One surprising thing about becoming a mum is the early pressure on babies to have an active social life. There are play sessions and baby massage at the Children’s centre, Mums &Tots groups at Church, baby swimming lessons and yoga sessions at the leisure centres…there is a lot going on!
I have to admit I found the choices and expectations too much at first. I was exhausted and wiped out from sleepless nights, and my baby was grumpy and colicy. It was just not the time for socializing!
However, things changed. We both get more sleep now and Orla is passed the colic stage. So we have been going along to a couple of groups and I want to tell you about one that really works for us.
Hartbeeps is a Sensory, musical play session. There are classes for different ages and we have been going to the Baby Bells session for newborn to sitting age.
So here is how it works. The room is set up with a big green grass rug in the middle, on which there are a number of intriguing props, toys and lights. Around the edge of the rug are mats for the babies and cushions for mums to sit on.
The leader then sets the music to play and she leads through a series of gentle games and activities. Some of them are based on nursery rhymes, some tell a story and most involve cool props like light-up stars or feather bowers!
Here is why it works for us:
- It only lasts around 40 minutes which is just long enough for Orla to enjoy without getting overtired.
- Because the session is full of things to do it is a good place to go even if you don’t know anyone else there. You’re not forced to make awkward conversation but have space to relax into it.
- It’s taught me some great games to play with Orla at home. She really likes the Hartbeeps version of ‘Row, Row, Row your boat’!
- Orla also loves the sensory aspects such as holding feathers, the bubble machine and all the moving lights.
- It has a really calm atmosphere and you are made to feel comfortable to stop if you need to feed the baby or change a nappy.
- There are dress up elements too that leads to extra cuteness!
- Orla is much more likely to have a nap after Hartbeeps which is always a winner!
If you live in Lancashire and are interested you can find out more for yourself here.