Author Topic: Socializing when you have an infant  (Read 893 times)

littlebird

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Socializing when you have an infant
« on: November 06, 2017, 11:16:54 AM »
We have a 7-month old baby and we recently moved to a new town. We've been meeting new people, many of whom also have small children and I'd like to start socializing more. The problem I'm running into is that babies go to bed really early. Like 6 pm. All my old ways of socializing boil down to dinner and drinks. Usually at our house or the friend's house, but still in the evening. So I'm at a loss with how to hang out semi-casually with new friends when bed time is at 6. In the summer you can BBQ in the afternoon but now it's getting on towards winter.

So how do you all do it? Invite people for brunch? Hire a sitter (don't really want to do that)? Wait until the kids go to college to make new friends?

NeonPegasus

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Re: Socializing when you have an infant
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2017, 11:47:26 AM »
Have people over earlier in the day (like lunch) if they have babies/young kids. You may have to move your baby's nap time around to accommodate their kids' nap times. It was always really hard to make that synch up.

If they don't have a baby/kids, you can invite them over for dinner and then excuse yourself while you put your baby down. This obviously only works if your baby is the kind to go down well (none of mine did). It helps to have some sort of noise machine in the baby's room to drown out adult noise.

Also, if theirs is a crappy sleeper, they may not mind keeping the baby out a bit late, even if you put yours down. Mine did fine staying up later so I'd bring them with me to family friendly evening gatherings, get them in jammies before leaving and then they'd pass out on the way home.

Sweetpotatofries

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Re: Socializing when you have an infant
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2017, 11:51:38 AM »
We have an 8 month old, and we moved to our new town when I was 35 weeks pregnant. If you work outside the home and are only free on weekends, play dates in the day are the only way we have found to socialize. And it is really hard with baby nap schedules unfortunately. Our baby naps twice a day  (9:30-10:30/11 and 1:30/2-3:30) and so we're always inviting people over midday. Our friends have a 1 year old who is in daycare and they made him go to one nap which takes place, you guessed it, 11-2. We have not seen them at all in two months. In the summer (when ours was also younger) we would go for early drinks or ice cream before baby's bedtime (7:30 at our house) but in winter, not so practical.

It's tough with a new baby, because even though you have common interests with other new parents - everyone parents differently and has different opinions. I've found it hard to make plans with people whose kids DON'T have nap schedules or bedtimes, because ours does, and he goes cranky haywire if we try to take him off schedule so much that it isn't worth doing it.

mm1970

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Re: Socializing when you have an infant
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2017, 01:07:02 PM »
Invite people over for weekends.  When my kids were babies I was working (still am), so I would just have people over on the weekend.  Brunch, lunch, whatever.

Meet friends for a walk with the stroller.
Meet at a park mid-week if you are able.

Look for new-parent groups.  The vast majority of my long-time friends came from our new-parent groups.  The stay at home moms would get together mid-week at parks, but we always schedule things on weekends too.  Park, lunch, coffee, walks.  Sometimes we do "mom's night" - dinner and a movie, dad is home with the kiddos.  Dads do dad's night out too.

Also, note that when your kid starts preschool or elementary = instant new group of friends, especially if you volunteer at the school in any way, shape or form.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Socializing when you have an infant
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2017, 02:01:22 PM »
How about starting a playgroup for babies? Not sure if you're home with the baby or working but, especially if you are home, a playgroup can work well.  I'm a working mom but I had an 11 month maternity leave with each of my kids.  When my second one was born, I felt a bit isolated at home so I started a playground when she was a month old for mothers and babies at a local kid-friendly café.  It gets a bit complicated when the babies start crawling so I moved it to my house - and then we rotated to other mothers' houses.  Keeps you from going stir crazy and gives you a safe place to discuss subjects like feeding issues, diapers, solid food etc etc.  I'm still friends with some of the mothers I met through the mothers' group.

wordnerd

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Re: Socializing when you have an infant
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2017, 04:30:36 PM »
If you have an SO, you can still do dinner/drinks out once the baby is in bed (assuming you have a solid bedtime routine and/or your SO can give a bottle while you're out). Daytime things and playdates are great, but I still love going out kid-free  with friends and having a glass of wine, ya know?

Jouer

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Re: Socializing when you have an infant
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2017, 04:43:46 PM »
Collapsible play-pen. Bring it to your friend's house. Put it in their spare bedroom. Put child in it around their bed time.

Bonus: your kids might end up being more adaptable regarding sleeping, which is a huge win down the road.

ysette9

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Re: Socializing when you have an infant
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2017, 08:46:55 PM »
Since I have never enjoyed staying up late I welcomed the new phase of life when our friends started having babies, because that meant no more nighttime parties and plenty of morning or noon-ish gatherings. Personally we find it best to have people over for a mid-morning event like brunch. Having it at our house means that we can have one person slip off to put munchkin down for a nap while the other continues to host. We have had friends bring a pack-n-play over to have a short person take a nap as well. We have also done hiking events when the baby sleeps in the wrap/carrier.

Also keep in mind that while it seems to last forever, the two naps phase does end and then your social life gets much easier logistically.
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formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Socializing when you have an infant
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2017, 12:14:54 PM »
I had kids before most of my friends, so I just carted them around with me.  They were pretty good at sleeping in the pack-n-play.

Now, my kids are middle school age, and my friends have babies. 

Most of our social events are now walks.  We walk around a neighborhood (or the local high school track) with baby in a stroller.   Oftentimes, baby will nap.  Or, dad takes care of baby and mom and I walk from 8-9 pm.  Bonus - we get exercise!

One friend likes to talk on the phone during the evening commute. I hate talking on the phone. I also hate driving.  I like catching up with my friend one day a week.  The conversation hits a natural end point when one of us arrives home/day care.  Note - I have hands-free Bluetooth; be careful.

I have invited friends and their babies over on Saturday or Sunday afternoons to keep me company while I meal prep for the week, or bake a cake, or do other household chores.  Friends and I have gone to the grocery store together because we couldn't find any other time to see each other that month.

It gets a lot easier once they hit a year old and only take one nap a day or can stay up a little later.
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samusugiru

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Re: Socializing when you have an infant
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2017, 05:35:58 PM »
We did brunch in our circle. It's also more economical since breakfast foods tend to be cheaper and people don't drink as much. We would have between 6 to 15 people over and have platters of food out. Great way to socialise with not too much effort. A large plunger of coffee, fresh squeezed oj, bellinis or something similar.  I would buy a basket of pastries, make skewers with cherry tomatoes,  basil and bocconini, gourmet cheeses and hams, granola and yoghurt cups, fruit platter and cook come thing hot too. To cut down on waste I had cloth cocktail napkins too. Altogether I could feed around a dozen people on 50 euros and usually have enough alcohol from people bringing a bottle.

elaine amj

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Re: Socializing when you have an infant
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2017, 05:46:02 PM »
We always had people over for dinner. Baby would stay up late or go to sleep in the carseat.

I also did regular stroller walks with other SAHMs 1-2 times a week during the day.

And Mom night outs with Dad watching the kids. Although my younger was very attached to me so often had to come with me.

And lots and lots of time chatting online (I ran a forum for local parents).

Brunch/lunch was never a thing for my group oddly enough. Would have been nice.


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littlebird

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Re: Socializing when you have an infant
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2017, 08:57:49 AM »
Thanks for the advice everyone. I'm not a SAHM so this socializing will mostly be on the weekends. We're one of those couples that socializes almost exclusively as a pair rather than having our own separate groups of friends (no judgement on how other couples do things, it's just the way we are). When we keep baby up late she makes us pay the next day by getting up even earlier which makes having dinner away from home difficult. I was feeling a little awkward about the idea of asking people over for brunch but it sounds like that was just in my head so I think we'll try to start doing that! Being a somewhat socially awkward introvert in a new town with a new baby makes me second-guess everything, but I just need to get out there or I'll turn into a hermit!