Getting out and about, meeting other parents and giving our offspring time to socialise has always been why parent and baby groups have been so popular for the stay at home parent
Dads who undertake this role full time might wonder whether these groups are really accessible to them, and there is no reason why they should not be, but it might be wise to check first in some instances!
What’s in a name?
There are some groups which may be designed and targeted at women – some mother and baby groups might have sections of the workshop which are about the women debriefing their experience of birth, or doing exercises to get their pelvic floors strong again – and these might be classes which don’t therefore feel appropriate, or interest you.
What is the aim of the group?
Most Mother and Baby groups are probably just badly named, as the majority of them, in reality, should be accessible to either parent.
Activities like messy play, baby massage, baby swimming etc – there is nothing which makes these only relevant for a mother and her baby, rather than a father and his baby!
Who will be there?
Be reassured, that depending on the individual activity, you will often find a wide mix of parents and carers attending. Many playgroups also have grandparents or child carers attending with children they are looking after.
If you see a class or group which on the surface you think might work, but you want to check if you will be welcome, contact the group facilitator to ask them the question. You shouldn’t have to do this, in reality, classes should be welcoming and inclusive of all, but sometimes the people running them, do design posters and adverts without properly thinking this through.
Dad and baby groups
Although they are not as prevalent, there are some dad and baby/child sessions available, to specifically give dads a chance to get together with their children. This gives you a chance to meet other dads and chat about different kinds of things than you might in other groups.
These can be privately run sessions, or sessions run by the local Children’s Centre. Ask your Health Visitor if they know of any local sessions aimed at dads available, or do a internet search for your area.