When I had my first little girl I trooped to a few different classes – yoga, massage and rhythm time were all consistent in our calendar and in the main we both really enjoyed them…well I did, she didn’t cry through them so I’m guessing she was ok with being there.

With my second life was quite different – busier, the logistics of two to contend with and a tiredness I couldn’t quite put into words.  I knew early on I didn’t want as many weekly jaunts this time around but I wanted (and needed) to do something. I revisited a class I’d done with my eldest but I didn’t get as much out of it this time around – I realise I’m talking about ‘me’ here and not the baby, but it’s important that when you’re shelling out your hard earned cash and dedicating an hour or so to being out the house that you do something you want to.  Maybe I was imagining it but the baby never really settled to it either – probably picking up on my feelings!

So what to do when you find yourself with no fixed appointments, Mum guilt for not going out as much and potential cabin fever on the horizon…you text a friend. Now for me, the choice of this particular friend was on purpose – she’d been going to Baby Sensory for about a term at this point and was singing the praises of the class for what she and her little girl had gotten out of it. After checking it would work logistically (a day where my eldest was in nursery) I signed up to the free taster session they offer and I didn’t look back.

Each week had a different theme and you won’t experience the same class twice.  When I first saw that the classes were an hour I was a bit daunted – would the baby tolerate a full hour of doing something and would my back hold up if I was sat cross legged the entire time? The struggle could be real. I needn’t have worried – the class is split into three sections so up first you’ll be doing something as a big group and it’s practitioner led, then you’ll have twenty minutes of free play (with some very cool toys and play equipment) followed by twenty minutes back together again.  The songs were catchy but not annoying and memorable enough to carry on with them at home if the mood takes you. Feeding and changing during the class is encouraged if you need to, and if it’s your bambino that happens to be a little on the emotional side you won’t find any judging eyes boring into you.  I’m obviously writing this as a Mum, but there were plenty of other family set ups too – Dads and Grandparents in particular – so come one, come all.  I went to classes in Leeds but it’s a national franchise so you’ll get a similar experience wherever you go.

At the end of 2017 they moved all their classes to a dedicated space in Leeds that’s been kitted out with everything you could possibly need for a great class – it’s all on a ground floor and there’s fixed matting that you can sit on…much comfier than the hard floors you’ll find at a lot of venues! It wasn’t the easiest to find the first time I went but you can always call for directions – it’s actually really straight forward and there’s parking outside.

I think I had a bit of mild anxiety about baby classes the second time round – I couldn’t tell you why, I just know it was there and it held me back from going.  I’ve since discovered that happens to lots of people and is completely normal.  If you’re feeling it but want to change it, book on that free taster session as soon as you can.  Sophie, who runs the classes, will be quick to put you at ease – she’s a total natural with people and unpredictable babies. I always felt welcome and included – I knew one person from the group of about 15, and that was a big deal for me.  I don’t always feel comfortable in big rooms where there’s no familiarity but after that first session it never entered my mind.

You can click HERE to go to the Baby Sensory website where you’ll find all the things you’ll want to know before you sign up – where, when, how much etc. so I won’t duplicate it on this post.  If you’ve got questions please get in touch with us or you can of course contact Sophie directly (southleeds@babysensory.co.uk).

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