Why go to Baby Groups?
In this post I would like to address the question ‘Why go to baby groups?’. It’s already something that parents ask whether they are male or female, and whether they attend groups or not. Each demographic has their reasons for not wanting to go and I have written a post that tackles the reasons men give for not going to baby groups. If however you don’t need convincing and are looking for a Dad and Baby/toddler group in your area. Check out our definitive list of the best Dad and Baby groups in the UK.
I didn’t go to baby groups when my 2 were that age, but looking back and now leading a baby group on the television, I can definitely see how it would have benefitted them, me and other dads. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s a 100% must to attend a baby group, but there are benefits in going. None of them solely restricted to clubs and groups, just sometimes facilitated more easily in this situation.
Benefits of going
As many of you with young babies know, going to a group for the first time is not easy. It’s almost like your first day at school. So many questions run through your mind beforehand. What will I do there? Will my baby enjoy it? How many people will be there? Do dads go to this group? Will my baby cry the whole time? Who benefits from this? Will people judge me? The list goes on and on.
However, there is an equally long list of the benefits that you and your baby may gain from going and below are just a few of these. For each benefit I have added a link to one of my Baby Club Diaries. This will show how activities we do at baby groups are benefiting you and your baby
- One thing that’s for sure at a baby group is that there will be other babies and parents there. This is a huge opportunity for social development. When interacting at a group, emphasis is often placed on hellos, goodbyes, names, taking turns and more. These are all keys skills that are part of social development. The more your baby is exposed to people and these situations, the more they understand and mimic social practises.
- Baby groups are good for developing routines. Routines can help in all areas of a baby’s development from sleeping and feeding through to behaviour. Many people find the routine of going to groups helps with other daily routines.
- At a baby group your child will interact and form relationships with other babies. These are important for social development. If a baby doesn’t have a brother or sister of a similar age a baby club can be a perfect way to introduce them to other kids their age. This can give them a head start for introduction to nursery or pre-school later on.
Check out my Baby Club Diaries – Playing with Paper
Language and Numeracy
Language and numeracy are being introduced to babies all the time. Often you won’t even realise you are doing it. What’s nice about taking part in activities at a baby club is that they often highlight the words, numbers, actions, colours, objects very specifically. Making you think about what the focus of the activity is. Once you start applying the way you think at a baby group to everyday interactions suddenly everything is an opportunity to learn or reinforce words and numbers.
Check out my Baby Club Diaries – Playing with Gloves
At a baby group your child will be introduced to a host of activities, toys, and landscapes that they will have to interact with. This will mean they have to move and react to their surroundings which will in turn aid physical development. Your baby may see another baby walking and be inspired to try. Your baby may get very vocal at a baby group, therefore developing muscles in the face and mouth which are eventually used for speech. This is just the tip of the iceberg, there are so many things happening at a baby club that will help in this respect.
Check out my Baby Club Diaries – Playing with a Ball
As a dad, it can sometimes take a little longer to form a strong bond with your baby. This is normal and no dads should feel strange if they are experiencing this. For that reason, a dad spending time with his baby in a setting without his partner can help that bond form. Baby groups are perfect for this and though it may be a struggle at first, the bond formed by persevering is more than worth it. Also more dads need to be hands on from the start as it makes a huge difference to the family dynamic. One that everyone will benefit from.
Check out my Baby Club Diaries – Playing with Socks
Rhythm and Coordination
Singing songs is one of the best ways for your child to learn something at an early age. That’s why singing is often done at baby groups. But what makes singing extra special is that it’s not only rhythm and coordination that benefit. It can also help with all of the benefits mentioned above.
Check out any of my Baby Club Diaries and you’ll see how singing can help.
Do you go to baby groups? Write your thoughts, experiences, and questions.
It’s important that we hear from those of you out there living it. Are you a dad that attends a baby group? Do you avoid baby groups because you’re a dad? Would a baby club help you? Can you recommend a good baby group for dads in the UK?
Please leave your comments in the section below and share this post with other parents, the more the merrier. And remember, mums you are an integral part of this. We can’t improve things for dads and help make changes without you. So please, please, help even if it’s just sharing a post or making a suggestion.
Look forward to hearing from you
Sorry it has taken so long to comment on this one. Holidays took a bit of a priority!
I totally agree to what you have written here on these benefits. With work there was no way I could regularly attend but have tried as often as possible to do so and can totally see the benefits my little one has gained from these groups.
She has come on leaps and bounds with her singing and having just turned 2 is pretty good with her counting up to 20+ and getting there with her alphabet as well as coming out with all sorts of songs!
Baby Club on Cbeebies has also helped as she adores the songs on here.
We recently attended a purely singing and dancing group this week… it didnt go quite to plan as she just wanted to bang the giant drum for an hour but it was still fun and good to see her exploring and interacting.
It doesn’t have to be just one way traffic in the benefits. We got some great tips afterwards on her eating and they actually had a great little library where we got a cookbook to try some new things out.
It’s not a necessity to go, but if you can get along to one every now and again you’ll enjoy it. Take the leap and try it!
We go to The Wellington Children’s Centre in Ipswich and the staff are always great and make a conscious effort to make any dads feel very welcome indeed.
Ahhh thanks Wes! Great to hear you’ve had good experiences at a baby group.
You’re right you don’t need to go to clubs all the time. Even now and then can help take the pressure off and provide something a little different.