Friday, March 26, 2010

Advice Needed

I need the opinion of some fellow mums out there. I was discussing the option of attending a playgroup with a friend of mine recently who was keen to join one. I thought it might be nice for Grace to start socialising with other children now that she's getting a bit older. We have looked into things and there is a session available at a playgroup nearby which means that we wouldn’t have to join an existing one and could start our own. There would only be 5 or 6 of us attending with our little ones.

Over the last few days though, I’ve starting thinking about germs and the fact that flu season will soon be approaching. I’m not worried about the other girls and their children in the group as none of us would ever bring our sick child along. However, what about all the toys and equipment that other little fingers will have touched? Am I being a worry wart or at almost one, is Grace still too little? Would really appreciate your feedback...


  1. All three of mine went to playgroup as littlies, and they had a ball. You do run the risk of them picking up more bugs, but then again I guess you expose them every time you leave the house. Maybe a roster for cleaning toys each week would be a good idea? And if yours is a private group, at least you'll know the other mums and bubs well, so I can't imagine you'll have any trouble.
    I found it great to get out of the house and catch up for some adult conversation too. Why not try an informal get-together first to see how it goes?
    Hope this helps, and thanks again for the lovely blog award, you're such a sweetheart!
    K xx

  2. Thanks for taking the time to share your opinion Kerri. I had thought about the informal get together thing myself but it's just that with a playgroup, you have access to so many more resources and facilities. Glad the award put some 'sunshine' into your day :)

  3. Hi Amanda, I took Nicholas to playgroups when he was a baby and then he started at daycare from 2 years old. I think the earlier they are introduced to germs the more resilient they become, however I would set up a roster in order to ensure that the toys for the babies in particular are cleaned and disinfected regularly as little ones put everything into their mouths. I don't think you can ever avoid germs, I hate shopping trolleys, everyone puts their child into the seat and then the childs chews and sucks the handle bar. Eeew! The amount of people that held it with their dirty hands.... thinking about it makes me feel sick! I would carry some antibacterial wipes with you and that way you can give the toys a quick wipe over before you give them to Grace to play with. Carry some hand sanitiser in your bag as well! Sorry for the long winded reply. Grace is so cute! Have a great weekend. xx

  4. Hi Nellie, I appreciate your reply. I use one of those fabric shopping trolley inserts when I take Grace to the supermarket :) Will definitely have some hand sanitizer in my handbag and wiping the toys with an antibacterial wipes is a great idea - thanks! x

  5. Hi Amanda, playgroups are great, particularly for the mums, the little ones don't really need that much socialisation at that age - but all the different toys are great! As long as Grace is immunised, I wouldn't worry too much about bugs. Flu vaccines aren't recommended for little ones unless they have a compromised immune system. Taking care of your own child's hygiene is about all you can do (other than cleaning the toys on a roster system, which is a great idea) My 4 year old goes to 3 year old preschool 5 hours per week and gets some little bug probably once every couple of months. Grace is absolutely gorgeous, lovely big eyes..Rxx

  6. Hi Amanda,

    Thanks for the lovely blog award and your birthday wishes for Isla. We attend a local playgroup every Thursday and fingers crossed no sickness yet. We do all take it turns washing the toys which is great. Two people arrive early for a session and wash everything ready for the little ones to play. I have always been worried about germs etc but my Doctor informed me that they are best to get little bugs when they are young as it builds up their immune system before they start school. Isla loves playing with the other kids and I am sure Grace will too.

    Have a lovely weekend

  7. I was exactly the same with both my boys. If I walked into playgroup and someone was sick or a kid had a barking cough, I just hightailed it out of there. It is difficult with little ones as everything goes in the mouth. It's the gastro bugs that I used to worry about not really the coughs and colds. Even now at school, with festering boys, my boys never really get sick but I have brainwashed them into washing their hands every time they are going to put something in their mouth. Just make sure there is lots of hand washing amongst the grown ups too! A-M xx

  8. Hi. I've just discovered your blog!
    Play group would be great for both of you. Having worked in child care and having my own children, I've definitely seen the benefits of socialisation. The toys should be washed and dried in the sun to kill all germs. As parents, you will all want to stop the spread of germs so if anyone has a green runny nose, they should stay home.
    If you wanted to do your own private playgroup, there are toy libraries around that you can borrow from or parents can bring a small selection for everyone to have a go at.
    Have fun!

  9. Hi Amanda. I took both of our older girls to playgroup for many years and it was really lovely for them to have such constant lovely friends. They both really enjoyed it, especially since neither of them went to daycare. We had a roster as well which included washing the ride on toys etc... but we didn't actually have any smaller toys or stuffed toys as our playgroup had a policy on those two items as being unhygienic. We had lots of outside play area with sandpits, swings, slides, cubbies, and lots of ride on toys and plastic kitchens etc... It was lots of fun. I have to say that is me most gorgeous photo, your sweet Grace is so gorgeous!! Hope you and your family have a wonderful weekend ~ Tina xx

  10. I think it's good for their immunity. They have to start getting close to germs eventually, I think 1's a good age to start.

    Plus no parent's so negligent that they're going to bring a gastro child to playgroup, are they?

    Go for it. She'll love it.

  11. Hi mate! Firstly, thanks so much for that sweet award... I was an award virgin... you were my first! hehe
    As far as playgroup goes, I am a complete germaphobe, but made myself take Phoenix when she was around 1, then when Willow was born, she came along too! All I can say is clean what you can see and try to ignore what you can't, as they really do benifit from the socializing, and so do the mums!
    have a great day,

  12. Hi Amanda,
    Grace is the cutest little darling! That gorgeous smile melts my heart and I recognise the yellow cup in her hand as those stackable cups. Will has them too and loves banging them together :)

    I would just do what the others have suggested re washing hands, washing toys and keeping them away when sick. Will goes to mothers group on a tuesday, the creche at my ladies bible study on thursday, Junior Jivers music program on a friday and Noah's creche during church on a sunday and we haven't had any problems at all. I just wash his hands a lot and I always carry hand sanitiser for myself. If he's sick at all then I don't take him anywhere.

    He loves his little activities and the kids at creche are often older than him they are really sweet with him and fuss over him which is so nice to see. I'm sure she will love playgroup and you will too :)
    Have a great weekend Amanda,

  13. I think that as long as the toys are cleaned quite often (every day) then your little one can enjoy socializing. It's such a tough decision, isn't it. I am a total germ fob and I continually wash my hands (especially after coming from the market). Good luck.

  14. Hi Amanda,
    what a darling your little girl is.
    As Mum's I think we are all the same - it makes me laugh now to see my sister having the same worries I used to have when I was little. She is a nurse but often phones me and says "Kitty banged her head or Ned fell - should I take them to the hospital!". It's lovely for our kids to have parents who worry so much about them as in my day job I see plenty of parents who couldn't care less!!
    I think we all have the same advice - Seth went to full time nursery at 4 months as I couldn't afford to stay home longer with him and Lily went at 7 months but I went back to work part time with her. I took them both to play groups on days off too. I think it's important for them to socialise as they have fun and make friends plus they learn to share which is really important. It also helps them gain confidence and independance as so many just cling to Mummy cos she is their whole world! Germs are everywhere and as long as the toys are cleaned or sterilised and noses are wiped etc you shouldn't worry too much. If she gets used to playgroups now starting school will be a doddle - in my experience the kids who stayed at home all the time had a terrible time adjusting to school which was distressing for the parents too. The ones who are used to nursery or playgroups just stroll in all ready like the big boy or girl they think they are! It also does really build up their immune system so by the time they get to school they have picked up so many germs they hardly pick up any of the bugs going round (in my experience anyway).
    Go for it - you'll both have so much fun and she'll be so busy playing with others you'll actually be able to finish a whole cup of coffee for once!

  15. Hi Amanda
    My bpys went to playgroup from a very tiny age, not so much for their sake but rather my sake just to connect with other parents (my palygroup had dads as well)in a similar situation, ie little ones.
    I must confess I have nver worried about germs and toys being swapped rom child to child, if they are going to get sick, they will. I never have sanitisers on hand or anything else, I guess kids are meant to get sick right through childhood in order to get their immune system built up. My kids were immunised and sometimes they got sick and somethimes they didn't and I don't think it was ever a direct result of putting shared toys in their mouth.
    Just enjoy it, go with your gut instinct and if you likethe suggestions in the other comments follow them. Just remember, kids will get sick even if you do sanitise everything.
    Have a great weekend.

  16. Hi Amanda my daughter, met up with people from the area, with babies that had been born in the same two or three month of each other which the mother and babies encouraged and arranged. They meet every month at each others home for a couple of hours and its been 5yrs and there all on the second and third baby.
    If its a good day they sometimes meet in the park in the summer months and the children just love it and love the idea of a picnic.
    I think it is wonderful the mums laugh and never stop talking about what is going on in there life GO FOR IT Nanax

  17. Grace is so cute. Playgroup, especially one with people you know and like is fabulous. We still meet fortnightly even though our eldest children are 12 and they are all at school. It has been such a great support. Just make sure everyone knows the germ rules eg no green runny noses, 48 hour rule for stomach upsets etc. Don't let the bugs prevent you from forging some fabulous support. Good luck.

  18. Thanks so very much everyone for taking the time to share your opinions. I really appreciated your advice - it's great to be able to ask others who have 'been there and done that'

  19. Honey, I totally understand where you are coming from..and I had the same concerns with Jacq...but he loved being around other bubbas so much..I used to bring my own blanket or mat for him to sit and play on..and some of his own toys..if he chose to play with the other toys also that was long as they go NOWHERE near the mouth..then I would use his antibacterial wipes to clean his hands afterwards. Playgroup is such a wonderful thing for little ones to grow their social skills..just to play with other little people like themselves..and crawl around and discover...and its great for the mums too...Im sure Grace will have a ball..and really to be honest...with germs have shopping centres, even other peoples homes that you visit that they can easily get a nasty bug from. I think so long as you keep Grace's upto date with her shots...and your hands and mouth clean afterwards you will be fine :)


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