Start an Infant Playgroup
Getting together with other new moms -- and dads -- can give you a shoulder to cry on, a reality check about your parenting skills, and a group of people who are also totally obsessed with everything baby. Try these tips to get a group going.
- Put out the word that you're looking to start a playgroup. Ask friends who recently had babies whether they're interested in joining, look for moms of young babies at the park and library, hang up a flyer at your pediatrician's office, or check out the Web site craigslist.org and post a message on the community board in your area. Aim to have between four and 10 moms and babies; you want the group to be lively, but manageable.
- Decide as a group what day and time you want to meet each week. To be fair to the hostess, come up with an end time too. Get-togethers should probably last between one and a half and two hours.
- Choose whether you want the time to be structured (the host reads a story, then moms and babies do a craft together) or unstructured (the babies play with toys while the parents chat over coffee and muffins).
- If most of the group members have just met, gather in a public place until you see how everyone gets along. Parks, churches, town recreation centers, and libraries are all good options. Once the group becomes cohesive, alternate at members' homes. (Suggestion: Try rotating in alphabetical order according to a member roster.)
Copyright © 2006. Reprinted with permission from the June 2006 issue of Parents magazine.