Is It Time To Join A Play Gym?

*Today is day #17 of my 28 days of blogging.

For years I was seriously put off by the thought of joining a play gym once I became a mom. All I really knew about being a mom was what I saw on TV and play gym moms looked waaaaay to hyper for my taste.

By the time Sophia was 7 months old, I had been asked by many people if I had joined a play gym yet. "OF COURSE NOT!" was my response. Why would we need to join a play gym? We did plenty of belly time at home. But by month 8, Sophia still wasn't crawling and I was starting to feel the pressure.* So I signed up for a free introductory course at Gymboree Play and Learn to see what all the fuss was about.

It was fantastic! Sophia was incredibly happy to be around other babies. She was stimulated by the sounds, colors and activities in ways that I could have NEVER provided at home. I saw the benefits at that first class and I signed up that very same day.
And all the hype about play gym moms... So not true! I think a lot of us there were looking to make some friends too. It was sort of like a Twilight Zone version of Blind Date where all these moms show up with their babies to see if they can "hook up" with a new mommy friend.

Sophia didn't crawl until she was almost 12 months, because apparently she couldn't be bothered, but she has learned so much there that I can't even imagine what she would be like if she had never been exposed to this sort of stimulation.

So if you're wondering if a play gym or a mommy & me class is for you, stop wondering! Most places will offer you the first class free. So get online, find a place in your area and go play!

Have any of you joined a play gym? Have you considered it but never actually been to one? Let's talk it out.

* Don't give in to pressure. Don't compare your baby to other babies. They are all unique and reach their milestones at different ages. But if you do have concerns, consult your pediatrician.
** I am NOT endorsing Gymboree Play and Learn. I used it as an example because that is the play gym that I am a member of and have been for almost a year.
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  1. Stopping by from SITS to say HI!

  2. I think that is an awesome way to meet other moms and have kids interact. And that picture? Omg adorable!!!!

  3. I never joined a play gym, but when we started homeschooling I started a weekly parkday with a friend. We didn't know any other homeschoolers in the area and your description of the blind date thing made me laugh. I often say that parkday is just as much for mommy as it is for the kids :)

  4. We did the Gymboree play groups too! It was as much for me as my daughters. I didn't have any girlfriends on mat leave at the same time as me and the adult conversation for an hour while my babe played and giggled....priceless!

  5. I don't think we have a play gym like that around here, but it sure sounds like fun!

    I've always thought that making new mommy friends is just like dating with all the pressure and hopes that she'll like you and you'll get along... ahh!

  6. MrsBlogAlot: Isn't my baby cute?!

    Too Many Hats: Parkday sounds cool! And it is like dating. I put more thought and effort into getting dressed to go to Gymboree than I ever do to go to work!

    ModernMom: Isn't Gymboree cool? Although I wouldn't classify my conversations with the parents there as "adult conversations". We basically talk about the babies anyway =)

    Xenia: There must be some sort of play group you can join in your area. Look into it!

  7. Stopping by from SITS! Thanks for stopping by. We tried this class. JDaniel wasn't really into it.

  8. Oops, sorry about that. I was signed in under the wrong ID.

  9. Pretty Little Bare Feet & I have been doing a class at a play gym (not Gymboree) since she was about six or seven months old. She LOVES it, & I enjoy it, too. She has no fear of trying anything new that the instructor introduces. I've made several friends there, as well.

    I know a lot of mommies that also do baby music classes. We also have a playgroup & try to go to storytime at our library each week. It keeps us both from getting bored here at home, & we both love meeting new people. =)

  10. They don't have anything like that close to us, I wish they did though. I'm glad you enjoy it!

    I have an award for you

  11. Jake and I had a good time at Gymboree when he was little. It was a great experience. Unfortunately, I did encounter some not-so-nice moms that treated me differently once they out I was a single parent. But I think that had more to do with my neck of the OC than the gym.

  12. Kekibird: That kind of attitude just makes me sick! My mom was a single mother and she did a fantastic job. She dedicated herself 100% to me. I got some sh#t from a few obnoxious kids in high school whose moms were married but didn't give a crap about their kids.

    Momma Such: An award! For me! You shouldn't have!!! Thanks so much =)

    Sara: Sounds like you and Pretty Little Bare Feet get around! Good for both of you.

  13. I wish we had something like that here! When Isabella turns 3 I'm signing her up for gymnastics. I can't wait!

    Cute pic, too :)


  14. I am a very reserved kind of person (shall we say a bit anti-social? lol) but I've had my daughter in mommy and me gym classes, Kindermusik classes, and, the latest: Tae Kwon Do classes! I have met some nice moms, some crazy moms, some lazy moms, and some great moms, and I have no regrets that I came out of my "social shell" for my daughter's benefit. She has benefited physically, emotionally, and mentally from these classes and I say if you have the extra money to pay for them, they are worth every penny :)

  15. My daughter couldn't be bothered to crawl either.

  16. I was just thinking about finding a play gym today. R loves to pull pillows off the couch and try to do somersaults and bounce around. She laughs hysterically every time and think a play gym class would be great.


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