Since L came home, I’ve had a pile of papers on the arm of my sofa. On my first meeting with my lovely health visitor, she gave me a list of the local baby groups and library sessions. I was far too paranoid about germs to take L out in the early days, so the lists remained untouched. When I did venture to a group, L was far too small to play on the mat and cried whenever I put him down. I did get into conversation with some other mums, but our chit-chat mainly revolved around explaining why L was so small and retelling my birth story. I avoided groups and spent my time with fellow NICU mums, or organising my own mum and baby events.
Fast forward to 2017 and I have a restless 9 month old who is desperate to interact in the mornings. He can finally play with toys, kick about on a mat, sit up and stand assisted. Baby groups seemed the perfect answer to play with my baby in the mornings and tire him out before an afternoon nap. So I dusted off those lists (literally – oops!) and looked up the groups nearest to me. My church’s playgroup was listed on the wrong day. There was no online trace of groups that sounded promising – except for “This site can’t be reached” URLS. Finding an accurate list of library Rhymetimes was another hopeless task. A quick phonecall to a few libraries revealed that my health visitor leaflet and online listings were outdated.
So I set about making my own list of baby and toddler groups that I wanted to try and groups running on the days that I’d be off work at the end of maternity leave. There was something quite theraputic about formatting a list, cross-referencing with websites…it was cathartic to create something orderly from the comfort of my baby-debris ridden home. There are almost daily posts on the Cardiff Mums Facebook page asking what groups are on each day. So I kept going and I’ve created a directory of baby and toddler groups in Cardiff by day, with links to the relevant website to enable parents to check if the groups are still active. I made a few phonecalls to the libraries and leisure centres to compile a list of rhymetime and soft play sessions. I now have a shiny new printed list for us to use – and hopefully I will help lots of other Cardiff parents too!
The directory can be accessed here and via the site menu – please let me know if you’ve found it useful.