When you have a new baby, you can feel isolated, left at home all day on your own with a baby. You are not the only one! There are many other new parents in your local area, most of them feeling exactly the same as you.
Meeting other parents with children of a similar age to your own can give you a sounding board for the different development stages as your children grow and provide playmates for your kids as well as friends for you.
Meeting up at playgroups and other organised activities provide a safe way to meet up with no pressure to let others into your home and give you time to work out, at your own pace, who you connect with (and who you want to avoid!!). Although all these activities may list the benefits for the children, they also provide enormous benefits for the mum too – and there are many low, or no, cost options.
Here are our top way for meeting other parents in your area
The easiest way to find a playgroup in your area is through Playgroup Australia in each state and territory, who keep details of playgroups who are registered with them. They will help you find the most suitable playgroup in your local area. The Association assists registered groups with play ideas, toy libraries, publications and special events. If you have a group of friends with children who meet regularly for your own ‘informal’ playgroup and you are interested in registering your group with your local Playgroup Association, contact Playgroup Australia for membership details and benefits. You might also look for playgroups on the noticeboards in your local community hall or church or scan your local paper for notices and announcements.
Child health clinic parenting courses
Most child & maternal health clinics offer free parenting courses for new parents. Attendees at these classes are often local to each other with children of very similar ages – the ideal mix for a playgroup. These groups often carry on as ‘playgroups’ once the classes have finished and if you are interested in meeting other parents in your area, these courses provide both information and the opportunity to meet up.
Activities with your child
You can meet other local parents, often with children of similar ages and interests, through activity groups. For details of local children’s activity classes, see our directory listings for:
- local swimming classes for babies & children
- children’s play, activity, music & craft programmes
- some playcentres have organised playgroup times
- postnatal exercise classes – some incorporate baby as ‘mum and bub’ classes
- see our complete directory of local children’s activity classes
Visit our community forum to chat to other parents who live near you. It’s free and many local groups arrange meet ups if you’d like to get to know other members in real life.
See our directory of helplines and support organisations for details of local and online support groups for parents with common interests and concerns.
Joining in within the local community whilst your babies are still young not only gets you out of the house socialising, but often means that your children already know some of the kids in their first school class, ballet group or footy team – making ‘day-one’ a little easier for them too.
You will bump into these people time and time again over the years – at school functions, sporting activities or just at the local shops or the park. So go on, get out there!