4 Reasons Play Dates Are Important

One of the most important things in my first year as a mother was a regular play date with a fellow new mother, whose son was a month younger than mine. We met for lunch, followed by some play time for our babies, nearly every week. From cafes to indoor play gyms to each other's houses, we fostered a friendship that went beyond our children. It was a much-needed addition to my life as mom and one that I feel is important. I highly recommend regular play dates for babies and mothers – it saved my sanity, and gave me a measure of normalcy. Here are 4 more reasons play dates are fun and important. 

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Image via tiarescott, Flickr

{ MORE: How to Be a Mom and Still Feel Sexy }

Reason #1 

It gets you and the baby out of the house. Being cooped up all day in the house, day in day out, is not healthy. Getting out and about is a sanity saver. Not only do you and the baby get to be in a different environment, it gives you a great reason to take a shower and get dressed.

That may not sound like much, but just putting yourself together will make you feel great. 

Reason #2 

Your baby learns to play with others. Unless your baby has an older sibling, or is in daycare, she will not have a regular play mate. Play dates give babies the opportunity to be around children of their age, and although they may not play together yet, they will get used to being in close proximity with their peers. This is known as parallel play, an important step in peer relationships. 

Reason #3 

Sharing experiences. First-year motherhood can be isolating and lonely. You may be going through some challenging times and feel that you can't talk to anyone about it. When you have a friend who's in the same boat, sharing experiences ranging from breastfeeding to sleep issues can help you feel less alone. You can even help each other out with advice! 

Reason #4 

It's fun! Good company, good conversations, and cute babies. How can it be anything, but fun? Go on, give a friend or two a call now and arrange that play date!

{Related: 7 Ways to be Truly Present With Your Baby}


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4 Reasons Play Dates Are Important

Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, she traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison is a former blogger (Writing, Wishing), and her writing has been featured on Mamalode,On Parenting at The Washington Post,The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, Club Mid, andDrGreene.com. She is one of 35 essayists ... More

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