Bored Housewives Network

Getting through the day, one bonbon at a time.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Ask a Bored Housewife: The Social Life of Babies

I just reached into the ol' mailbag and pulled out this missive:
Dear fellow bored housewives,

I am the mother of a reasonably happy, 5-month-old baby girl. I stay at home with her, and we do a fair job of getting out and about, even in the chilly Chicago winter. I'd love to hear your opinions, though, on "socializing" babies. How often do your babies see other babies? Is there an observable difference between social and (anti-? a-? non-?) social babies? Do you think pre-school is the appropriate place to make the transition to social creature, or should steps be taken before that?

Gwen is our first baby and the first born among all of our clinging-to-urban-hipster-life friends, and our families are several hundred miles away, so we don't have a readily available baby-socializing circle. We do go to a music class for babies every Friday at the Old Town School of Folk Music, which is fun, but more so for me, I think. So, whatever thoughts, anecdotes, opinions, etc. you'd care to share, I'd love to read.

Thanks so much,
Longtime Reader, First-Time Questioner

I reckon everyone will have something to say about this one. I'm especially looking forward to hearing from the BHNers who have older kids. Is socialization of babies under two really necessary?

Keep the great questions coming, folks. Just email us... and remember, no question too big, too small, or too goofy.


  • At 5:50 AM, Blogger landismom said…

    Well, I'm something of the odd woman (odd baby?) out here. My daughter came to work with me two days a week from the time she was about six weeks old until she was about 18 months old. She started going to daycare when she was five months old, and I never really worried about socializing her, since she was around other kids at daycare. My son went to daycare from the time he was about three months old (part time at first, then full time later), so same situation (plus he had his sister to be socialized by).

    That being said, I think it's really important for moms to socialize, and to be able to do it with and without their babies. Your hipster friends should get the chance to meet your darling, but you should get the chance to get out without your daughter once in a while too.

  • At 10:45 AM, Blogger Melissa said…

    Since my baby was a couple of months old, I've met up with a group of moms once a week or so. The point of the group is for the moms to hang out. The babies couldn't have cared less about seeing the other babies until they could move around, and since then their only interaction has been to grab fistfuls of other babies' hair and steal toys out of one another's fists.

    So from my experience, I can't imagine it matters very much for the baby to interact with other babies.

  • At 3:09 PM, Blogger Jennifer (ponderosa) said…

    I agree with landismom. Socialization is important for the mom/parent.

    You need to watch other people discipline their kids. You need to watch other people play with their kids; they'll give you ideas on how to handle your own child. You need to see how other kids do developmentally, both so you can watch for potential problems in your child but also so that you begin to see how very, very wide the range of "normal" is. You need to complain and laugh and brag with the other parents...

    That said: My son would have been happy with just me until he was about 2, I think; my daughter has needed to be around other kids from about 6 months!

  • At 3:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh, so now the letters can come from actual current parents? GODDAMMIT!

  • At 8:39 AM, Blogger Nicole Steeves said…

    Thanks for posting my question, BHN. I love anecdotal advice, just can't get enough of it. To Wing Chun, I'll say that if you as a childless person think parents do weird things, you wouldn't believe how bizarre some of this stuff seems when you actually experience the practical application.

  • At 9:01 AM, Blogger landismom said…

    Well, Wing, maybe you need to come up with another question.


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