Little babies (pre-six months) are too small and vulnerable to do much more than eat and sleep but suddenly around seven months a corner is turned and the outside world becomes a thing of interest. What I love about Baby Sensory is that it takes place through the first year of your babies life so although that first term is more about propping them up so they do not fall over while looking at a light show, by term two you really notice your baby and all the other babies in the group, developing into social little beings. I have almost finished Term 2 and last week the babies had their own party with balloons and presents and a puppet show. Watching all those absorbed little faces it is hard to believe that this time last year they were just tiny developing beings, months away from emerging into the world.
Now each one is a distinct little character chaperoned each week to the baby sensory class by sleep deprived parents who relish the thought of sitting quietly for an hour while somebody else entertains their baby for a change! The bonus is that it may even help our little ones develop better all round. A winning formulation which could only be bettered if Angela was able to offer us coffee half way through.
The new permanent premises for Baby Sensory is a purpose built barn near the Applegarth cafe in Greyshott, Surrey. Bright and cheerful and warm with changing facilities and lots of comfy seating for before and after the class. Also easy parking outside which is very handy with many of the babies having to be lugged in while asleep from the journey in their exceptionally heavy car seats.
The class is a highlight of the week for me and such a great way to get out and about in that first year with a new baby while mixing with other babies of the same age and learning about crucial first year developments all at the same time. Baby sensory teach Angela is a delight and her South African accent is so mesmerising that we are all lulled into a sense of relaxation by the end of a session. Her assistant Janet is also a ray of sunshine and both are always quick to offer helpful advice on early days issues or just laugh along with you which lifts the spirits every time.
Baby sensory is a group that Tor has been taking Alice to for the last few months. Its a weekday thing so I’ve only been twice when they have run special weekend classes so that the Dads can go. Tor is going to post a full review, but I thought it’d be worth me sharing my experience of it too.
Mainly because I’ve got a feeling that loads of dads would, like me, be put off from going because -
- It seems a bit hippy
- You are expected to get involved so there is always the danger of feeling like a bit of a tit
- A room full of under one babies seems like its just an excuse for the mums to get together, after all babies that small can’t get much out of it
I was 100% wrong, apart from the feeling a bit of a tit part as its difficult to sing inches wincy spider with hand gestures without feeling a bit silly.
The group is run by an amazing lady called Angela who nearly instantly has all the babies transfixed. She uses a combination of singing and props to give the babies loads of different sensory experiences (see the name of the group) that they absolutely love. I won’t go on about it now, as Tor’s post will be much more detailed, but as an example in the first session I went to the lights were dimmed and she shone different small points of light on the floor which had the babies fascinated. The second session was all about the weather and she turned on some sounds of rain and waved a sheet with tinsel hanging down over the babies which had them grabbing at the tinsel and really listening to the sounds. I realise as I write this it sounds a bit lame, but actually all the props are really well made and work fantastically.
If like me you get a real kick out of seeing your baby doing something new for the first time this is really worth the slight embarrassment of singing nursery rhymes with other grown ups. Realistically no one cares what you are doing – everyone is focused on the babies.
My one negative comment is that after an hour sitting in the floor with the babies my knees were killing me, but I suppose there’s always baby yoga to go to to sort them out.
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