When I had my first child I had to get out of the house. My baby didn’t want to sleep in the cot for love nor money. I tried but found it easier to pound the pavements three times a day. Exhausting but necessary. However, it was through this endless walking that I discovered all the great activities out there for new mums and newborns. I then based her nap cycle around baby massage, baby yoga, Gymbaroo, music classes and play groups. For me this saved my sanity and I found I learnt a lot about developmental play and the enjoyment it can bring to both mother and child.

Playlates is a new app that encourages parents to explore active, developmental games with their newborns and young babies in a way that is safe and fun.

The app is created by an experienced Pilates teacher, Nathanael Buckley, therefore it is founded on the practices and principles of Pilates, which are extended to appropriately support babies who are just learning to move.

Playlates assists children as they tackle the vast range of developmental milestones in the first year of their life.

Using the app for guidance, parents can help their baby:
·         stretch and coordinate their arms and legs
·         practice rolling over
·         build strong back and core muscles safely
·         eventually develop motor skills for crawling and walking

The games are short, safe, fun and infinitely repeatable. It is completely secure, however the developers advise that parents must be with the child at all times, paying very close attention to the baby to ensure he or she is always safe and comfortable.

While I really believe its important to play with your baby, and an app designed to offer guidance and give mums ideas of safe, fun games is great. I also believe it’s more important to get out the house and socialise when you are a new mum.

Recent research by the Office for National Statistics (UK), found that loneliness afflicts around one in seven of those between 45 and 54 and online communication although not the cause isn’t the remedy either. Although the research didn’t look at the mum demographic I think the issues are particularly resonant with new mums.

The principles of Playlates is to encourage and help parents engage with their child but the thought of new mums sat at home with just an app for ideas and social media for communication makes me sad. I hope that mums use this app to explore developmental games with their babies as well as going out to classes and playgroups.

Playlates is currently available from the Apple App store and is free to download which includes five introductory activities. Four further sets of activities are available at $2.49 each. Each additional set contains 15 games.