Gerber Life Family Times --- News and tips for familes of all ages and stages of life

Parenting Groups & Baby Playgroups  
No-cost and low-cost social and information resources for new moms and dads


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Parenting Groups & Baby Playgroups
No-cost and low-cost social and information resources for new moms and dads

Gerber Life Family Times Archive

FunBecoming a parent is an exciting time, full of wonders and new experiences. But being a new parent can be also be an isolating experience, especially for those who live far away from their extended families or who don't have a strong support group.

Parenting groups and baby and toddler playgroups provide needed social support to new parents, as well as a sense of belonging and a venue for parents to share information and resources.

"Being the first [among] friends to get married and have kids, meeting this group of women in our prenatal classes was a blessing!" says Melinda Staab, a San Marcos, Calif., mother of two. "We were all in similar situations—mostly transplants from other cities and all having our first kids. We were able to build such a strong bond that we could bounce ideas, fears and questions around," she says. "Almost four years later, we still get together when we can," she adds, "and we do holidays together and a group birthday party for all of the firstborns every year."

Among the many options for no-cost or low-cost playgroups for you and your baby:

  • Reading hours at bookstores and libraries are a popular way to meet other parents of young children while exposing children to the rhythm of language.
  • Local recreation centers offer "mommy/daddy and me" exercise classes—for instance, swimming for babies and yoga—for those who crave adult conversation and a chance to exercise. Many of these classes include a social component for parents at the end of each session.
  • Form your own fitness group, such as walking with other parents each morning with babies in tow.
  • State and county health departments offer free classes on a wide range of parenting topics, from caring for a newborn, to infant CPR, to meeting the emotional needs of new parents.
  • Other community resources, such as churches, hospitals and local parenting magazines, also may have programs that meet your parenting and playgroup needs.

Think that parenting groups are solely for stay-at-home moms?

Whether it's a parent-baby exercise group or strictly a social outlet for new moms and/or dads, and to accommodate people's varying schedules, many groups meet on weekday evenings or on Saturdays, as well as on weekdays.

And don't forget online options.

Some online communities within popular parenting websites specialize in such topics as the parenting of special-needs children or adoptees, or raising boys. One free online group,—developed by parents to share ideas—has discussion boards for military families, parents of twins, and safety recalls of children's products.

Articles are provided for the general interest of our readers. Gerber Life Insurance is not responsible for any content and recommends that you consult the appropriate professional with any questions or concerns you may have concerning any financial or health related issues.

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