Bub and I have been going to a mothers group since she was about 12 weeks old. I found mine by gate crashing one my friend was already in (her bub is six weeks older than mine) and lucky for me the other mums didn't mind. In fact all of the mums in our group are awesome and welcomed me with open arms. Ours is a group without judgement. The bubs are also all within six weeks of age so we are all going through the same things at the same time. These women have been a constant source of support and advice and I love the fact that our children are all forming lasting friendships as well. Bub is the only girl in the group so I imagine that she'll get more and more popular as they grow up!
In the beginning we used to meet up at various taverns or restaurants for lunch. It was easy because we could sit at a table, feed and cuddle the babies when needed and the rest of the time they'd sleep in their prams (on the good days). They were all immobile and relatively young so they were happy in the pram or our arms. The thing is though as babies get older they also get bigger and more importantly mobile. They're no longer happy to be restricted, they want to roam free - which as you can imagine is quite a problem when at a restaurant. So, we came to the point where we needed to move to having our meet ups at each others houses or local parks/pool etc. Basically anywhere that the babies can happily crawl about on a mat til their hearts content.
One of the best investments you'll make once you have kids is to buy a good quality picnic rug or mat. It's best to get a bigger one to start off with (which of course I didn't do), because they'll outgrow the small tummy time and bunny rugs quickly. There are so many rugs and play mats on the market its easy to get overwhelmed by it all. I personally wanted one that was over 1.5m long, had an easy to clean surface in case of spills (and bub also vomits a lot), had a bit of padding as bub was still a bit wobbly when I was searching for one and it needed to be easy to clean. When I first started looking I found heaps, but they ranged in price from $100-$199 and only had one or two of the features I was after. While I was prepared to pay for a good quality mat, I wasn't prepared to pay that much unless it had all the features I was looking for. Eventually I found the perfect one that ticked all my boxes and for only $85.
|Pixie Rug - Mod Teal|
The Pixie Rug has so many benefits that I was after, it truly has been the perfect rug for us. It's 2.2m x 1.6m which is great for mothers group get togethers as all the babies can easily fit on the rug with plenty of room to spare. There's also room for us mums to get in on the action too. It has a waterproof backing so its perfect for use on grass, sand or dirt. Hello beach trips! No more laying on annoying towels that end up buried in the sand. The top has nylon edging and the patterned section is durable cotton. The rug is also padded so its comfortable on little babies, and big peoples bums. It's perfect for taking to the park, pool, bbqs and picnics (even indoor ones).
I took it to the lagoon for our last mothers group meet up and it was great because the waterproof backing meant that none of the moisture on the ground got through to the mat. It also gave the babies a padded surface to play on instead of the wet, sand covered astro turf they had there.
The rug got a bit of sand on it at the lagoon (thanks to crawling babies who had to explore the astro turf), but I simply hung it over the washing line when I got home and it was good to go after a quick shake. If you need to wash it off the easiest way to do it is to just hose it off while its on the washing line and then let it drip dry. It also comes with a mesh storage bag for when its not in use. The bag has a carry strap which easily hung off my pram while we were out.
We've decided to use the pixie rug as our play mat at home too. Daddy loves it because it doesn't end up destroyed in five minutes like the dam abc mat (which still gets destroyed even when its packed away). Its so much easier having a rug that is all in one and it has enough padding to give her a break from our tile floor. Shes steady enough now that she doesn't flop over when shes sitting and she crawls properly so I'm not worried about her falling on it. If you have a tile floor and use this as a play mat and your bub is still a bit wobbly I'd put some pillows around or supervise them as if they have a proper face plant it will probably still hurt despite the padding.
The little terror about to cause havoc
Ten minutes later
New designs are constantly being added to the range of Pixie rugs available which can be purchased online here or from a range of stockists.