As the world prepares to reopen again, it’s a strange time for babies born during or just before the pandemic. Whilst it may feel a little daunting introducing them to new sights, sounds and people it’s hopefully a really exciting time too as they start to realise just what is out there for them to explore. New parents will also need to adjust to a new (but old!) way of life. We’ve asked some local experts for their top tips to help us all transition back into the “real” world...
Get outside, make new friends and get active!
Everyone’s mental health has suffered this year and getting active and exercising is a huge help to make everything feel a little bit brighter. Come down and try doing it with a group of likeminded women who have been through the same situation as you - get outside, make new friends and get active. These Mums Do Fitness outdoor classes resume on 29th March and are perfect for all levels whether you’re a complete beginner or looking to return to exercise.
Becca Broadbent, www.thesemumsdo.co.uk
Developing physical, social and emotional development.
Visiting soft play centres are a great way to meet other parents and gain much needed support. Being a new parent can be very lonely and this has been made worse by the pandemic. Soft play also provides a safe and stimulating environment for babies to explore and interact with each other, which lockdown babies have missed out on, which is vital for their physical, social and emotional development.
Jenna, Adventure Forest Play, www.adventureforestplay.co.uk
Managing your baby’s nap routine on days where activities are planned.
If you have a morning class at a time your baby usually naps, get up early that day which will allow you to put your baby down before you need to leave. Also be conscious that your baby may be overstimulated and tired at the end of a class so naps afterwards may not be at their usual time. If you find that you need to bridge a big gap between a nap and bedtime, try a 10/15 minute power nap to get them through instead of keeping them awake and risking over tiredness. It’s ok to not have a strict routine every day, it’s important to be flexible for fun things too.
Jemma Munford, www.blissedoutbabies.co.uk
Introducing new faces
If you are considering hiring a professional babysitter for the first time and your little one hasn't really been around other people. It is important to build it up over a few weeks. Let your babysitter come round while your baby is awake so they can get used to a new face, maybe pop out of the room occasionally so they get used to each other, build it up to going out for just one or two hours before going on a longer evening out.
Alice Rimmer, www.missrimmerschildcare.co.uk
Get ready for holidays
Build that water confidence by having fun in the bath! Bathtime doesn't have to be about calming down for bedtime each day, and can be the perfect time for learning too. Try running a bath for your little one in the middle of day, add their favourite toys or some clean empty yoghurt pots and bottles. Get pouring, counting and exploring objects that sink and float... but be ready to get splashed! For more bathtime tips go to waterbabies.co.uk and follow the link to our Boredom Busters.
Sarah, Water Babies Manchester (South)
Experiencing new sounds
Your baby may need ‘socialising’ to different stimuli but this is really important. Different noises like babies crying, a lot of noise all at once may feel strange for some babies. Let your babies just look, touch and interact together. An organised support group or a visit to a small intimate play cafe are great ways to do this. For support groups
For a brand new family well- being cafe coming soon to Sale - www.thehuddleinsale.co.uk
Tracey Sutton, The Bump & Baby Hideout
Getting your body ready to exercise
It is important to focus on YOU as much as the baby. Make YOUR health a priority. Start by getting a 'Mummy MOT' 6-week check. This will provide you with advice of when your body is ready to safely return to exercise, which will in turn improve physical and mental wellbeing, making sure you are the best version of you to look after your new bundle of joy.
Deborah Schofield, www.facebook.com/bumptobeyondltd