13 Things to do in Basingstoke with a newborn


1. Subscribe to NorthHantsMum

Obviously! :-D. 

The best way to ensure that you receive each post is subscribe using the “Email Sign Up” box” on the right hand side of the home page of NorthHantsMum.co.uk. Every time there is a new post on NHM you will receive an email in your inbox.

I get the most interaction on” Louise NHM Smith” on Facebook . The best discussions and comments are always via “Louise NHM Smith“, so I also recommend adding me as a friend. Don’t worry, I don’t ever look at anyones’ profiles. I don’t have the time or interest! lol.

Also ask to join the secret “Newborn”  (or “Pregnancy”) facebook group that I have set up on “Louise NHM Smith” for parents of Newborns. It’s a great way to meet other Mum’s who are in the same stage of babyhood as you.

2. Join a Baby PEEP course

Click for more details about what a PEEP course is. See if your local Children’s Centre hosts one) or Baby Sensory.

3. Go swimming with your baby

Go swimming with your baby (after 12 weeks old) at the Sports Centre in the week or QMC swimming pool at the weekend. See here for more details. You can check out other baby and child friendly swimming pools HERE. Or maybe look into structured classes with Water Babies.

4. Go to a baby weighing clinic

Go to The Nest at Chineham Church on a Monday morning. I always found the cafe area to be lovely as everyone was very friendly and willing to chat to each other, even if you didn’t know them beforehand! You can check out other baby weighing clinics HERE.

5. Find your local Children’s Centre

Visit your local Children’s Centre and ask them about the facilities available. Find details of all of the Children’s Centres in North Hampshire here. A lot of the classes on offer have a reduced cost so if you are struggling for money during your maternity leave, check out the Children’s Centres for support and low cost classes.

6. Visit a local coffee or tea shop

Visit the Little Roses Coffee Shop in Elm Tree Garden Centre for coffee and cake with your friends who are also on maternity leave. You can find other baby friendly tea and coffee shops HERE. I also recently reviewed The Parlour TeaRoom which also comes highly recommended.

7. Go to the Newbies cinema

Go to Newbies cinema on a Monday morning at the Odeon. It’s specifically for parents with babies. The sound is reduced and it’s half lighting so you can still see your baby. Much cheaper than normal cinema tickets and includes free biscuits and tea and coffee (if you get there before the Senior cinema oldies demolish the lot at 11am!). Also recommend signing up to their Odeon Club as you get points and it’s amazing how quickly they rack up and convert into free tickets or free food! Miss NHM went to the cinema every week from 3 weeks old till 6 months old!

8. Take a a Baby Massage Course

You can book independently here or investigate whether one of the local children’s centres has a course. (this tends to work out much cheaper!) Gail who often does the courses is lovely and a real calming influence. Try Baby Bump Bliss or Massage for Mum’s.

9. Go to a Baby Rhymetime session

Go to a Baby RhymeTime session (normally hosted at one of the libraries).

10. Visit “Coffee and Chat on a Friday morning

Visit “Coffee and Chat” on a Friday morning. This group also host a “Sling Day” on the 1st Friday of the month (see here and here for previous posts about slings) and they also do bra fittings on the 1st and 3rd Friday of the month.

11. Have a photography session with your newborn

You can click HERE for a list of family friendly photographers in the area. Some do specific newborn packages, so have a look through.

12. Join a local baby class

There are LOADS going on in the area (Tots Play, Buggy Fit, Baby Signing, Baby Sensory, Splatter Monkeys are just a few). To find more details about which classes are available have a look at the Activities Page on NorthHantsMum.co.uk which lists classes by day.

13. Take some hand prints whilst your baby is tiny

Get a head start on those all important first Christmas presents at Pots2Paint. Perfect for creating keepsakes from your baby for your loved ones.


I found it really important to get out and about with my little one in those first few months. The house became thoroughly neglected but it was totally worth it for my sanity!

If you have any friends who have just had a baby, don’t forget to share this post with them!

Related Pages

Things to do/Places to go with a baby when it’s raining

“The Best Baby Changing in Basingstoke Town Centre” Poll

Babysitting in Basingstoke

Baby weighing clinic

Soft Play Centres


Basingstoke Babies


GPW: Maggie B – beautiful extra soft baby blankets

Don’t miss out on future posts like this – you can receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow NorthHantsMum onTwitter,Google+,Facebook PageFacebook Profile, LinkedIn and Feedly. I hope to see you there! 

NHM Reader Question: Weekend Playgroups

Sue asked on the Facebook Page: Does anyone know if there are any coffee and play groups in Basingstoke at weekends? If not, is it because no-one wants them or because no-one has set one up? I have real problems keeping my 19 month entertained especially as his Daddy works 3 weekends out of 4 and this weekend he is on nights 🙁

Thanks for your question Sue. I’ve done a bit of research and unfortunately I can’t find any coffee or play groups on the weekend in the area :-(.

I know how challenging it is to try to keep a little one entertained on the weekend as my husband is often away for a Sunday or Saturday. Maybe this is a gap in the market that needs filling? I know of the perfect place for this, so if any of you are interested in a weekend play group please let me know. If there is enough interest I will see what I can do to arrange something under the NHM brand.

In the meantime, below is a list of indoor places that you could take your little one on a weekend:

  • Active Tots – open on Saturday
  • PlayDays
  • JJ’s

For details about these and further Soft Play areas in the area check out this NHM page HERE.

Also, have a look at the following post for places to go in Hampshire HERE or this post for Walks in the local area HERE.

Hopefully the weather will improve soon so our little ones can spend more time outside. Having said that, when I was in North Germany earlier in the year I discovered a playgroup that spends ALL of their time outside, whatever the weather. The children are never sick and spend all morning playing outside, come rain, shine or snow!  Apparently there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing! I try to keep this in mind whilst looking out the window at the rain again!

Does anyone else know of any groups that meet on the weekends?

If you have any questions that you would like me to investigate, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Makaton in Basingstoke

Sophie very kindly offered to help out with writing some posts on NHM. Below she shares some details about Makaton. Hope you find it useful. Thanks Sophie, great post!

When we walk past the park Lucy, my 14 month old, makes L shapes with her index fingers and thumbs and shakes them, this is her sign for swings.  I don’t know where it came from she just started doing it one day and then did it again when we were looking at a picture of a park.  Now she does it every time we pass the park on the way back from taking her big brother to school.  And then in the afternoon, when I say “It’s time to pick up Oscar” Lucy immediately rubs her knuckles together; this is the sign for brother (we picked that one up from a Makaton sign language library book).  So with our swimming lessons finished for the summer I thought I would look into Makaton courses and see if it would help us communicate even better until she finds her voice, which I don’t think will be that long.

Makaton is a language programme using signs and symbols to help people to communicate. It is designed to support and encourage spoken language.  The signs and symbols are used with speech, in spoken word order.  With Makaton, children and adults can communicate straight away using signs and symbols. Many people then drop the signs or symbols naturally as their little ones develop speech.  Makaton is extremely flexible as it can be personalised to an individual’s needs and used at a level suitable for them.

Many of the Sure Start/Action for Children centres do Baby Sing and Sign sessions which are centred around the Makaton programme.

Pebbles Children’s Centre – Tel: 01256 357028.

  • Story, Song & Sign – Monday 11.00am – 12.00pm.
  • Drop In/no need to book

The Courtyard Children’s Centre – Tel: 01256 843955

  • Baby Signing – Tuesday 10.00am – 11.00am.
  • Small cost applies – Must be booked in advance

Honeycomb Children’s Centre – Tel: 01256 331574

  • Sing, Song & Sign for Baby – Friday 10.00am – 11.00am – 6 week course from 15 June
  • Ridgeway Centre, Buckskin – Pre-book your place – £12 per child

Buttercups Children’s Centre – Tel: 01256 812615

  • Sing, sign and rhyme time – Friday 10.15am – 11.00am
  • Please call to book a space

For more information you can visit the Makaton Charity website HERE.

You can also see Makaton signing in action thanks to Something Special, a programme on the cbeebies channel and it’s supporting section on the BBC website HERE.

Guest Post Wednesday: “1,000,000,000 sit ups – The end of an era!”

Lola contacted me to ask if she could publicise her work with the Hypopresive method:

Sit ups! They hurt, they wear you out, they hurt your back, they increase abdominal pressure….. and for what? And for all your hours spent trying to flatten your tummy, has it worked? NO… They are so 2011! New to the UK in April 2012 comes the Hypopresive method.

The Hypopresive Method was discoveedrd by Dr .Marcel Caufriez In 1980 …  exciting news! The UK finally have the facts, figures and results on the Hypopresive Method and I am one of 9 instructors in the UK to be blessed with this.


The Hypopresive method is a rhythmatic set of postural exercises, incorporating deep diaphragmatic breathing techniques which together, decrease cavity pressure in the abdominal and thoracic areas. Done methodically and rhythmatically, reprograms the neurological paths to the propreocepters.

In short, what does all of this actually mean?

  • Reduce your waist circumference by 8%
  • Improve posture, in 1 month decreases lumbar lordosis (p = 99.9%), neck (p = 99.8%) and dorsal ciphosis  (p = 99.5%)
  • Increased tone in the pelvic floor and abdominal wall by 58%
  • Increases Strength
  • Improved resistance as EPO increases up to 65%
  • Increase explosive strength and anaerobic capacity raising metabolism up to 15%
  • Improves sexual performance in men and women to enhance vascularization and the amount of blood that reaches the pelvic floor.
  • Decrease of slight urinary incontinence in 95% and moderate in 60%
  • Properly manages the abdominal pressure.
  • Prevent prolapses.

Did you read the facts right? Hypopresive method increases the resting tone of the pelvic floor and abdominal muscles, which is helping with the recovery of urinary incontinence and/ or prolapses, improves your sex drive, makes you stand taller, makes you fitter, stronger and slimmer….. All this as well as a balanced, mental well being .

Since my training I have been working with a mixed group of individuals to, complete gym goers, huge cardiovascular fans, hernia patients, a mix of postnatal ladies and individuals looking to boost weight loss….. The results have been phenomenal and the clients are ALL extremely impressed with their goals that are finally being reached.

Along with my 8 Hypopresive colleagues I feel strongly about getting this method out to the rest of the UK. The medical world and to all fitness professionals who need to reprogram there programmes!!!!

Hypopresive Method is the way forward and the word needs to be spread.

Contact Lola for more information on the next course or any enquiries you may have on 07578 069 829 / lola@fitmama.org

This looks really interesting if you’ve had a baby in the past few years.

Thanks very much Lola. Best of luck with your courses!

Guest Post Wednesday: First Aid Angels in Basingstoke

Vicky contacted me about publicising her First Aid course on Guest Post Wednesday. Vicky is a local Mum who runs First Aid Angels in Basingstoke:

First Aid Angels are a local Health & Safety Executive approved first aid training company run by a highly trained and experienced Registered nurse.

We  offer a  very popular 2 hour Parents first aid course at your own home for small groups , in the daytime and evenings. Babies are welcome too!

The training is relaxed and friendly , delivered by very experienced and highly trained first aiders with nursing/emergency services backgrounds.

We cover the key subjects about infant and child first aid to help you feel more confident and competent  and all questions are welcome !

We use manikins for the practical and each person receives a written training guide with the theory about the subjects that are covered. All subjects are taught in accordance with the UK Resuscitation Council guidelines.

Please see the course flyer with the list of subjects that we cover: PARENTS – FAA A5 flyer v1

We can be contacted by our website www.firstaidangels.co.uk , email info@firstaidangels.co.uk  or call 01256 412240

This would be a great activity for a new ante-natal group who’ve all had their babies and would like some reassurance in first aid techniques.

Feel free to share the flyer with anyone who doesn’t read NHM (don’t they know what they are missing out on?!?!?! lol)

Best of luck with the business Vicky!

Guest Post Wednesday: The Creation Station

Lara contacted me recently about adding a Guest Post on NHM for “The Creation Station’. She is very kindly offering a free trial for all NHM readers. Please see below for details. Thanks Lara!

The Creation Station: BIG FUN for little People!

The Ultimate Award Winning Children’s Creative Arts and Crafts Activity

-That’s Seriously Fun!

 “It’s taking the UK by Storm”

  •  Awesome Entertaining Fun For; 1-5 year olds during term time, and Holiday Family Fun for 1—11 year olds.
  • Themed Arty Parties
  • Educational and Developmental in Line With Recommended Government Guidelines.
  • Improves Concentration and Nurtures Imagination.
  • The Scene is Left Clean.
  • Interactive and Engaging Quality Time with Your Child.
  • Fully Trained & CRB Approved Leaders.

The Creation Station sessions aim to inspire children’s imaginations through practical creative play. Creating their own piece of art each week also helps develop a child’s thinking and creative skills.

Let your child experience their own ‘Journey of Discovery & Exploration’ with Creation Station

Lara says “As busy parents we can all struggle with ideas, time and energy and the thought of the clearing up afterwards can feel anything but fun! That’s why parents love to come to The Creation Station, and even when we get messy using paints and clay mum’s, dad’s and carers don’t have the worry and stress of cleaning up as they would in the home environment. We just concentrate on having lots and lots of Creative fun!”

Find out how you can come along and enjoy a fun and stress free art & craft messy play with your child.

Call Lara TODAY Tel: 0844 854 9084 or Email: Lara@thecreationstation.co.uk.

Visit www.thecreationstation.co.uk to receive your FREE activity Download. You can also follow us on Facebook HERE.

Special offers available

FREE Trial for all Northhants mum Readers just quote “northhantsmum” when booking.

Siblings only £2.50. Child-minders – bring one child full price and for every other just pay half price.

Sessions cost £5

“I can do creative things with Daisy far easier at the Creation Station because her attention span is longer and there are more ideas than at home’ ‘definitely Go! Really good thing to do. Nothing like it in this area…!” Jo, Daisy’s mum (age 2yrs)

Guest Post Wednesday: Caterpillar Music 2012

Jasmine contacted me asking me to publicise the details about her new new baby and toddler music class which is coming to Basingstoke this Autumn.

Jasmine is a qualified music teacher and Mum to young children so she understands how important it is to engage and stimulate our children. Each Caterpillar Music class is a unique session which will include amazing puppets, exciting instruments as well as innovative props, all of which will help your child learn through play and song.

The sessions will take place on Tuesday’s at ChristChurch in Chineham from 9.40am until 11.10am and are suitable from birth to 4 years of age.

If you are interested and would like to attend a class Jasmine is offering free trial classes for anyone who mentions NorthHantsMum. You can find more details about the classes:

Thanks Jasmine! Best of luck with the new business!

Ballet/Dance classes for 2 year olds (Nov 2011)

Baby & Toddler Dance classes in North Hampshire

Vicky asked the question on NorthHants Mum on Facebook: can anyone recommend ballet/dance classes for 2yr olds?

I’m not able to recommend any specific classes but I’ve done some research about what is available at the moment. Details are below. If you have any recommendations, please don’t hesitate to add them. Vicky – thanks for your question, hope this is what you were looking for.

Dance Classes

Bopping Babies

Toddle-time disco fun, dance and play session for 0-5’s.

Active Life Centre

Modern Dance: The Modern Dance class involves learning dance moves to current popular music. Mondays 14.00 – 14.45hrs. Cost: £40.00 for 10 weeks

Ballet Classes

Basingstoke Academy of Dancing

One of the more professional dance schools in Basingstoke.  They hold Mother and Toddler Classes – 18 mnths – 3yrs, Monday morning 9.30am to 10.30am

J.L.D. School of Dancing

They say: Being easily accessed from anywhere in Basingstoke & Deane, J.L.D. School of Dancing has 50 scheduled classes per week and offers dancing lessons for boys and girls from 2 – 18 years of age. Dance classes for children aged 2 – 5 years are lively and fun, exploring music, movement and mime.

M&M Academy of Arts

They have a boogie babies class on Saturday morning: Pre-school Dance Classes, 45 minutes, Fun and stimulating class for 3 & 4 Years olds. These classes introduce basic ballet, tap and modern/jazz movements incorporating mime and stories.

Centre Stage Ballet

Centre Stage Ballet 3-4 years 4.30-5pm. Ballet 4-5 years 5-5.30pm. Ballet & Tap 5-9 years 5.30-6.15pm

Thursdays at Sherfield Park Community Centre.

Active Life Centre

Ballet (3-4 years): Working from the Royal Acadamy of Dance syllabus, this class involves dancing to classical and contemporary music whilst incorporating ballet steps, miming and free dance. The children have fun working to develop

Lynden School of Dance

I couldn’t find the timetable online for this dance school but I know they do Ka Motion classes at Basingstoke Sports Centre for little people and I’m sure they will have classes for under four’s. To find details you can contact them through their website.

Loose Moose – Hook

Loose Moose Theatre Arts is an exciting, vibrant and creative theatre arts school offering a range of programmes for toddlers to teens to adults.

Chandelle Stage School

I don’t have any further details about this apart from that it’s based in the Sycamore centre in Winklebury.

Stage School’s

There is also a stage school in Basingstoke:


Please add a comment if you know of more dance classes for toddlers in or near Basingstoke. Thanks!

Related Posts

Baby & Toddler Dance classes in North Hampshire

Dance Schools in North Hampshire

North Hampshire Academy of Dance

Basingstoke Toddlers

Mum Top Tips

Places to go for Children who love Animals

“Emergency First Aid for Children and Babies” Course

This course covers resuscitation, bleeding, head/eyes/mouth injuries, poisoning, electric shock, sprains/fractures, choking, allergic reactions and meningitis.

The training is run by an experienced paediatric (and general) First Aid instructor from AML Training Services.

She is a long standing member of the Royal Life Saving Society where she is particularly involved in Save a Baby’s Life Campaigns.

The Morning course runs from 10.00 – 12.30
The Afternoon course runs from 13.30 – 16.00
(these are two separate courses)

Our course costs £25 (or £45 for couples), reduced rates for those on low income or in receipt of certain benefits

The cost of the course is £32.50 per person, which covers two x 2 hour sessions, and includes a course book and a certificate of attendance.

Please note that this course is not applicable for OFSTED/Child Minder training; anyone requiring this qualification should contact their Childminding association for further details.

Courses run regularly. Please email firstaid.basingstoke@nct.org.uk for more information and to book your place.