We're very lucky in North London, you can't move for flyers advertising baby classes: Monkey music, baby sensory and sing & sign are all on offer a bus journey away. Harry and I go to Hartbeeps Baby Bells sessions each week - recommended by my sister and nephew - and I have to say that we love it.
Hartbeeps sessions are thematic, the music is a mix of old favourites from my childhood and new songs. I love the use of props - our theme each week ties into the finger puppets, ducky hats, mixing bowls, flowers and animals which have all featured thus far. As Harry grows he take control and a firm grip on our prop and this week gave the pompoms a thorough munch. We end our sessions with some tummy time and relaxing songs (once again Twinkle twinkle features) and after a final feed Harry happily dozes on our way home.
Whilst it's nice to be able to enjoy classes as a Mummy - I can clearly identify some baby signing (makaton), baby massage, and our session leader always explain how what we're doing is good for the babies, be it physically - my favourite tip being that bouncing is a good way to tire babies out (we now do a lot of Humpty Dumpty at home) or developmentally. It was also reassuring to know that whilst babies like being sung to, they can't tell if you're off key. As my chorister days are far behind me, this was reassuring to know.
What I wasn't prepared for was how long it would take Harry to settle to a 45 minute class - it's one of the things no one tells you, that baby classes might be designed for little ones, but it's perfectly normal for them to sleep or cry though sessions at first as they adjust to new venues, voices, stimulation and initially just being around other babies. One of the things that makes me feel comfortable is how breastfeeding and nappy changes are entirely welcomed during the session, and how no one flinches if your baby decides the middle of "5 cheeky monkeys" is when they're going to sob or shout.
One of the things I've taken away is songs, actions and games that Harry and I can replicate at home, as once he became more alert, and awake and needed more stimulation I started to find myself at a loss - and realistically there's only so many times you can sing camp songs at a newborn. We've also invested in some bubbles to add to our sensory play at home.
Much like my Waterbabies review, this isn't a sponsored post, but is something I'm writing about because I've enjoyed it so much, and posts like this would have helped me to make some decisions about baby classes when Harry was first born.
Photos are taken from a Hartbeeps baby rave that we went to as a taster, before joining our regular classes. It was back in August and Harry was sooo tiny!