1. Head to the library
The children’s section of your local library is a magnet for other mums with young children. Check out when it runs story times or sing-along and your little one can have fun while you make new mates.
2. Join a class
Whether it’s baby massage, music or whatever else takes your fancy, at a class with your little one you’ll not only be meeting other mums, but you’ll both be learning something new, too. “I go to a baby signing class at our village hall and have met some great girls,” says Jenny Waters, 29, from London, mum to Ryan, 7 months. “Everyone lives in my immediate area so meeting outside class is easy. As I’m a stay-at-home mum, my usual, non-mummy friends are at work while I’m free during the day, so it really has become my grown-up saviour.” Check out our Neighbourhood section to find local groups and classes in your area.
3. Get on Facebook
If you’re already a fan of social networking, head to the ‘Meet a mum make a friend’ Facebook group, where mums looking for friends can post their details to find other women with similar-aged kids in their local area. There is also our Made for Mums page, where you can catch up with other mums and join in loads of competitions.
4. Join a forum
Online forums are fantastic for making friends and getting advice, especially if you’re having problems getting out and about or are finding it hard to make local friends. “You can be completely anonymous, chat about whatever you like, and you’re only a few clicks away from someone in exactly the same boat as you are,” says Ali Campbell, life
coach and author of Just Get On With It!. “I joined www.practicalparenting.co.uk when I was struggling to come to terms with expecting number two when my first-born, Jack, was just 7 months old,” says Laura Head, 21, from Bury St Edmunds, mum to Jack, 2, and Lola, 1. “My cyber-sisters have helped me feel more confident as a mum.” Check out our online forums and see what mums are talking about!
5. Ask your other half
If you’re a stay-at-home mum and your other half is at work, ask him if he has any colleagues with kids the same age as yours. A couples’ dinner and a bit of networking for him could be the start of a beautiful friendship for you.
6. Find a friendly café
As if you need another good reason to breastfeed! But for the ultimate baby buddy-up, locate a breastfeeding-friendly café in your area to have a chinwag over bagels and burping. “I was lucky that my local café really welcomed breastfeeding,” says Ashley Bennett, 31, from Cardiff, mum to Amber, 5 months. “Lots of mums in the area had cottoned on, so within a few weeks of giving birth there was a quite a group of us who wanted to chat and have a cuppa together in a really supportive environment.” Your health visitor might be able to direct you to local baby-friendly spots, or check our Neighbourhood section for cafes in your local area.
7. Start working out
Research local gyms to find out which offers the best childcare facilities. You’ll meet other mums at pick-up and drop-off time who may be able to tell you about other local activities, as well as help you stick to your new regime.
8. Scour the parks
Playgrounds in parks are the perfect place to meet like-minded mums. And it’s amazing how you’ll all bond when someone’s little one falls over. Visit different parks on different days to size up the mums who are out there. And if you don’t find someone on your first day, don’t give up. It will happen.
9. Talk to (almost) anyone
“Becoming a mum can feel like joining a very special club, with a lifetime membership. You’ll make friends in the most unlikely places, as you have something very special in common with other members,” reassures Ali. “The easiest places to strike up conversation are often in the supermarket or in the changing room of your local pool. You’ll find mums trying to do the same thing, as you’re in exactly the same situation as each other.” Find out where your local pool is in our Neighbourhood section.
10. Consider a nanny share
When your baby gets a little older and you’re thinking about perhaps going back to work and arranging childcare, sharing a nanny with another family can be a great way for your (and your tot) to make friends. Check out www.nannyshare.co.uk where you can find similar families in your area and look for a nanny together to share the cost. Or look for ads offering a share of a current nanny.
Best for… new mums
For courses near you on everything from postnatal care to weaning.
Best for… mums with twins
The Twins and Multiple Births Association (TAMBA) can give you advice and reassurance, and has local groups for mums and their twins to visit together.
Best for… active babies
Mums and babies alike are loving baby signing. For a list of nationwide classes, visit www.tinytalk.co.uk.
Best for… single mums
www.onespace.org.uk has tonnes of local support groups for single-parent families, and a forum for chats with others, too.
Best for… getting fit
Work out while you push your buggy. Log on to www.pushymothers.com to find out more.
Did you know…
On average, new mums make eight fellow mummy friends once their baby is born.