Fresh air makes babies sleep better... get yourselves out of the house...

 

From birth up to 5 months

1. Cinema - some cinemas have mum & baby screenings, usually in the mornings. No men allowed (sorry modern daddies) so you can sit watching a new flick, feed your baby or let the baby sleep (they love loud, dark rooms) and enjoy some popcorn at 11am. Win win.

2. Baby classes - your baby can start most classes as early as 6 weeks. We love baby sensory and swimming classes, but there are loads out there - see our baby classes list for inspiration.

3. Coffee/ lunch with your mummy friends - It's great to get out of the house so you don't go mad! Make the most of these early few months where you can still sit, eat, drink, chat and your baby is happy to accompany you/ can sleep in a loud place. If you don't have any friends with babies the same age, speak to your local GPs surgery or children's centre as they often run postnatal groups for women with similar due dates. (Or just get out for a coffee on your own, fresh air and caffeine are always nice on a quiet day).

4. Go on holiday - flying with a baby this age is actually bearable! Make the most of it and take some time off with your partner. We've got a list of baby-friendly holidays if you want some inspiration, but at this early stage your baby is pretty easy to take anywhere. Here's what to pack if you've decided to have a little break.

 

From 6 - 12 months

1. Soft play - these places are both hideous and wonderful simultaneously. While you're still on maternity leave, try and go on a weekday morning or after lunch, when there's not loads of bigger children running around. Lots of soft play centres have under 3 areas or even under 1's. These places are a saviour once your baby has passed the stage of sitting happily in a high chair for more than 30 seconds. Find a soft play centre near you here.

2. Playground - most playgrounds have baby swings that are safe for babies once they can sit up on their own. It's a great way to get some fresh air without keeping your little one cooped up in the buggy.

3. Play cafes - these are brilliant inventions - mummy can drink coffee and eat in peace while baby can play safely. There are loads all over the country, so have a quick google to find your closest one.

4. Play dates - now that your baby can sit, crawl, cruise, walk or all of the above, invite your mum friends round for a play date. Much more relaxing than sitting in a public place with a wriggling child (and hopefully your friends will return the favour and invite you over soon too...)