Adoptive Families Blog

Playgroup Etiquette for Mommy

Posted by Guest Contributor on November 28, 2012

If you are a new Mom or waiting to become one for the first time, you will soon discover the phenomenon of Mommy/baby playgroups. It can be a life saver, during those long winter months stuck in the house and banging into walls. Staying home with an infant or toddler can be isolating and it is ever so important to connect with other Moms. However, there are some unwritten rules of etiquette that should be adhered to. The goal is to assure a pleasant experience for babies and mommies alike.

  1. Be on the lookout for the fearsome four: biters, hitters, screamers and grabbers. These titles are self-explanatory and your child must be protected from them at all times. In a large group there is usually a couple of toddlers that fall into at least one or two of these categories. Try to keep your child within eye shot and one step away from physical rescue.
  2. If you host , it is smart to provide the snacks and/or lunch. The best menu is one that creates a minimal mess. Rice Krispy treats, cheese sticks, pretzels, sliced grapes and sliced turkey lunch meat are all safe options. Water is fine to serve as the beverage. It can be terribly frustrating to have someone’s child grind frosted brownie into your new carpet or spill red fruit punch on your white sofa. Serving the meal is a lot cheaper than furniture or carpet replacement!
  3. Don’t discipline other people’s children. This is a big no-no! That is the quickest way to destroy a new friendship and it crosses a boundary that you would not want crossed with your child.
  4. If you are hosting, make sure to have age appropriate toys out and ready to enjoy. Spread them around the room to create visual interest and discourage the children from bunching up in one spot. If your baby has one special toy keep it out of site until the playgroup is over.
  5. Bring a plastic Ziploc bag for dirty diapers and wet wipes. Throwing a poopy diaper in the kitchen garbage is stinky and bad manners. If you are the hostess, offer Ziplocs to repeat offenders as they walk in the door. Politely explain that you will dispose of their bags outside, once they are full.
  6. Always thank the hostess and compliment their child in some way (they love that). Think hard, there is always something positive to say.
  7. On a rainy or muddy day, remove all shoes when entering someone’s home. Bring slippers for comfort to slip on, once inside. Many families ask that shoes are removed no matter the weather. Respect the house rules of others and they will reciprocate.
  8. Playgroups are best held twice a month. The children are more excited to see each other and the mothers have more to say to one another. It helps to prevent playgroup burnout syndrome.
  9. Meet at a park on nice sunny days. It can be a refreshing change and junior can eat brownies and punch without worrying about the mess. The kids love playground toys and it can be a way to recruit other moms into the group.
  10. It is your prerogative to share or not share that your child is adopted. You don’t owe anyone an explanation. If you feel comfortable sharing, that is great too! The important thing is that you feel good about your decision.

Topics: Adoption, Parenting