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the newbie: Social Babies

By Melissa Walker, who can also be found blogging at melissacwalker.com

June has a part-time babysitter during the week, and I love the individualized attention she gets. I have friends whose babies are in daycare, though, and they always talk about the great benefits of socialization. June has shown interest in other babies (she’s starting to wave to everyone now!), and she tends to get cranky if we don’t get out and see people in the afternoon.

The thing is, I don’t have the energy to set up an everyday play-date. We try to get to the park, we do have play-dates once or twice a week, but I wonder if I should be doing more. There are music classes and Spanish sing-a-longs and baby-and-me exercise programs in my neighborhood. I considered signing us up for something…

But then I heard about those books—you know, the slew of French parenting ones that came out earlier this year? They decried the “scheduled child” with daily activities and praised a more fluid and natural model. So I wonder whether getting June going on classes will mean that she’s stressed out and has no free time of her own before age one!

You can see that I’m slightly neurotic.

I’d love to hear about the social routines you started with your babies around this age (9 months). Let me know if you have any advice.