A blog by Dr Lin Day



GUEST POST- A Dad's Perspective

I was recently asked to try and explain why; as a father, I regularly go to Baby Sensory with my son Reuben. I had never really considered the ‘why’ part of it before, but I have also never really given much thought as to why sometimes I’m the only dad there.

A lot of it has to do with luck I guess, I am fortunate enough to work a shift pattern for the Fire & Rescue Service that gives me more time off during the traditional working week than most. But I still have to make the time to go there, there are always other things to do and an hour of peace and quiet at home can seem pretty appealing at times! Like any parent I want to make the most of the very short period of time when Reuben is so small, is experiencing so many firsts and depends on me to help him discover new things. I would never trade a bit of quiet time for being there the first time he crawls, the first time his says ‘dad’ or even his first steps.

My wife and I have been taking Reuben to Baby Sensory with Sophie in Milton Keynes for the last nine months and I probably make it to about 70% of the classes. Why do I go? It’s pretty simple really; I enjoy the structure and purpose to the activities, focussing on entertaining, stimulating and developing our son with a variety of activities, rather than just letting them roll around on the floor for an hour while the parents have a chat….The games and songs give me ideas of how to help entertain Reuben when I am looking after him by myself. I’m generally a confident person but I had always worried about being solely responsible for his welfare and happiness, I think there’s a certain element of pressure for every dad to show that they can cope without mum being there as a safety net. Baby Sensory has helped my self-confidence in this area no end, I like to think I know my son well, the type of things that make him happy and how to calm him down if he gets upset.

Would I recommend for other fathers to go to Baby Sensory? Definitely! You can feel a bit of an outsider on your first visit when parents are singing and signing along to the ‘say hello to the sun’ song but you shouldn’t let that put you off. Even if you can only make it once in a while it’s worth it, we have got some great memories, made some lovely friends and all three of us will miss it when Reuben moves on to nursery.

 

Chris Montague – Milton Keynes