote my name down on their form. There were a few new members of the group, but a few of them already knew other Mums from other groups. Arrgh! Where do they all find each other, I wonder?! Luckily at this point a lovely lady who had seen me at the health visitor clinic started to talk to me, and before long the session started.

To start with, there was an introduction where everyone goes round the circle, introduces their baby and their self, and says something about their week. Dear me, what had I done! I thought, I couldn’t even remember what day it was, let alone something that had happened that week! Then I remembered Bubs had rolled over on the Monday, and so I said this. All going well so far.

The first part of the group session was singing. They all started singing songs, that I had no idea of. I tried my best to ‘lalala’ and mime where needed, and followed others for cues on when to lift/rock/swing baby to the tune. I am sure the more you attend these groups, the easier it is to remember the songs, but I was assuming nursery rhymes, and they were singing all sorts. I need to get a book of children’s songs, I think, much to my chagrin.

After the singing, there was a time to play with some streamers, although we sat this bit out as Bubs decided she wanted her bottle. They all seemed to love it though.

After the streamers, a bit of Abba was put on, and dancing around the room in a circle commenced, Mums holding baby, and swinging, lunging, lifting, rocking and free styling dancing in time to the music. Again we sat most of this bit out as she was feeding, but we joined in at the end.

After this, we had bubbles! This was great. The babies were lying on the floor, and bubbles were being blown all around them. Bubs absolutely loves this, I hadn’t even thought to try blowing bubbles at home, but  will now. She was absolutely fascinated.

After the bubbles, a big parachute was put over the babies, and we all lifted it up and down, over them, singing twinkle twinkle little star – that I could do. The parachute was dark blue, and had yellow neon stars on, so was lovely to watch their faces as it bobbed up and down over them. Bubs also really liked this.

After this, more singing, this time with shaker/maracas. Bubs loved holding the shaker and the sound it made. Lots of songs I didn’t know were sung next, but as they were quite repetitive I started to get the hang of them. People asked for specific song requests, and soon the old favourites were out, like Old MacDonald, and I was on safe ground again.

Then that was the end of the session! There was juice and biscuits and time for a chat after this, and everyone sort of fell into their little groups and were chatting. I left them to it I am afraid as I just didn’t have the energy to try and get in on a little group. Maybe the more I go, the more I may fit in with one, or start my own, eh?

I am definitely going again, she loved it so much, like I thought she would. A few people from the baby massage group will be going this time, so I may even start my own gang, who knows!? In end I know going to these groups is about trying to make Mum friends, but I can’t force myself to be friends with people who I don’t get that connection with, or who just seem nothing like me.  But I will keep going for Bubs sake as she really enjoyed all the interaction. She even started to take notice of other babies, and started to try and grab their arms!

So that was my second baby group adventure. Watch this space for more!

Going To A Group For the First Time: Baby Massage

As you may be aware, I was rather nervous about going to a group because I am a bit quiet and get nervous talking to new people (you can read my post about this here).


I signed up to Baby Massage one day, one of the first times I had been to the Health Visitor Clinic at the children’s centre, when I had to wait over an hour to actually get Bubs Weighed. Whilst waiting, one of the ladies that work at the Centre was talking to everyone about the Centre, what activities they do, the drop in, support groups etc and got us all to fill in forms. She also then casually roped me into signing up to this class. Although I was terrified, I was relieved there was a 4 month waiting list as I thought I could forget about it, and decide whether or not to actually go at a later time, and it got the woman off my back and onto some other poor unsuspecting new mother.

Anyway, the call came and it was our turn to go to the Baby Massage. As usual I got up 2 hours before the start of the group to get ready, and was still 10 minutes late. A great start, I thought, running down the street in the sunshine. Sweaty, out of breath, and now a bit red in the face, I entered the room at the Children’s Centre. I hate being late, and I hate being late whilst looking like an out of breath hippo whilst New People look at me and JUDGE me. So anyway what a first impression!

I was lucky in that the first session, initially we had to fill in yet another form, and so I had time to settle, catch my breath and go down a few shades of red. The room was actually very calming and relaxing, with calming music, candles lit up in the corner, and the floor was mats covered in fleecy blankets with cushions spread over the floor. There were three other Mums there with their babies, filling in their forms. All looked roughly the same age.

I filled in my forms, and whilst I did Bubs lay on the mats, kicking her legs and chatting away to herself. She seemed pretty chilled out.

To start with, as I was busy filling in forms, I didn’t really get to talk to anyone. I had also managed to pick the spot nearest the teacher, and furthest away from everyone else (I always manage to do this!). A few others were chatting, asking general questions to each other, and starting to get to know each other. I felt a dip in my stomach, yet again I would be the odd one out, no-one would talk to me, I’d be the invisible person in the room. Heart palpitations fluttering away, I tried to hide my anxieties and just smiled and chatted away to Bubs instead. A few other late comers arrived after me, and so I thought I maybe had a chance.

Once we had all filled in the forms, the session began. The lady leading the session was lovely. She talked through the massage, that it was a mixture of massage, reflexology, yoga and other things like that which I can’t actually remember now. It is also about the nurture, the bond, as well as the massage. We were all given a bottle of organic sunflower oil to use (“if its good enough for the inside, it’s good enough for the outside!”) and told that to start the massage, we first had to ask permission from our babies if they wanted a massage, as it is all about the bonding and nurturing process. So there we sat, 6 adults, asking 6 under 4-month-olds, whether they wanted a massage. Surprisingly, no-one seemed to object, and so we began. We had to initially pour the oil on our hands, and rub it into our palms near our babies ears, to make a ‘swooshing’ noise, so that the baby knows this is the start of the massage. We then started to massage. We focussed on the legs and feet as the lady told us these are the body parts babies are most used to being handled and so easiest to start with. The massage strokes were quite easy to follow, and the lady told us it doesn’t matter if you don’t do it exactly right. The oil was not too yucky in my hands, and it was very peaceful, calming and relaxing to do. We all sat there, babies gurgling and chatting away, whilst we massaged their legs, and feet, and toes. Bubs seemed relaxed, she kept looking at the teacher, and chatting away to her. But she let me do the massage, first on one leg and foot, and the other. The massage was complete.

Then, it was time for tea. The teacher went away and made us all a cuppa, which I was rather glad of. Then I realised; I had to chat to people now; there was no escape, this was the next part of the session apparently. Others were chatting away, and I just sat there with Bubs in my arms, chatting away to her. I didn’t know how to jump in and start talking. I thought I’d end up not talking at all. But in the end, I managed to glance at the lady next to me and her daughter, and stutter/bark “Ssssshe has a pppretty dress!” at her. I thought I compliment was a safe comment to say, I’m not sure I even liked the dress, but it was a starting point. Anyway, the women didn’t seem to notice my anxiety and just responded to my comment with a ‘Thanks, we have so many clothes, she can hardly wear them all!” and then it seemed I had to reply. This seemed to be a conversation. And it continued. We chatted about clothes, how big the babies were, the weather, feeding. It didn’t seem too awkward, and I think I didn’t say anything stupid. relief was flooding over me. As I was chatting, drinking my tea, Bubs started to fall asleep; massage seems to get her sleepy which is a great thing! I put her in the pram and got ready to go. I didn’t talk too much to the other ladies there, and there was a young girl there with her Mum, who was even quieter than me, whom I think I should talk to next time. Yes. Next time. It’s a 6 week course, so if I have managed this in the first session, it looks positive for the next 5, doesn’t it?

Going to this session really helped me alleviate a few fears, and although I am terribly shy I did manage to start a conversation. Like a lot of people have told me, having the baby to talk about and have in common with everyone was very useful. It even made me think about going to the music and movement session, which I think Bubs would love. I felt so much better for getting out of the house, doing something structured, doing something new, I felt a bit like I was at work again (but much more fun of course) in that I have to meet new people and chat to them all the time at work, so why I can’t do it out of work is beyond me, but I definitely felt more confident at the end of the session.

So here it goes, Another 5 weeks and who knows what will happen?!

I am linking this post up with The Oliver’s Madhouse Magic Moments, as this was a magic moment for me, I overcame my anxieties, I went to a group, and you know it was OK! And I felt so much better for doing it!