Bonding with baby is one of the most worried about things when expecting the arrival of a new bundle of joy, along with the dirty nappies and sleepless nights.
Helping with parent and baby bonding, while having a dance and doing some gentle exercise is the aim of a new Leisure and Culture Dundee class, Boogie Babies, which was developed as part of the Ready Steady Go Early Years programme.
Boogie Babies involves parents and little ones over the age of eight weeks performing easy dance routines with baby securely strapped to mum, dad or carer in a soft sling, baby carrier or wrap.
The benefits of the class include improving posture and self-awareness, as well as helping parents feel more confident and stimulating baby’s mind.
Megan Sands, early years and health and wellbeing team leader at Leisure and Culture Dundee, said: “I would describe the class as a gentle movement dance class which allows parents and babies to engage with each other while being active.
“We had a lot of feedback during the trial run that mums especially felt there were a lot of classes and groups which focused on the baby, such as yoga.
“However, there was not a lot for mums to do that worked for them while still allowing them to bond with baby too.
“It was quite strange when we were developing the routines as we aren’t mums ourselves.
“We created what we thought were quite easy and simple routines, then got a weighted doll and baby carrier and strapped it on ourselves. That’s when we realised we needed to take some moves out.
“The steps are quite basic and it is really accessible to everyone.
“Even if you have two left feet you will still be able to come along and do the routines.
“The babies really get into it because they are getting to be close to mum and it introduces them to moving to music.
“You can see them getting really excited, kicking their legs and waving their arms.
“I was also surprised as we have not had any criers. The babies seem to love it. I think it is due to them being so close to their mum through the class.
“It not only introduces the baby to movement and music but it also builds intimacy and trust between the parent and baby too.”
Mum Lesley-Anne Bell joined the class with seven-month-old Brodie and also thinks the class is great as it allows the mums to be the focus.
She said: “It is really good from the mum’s point of view as there are a lot of baby classes but not a lot for mums.
“With it being run through the council it means that the classes are affordable on maternity wages and it also acts as a social network or support group.
“When I started taking Brodie to baby yoga and massage classes I met other mums and now we go to classes together, meet up for coffee and lunch and can give advice to each other and pick up hints and tips.
“The council is also great at asking for feedback and taking our comments on board so the classes are really focused on what we think works.”
A new four-week block of Boogie Babies starts at the Douglas Sports Centre in November, priced £20 for the four weeks.
Little ones must be aged over eight weeks however there is no upper age limit, just as long as they can be carried.
Anyone wanting more information or to book a place should email readysteady.go@leisure andculturedundee.com.