Having a baby is a wonderful, miraculous thing, but after a while, it can start to get quite lonely. Sleep deprivation, combined with the demanding needs of baby, can prevent you from having much in the way of a social life.
One way to rectify this is to organize baby play dates. They’re great for getting together with your other mom friends, as well as to make new friends. However, the thought of hosting your own baby play dates can be more than a little daunting! So, to make it a little easier, below you’ll discover the top things to have ready for baby play dates.
Snacks – A Vital Necessity
Sure, you don’t want to encourage too much snacking, but if the babies are old enough to snack on solid foods, you’ll want to ensure you have plenty available. Snacks can act as a prevention tool to ward off potential melt downs. If the play date is scheduled before or some time after a feed, baby could become fussy if they get hungry.
Of course, you’ll score a few brownie points if you provide snacks for the other parents too. Being hungry is no joke – especially for tired, stressed out parents! So, make sure there’s plenty of snacks to go around.
Toys Suitable For Babies
Are the babies attending the play date all the same age? If not, you’ll want to make sure you have appropriate age toys available. It’s good to remember not to provide too many toys however. This is because it can actually be a little overwhelming to the babies if there’s too many toys around.
It’s good to provide a couple of larger toys, along with a few smaller ones. Things like play gyms tend to be particularly popular so if you don’t already have one, it could be worth investing in one if you’ll be hosting regular play dates.
Music – Keeping Babies And Parents Happy
While play dates can sound fun in theory, there may be times it feels a little awkward. One thing that’s guaranteed to break any awkward silences, is music. Not only will the right music help to relax the parents, but it’s also super-fun for babies too. Even babies who aren’t old enough to dance along, will appreciate the music.
So, why not create a baby play date playlist? It can consist of Disney songs or if you think that will drive you insane, just a collection of pop songs could work. You could even host a sing-along if you’re confident enough. Just be aware not all of the parents will necessarily want to sing with you!
Plenty Of Wipes And Diapers
Generally speaking, the majority of parents carry around additional wipes and diapers. However, you’ll also know there’s times baby brain can kick in, making it easy to forget even the basics. So, make sure you’ve got plenty of additional wipes and diapers available in case anyone needs them.
Now, you don’t need to stock up on all size of diapers just in case! However, having a few extra diapers that you use for your own baby is recommended. They may not fit other babies perfectly, but they will certainly do until the parents get back home. It’s even a great idea to set up a dedicated baby changing station with additional wipes and diapers included. This will prevent other parents from the embarrassment of having to ask for extra wipes or diapers if they need them.
Coffee Or Mocktails – A Must For Parents!
As well as snacks, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got plenty of refreshments too. Coffee can prove invaluable for sleep deprived parents, but it’s important to remember not everyone will be able to drink coffee. If other moms are breastfeeding, they may not be able to take advantage of that much-needed caffeine boost. So, it’s good to provide an alternative.
One refreshment that’s guaranteed to impress and add a little fun to the play date, is mocktails. They’re alcohol free, delicious and provide a great talking point. They’re usually pretty simple to make and you’ll find hundreds of recipes online.
Something which works just as well as music for settling fussy babies, is reading. So, make sure you’ve got plenty of baby books handy.
You can either host a combined story time, or let the other parents read to their babies separately. The latter does kind of defeat the object of a playdate however, so why not opt for audio books? That way, the babies can all sit in a small circle surrounding you, and you can play the audio book to keep them entertained.
We’ve already given you some entertainment ideas, but it’s a good idea to create a list prior to the playdate. Having a good idea of what you’re going to be doing is highly recommended.
You could host a photo shoot for example. All you’ll need is a suitable backdrop, some adorable baby costumes and a camera. If you don’t have many costumes, don’t be afraid to ask the parents to bring one along. A photo shoot is a great, fun idea which everyone is sure to love. However, it’s a good tip to do the shoot pretty early on as if you leave it until later in the play date, the babies may be a little grumpy!
Similar to the additional diapers and wipes, it always helps to have some spare blankets ready. It’s easy to forget something when you’re a busy parent, so having some extra blankets on hand could prove invaluable to anyone who forgets theirs.
The extra blankets could also be used for the babies to play on, or to grab and use if one of the babies needs a feed. It’s a small detail, but it can help the other parents feel more welcome.
The above are the top things to have ready for baby play dates. It can be daunting, but as long as you’re well-prepared and you have the above items, you’ll find they can actually be quite fun.
Have you hosted your own play dates? How did it go and what tips would you give to other parents? Let us know below!