I am a marketing and communications consultant and freelance writer. Living on the Gold Coast in Australia. Check out my website www.sarahsays.com.au or follow on Twitter @WENGoldCoast
Published September 22nd 2014
Happy Baby = Happy Mummy
My daughter has just turned nine months old and she is into absolutely everything, it's an incredible phase of wonder and amazement, and I just love watching her develop and grow.
As a first time mum, I often worry and stress about if I am doing "enough" for her development - am I playing the right games, reading the right stories and doing the right things to help her grow up to be the best she can be.
I have been wanting to take her to a class, group or place where she and I can grow together and interact with other parents and children. I had tried a couple of local "mum n bubs" groups but they just didn't connect for me, so I started to research other options, and I read about Baby Sensory Classes, and it seemed to tick all the boxes for a mix of fun, education and growth, for both of us.
So what is baby sensory? The hour long classes include various baby activities aimed to build up a vocabulary of sensory experiences (e.g. visual, auditory and tactile), to enhance physical contact (using massage, reflexology, touching, cuddling and rocking) between you and baby and to promote the development of speech through the use of sign language, music, song and puppets. You can find out more about the activities here.
Activities vary weekly and they are all excellent for developing physical, social, emotional and language skills, plus co-ordination, awareness, routine and a love of music. Each class although varied, still has structure, it has 20 minutes song and massage on the mat, then 20 minutes activity and free play, then finally 20 minutes active play and song back on the mat. This allows for babies, and parents, to understand a routine and engage accordingly.
Terms: There are four terms a year that run for approx 10 weeks with a couple of weeks break in between. It is based on calendar year January to December. They are currently about to commence the final term for 2014, for next year you will need to check their website. The terms are just a guide, as you can join a class at any time throughout the year.
Locations & Timetable: There are two locations on the Gold Coast:
St Peter's Anglican Church on Nerang Street in Southport. The classes are held in the church undercroft, just walk down the path at the side of the church. Parking is available on the grounds at rear of church, enter from Olive Street.
Tuesday: 10:00 - 11:00 - Birth to 6 months Tuesday: 11:00 - 12:00 - Birth to 13 months
Carrara Community Centre is located on Nielsens Road next to the Carrara Junior AFL/Cricket Club. If coming off the Pacific Highway take exit 73. There is plenty of parking available at the location.
Wednesday: 10:00 - 11:00 - Birth to 13 months
Wednesday: 11:15 - 12:15 - 7 to 13 months
A 10 week term usually costs $180 however they do sometimes run offers such as 20% off term fees for their 1st Birthday. You book online by creating an account where you can login to the members area for class info, updates and news. You can pay by credit card, bank transfer or cash but you will need to make a $20 deposit to secure your place, as places are very sought after.
If you want to try out a class to see how you and your baby go, before committing to a term, then you are welcome to contact them and book in for a taster session, you will need to give them notice as their classes are often full or pretty busy. That is what I did, as you never know how the little one will react. I was a little apprehensive at first, as it's like being the new kid at school, now knowing anyone or how things work.
My daughter too was a little unsure as that's the most babies she has been around, and it was all very new. But very quickly she warmed up and by the second mat time she was beaming and loving it. That was the seal of approval I needed, her smiling face assured me this is something that will help her thrive, develop and grow, and where she will have fun and interact with other babies.
Not so sure!
Lisa Ramsey the class leader is the cherry on top of the classes, being warm, welcoming and engaging. My daughter takes a while to warm to people, she tends to be reserved until she is sure they are ok. There are a few people however, who she just likes straight away - Lisa is one of them, as my daughter responded well to her and smiled at every look.
It was great for me too, as I could speak to other mums experiencing similar things, and also to be able to ask Lisa for tips and help and not feel so isolated. I am really looking forward to starting the term soon, as being away from my friends and family in the UK, it will be great to have a group where I can share the ever changing and challenging experience, of being a new mum.
For more info or to book a free taster session call/text 0410 120 155 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.