We went to our first NCT class earlier in the week. I thought I’d write this post because in all honesty hubby and I had no clue what to expect from them; it was more a case of our friends had done them and said they were a good idea and a good way to make friends with other new parents. We didn’t really know what they would be like or what the content would actually be.
There were eight couples altogether at the first meeting. Everyone seemed to be roughly the same age as each other and the ladies are all due within around one month of each other. The course leader made a point of telling us that the person who thinks they’re going to have their baby first, rarely has their baby first! We had to introduce ourselves to the couple sitting next to us and find something in common with each other that didn’t involve our baby or work! All we managed to come up with was that we’d all driven to the meeting!
We were then split into two groups. The men were taken off into another room and the women left together. We had to write down what we wanted to learn from the course and were assured that it would be tailored to us. This proved not entirely to be the case though, as hubby informed me that the men were told quite firmly that car seats would not be discussed in any detail at any point! I’m sure this may be because the course leader didn’t want to be responsible for peddling any particular brand or finding themselves to blame for the consequences of a poorly-fitted car seat etc etc, but this was not explained in any way and actually it wasn’t the first time that a line of (perfectly reasonable) conversation was shut down point blank.
I must admit this made me a little annoyed as we’d all paid a significant amount of money to attend the course, but of course I was too polite to say anything. This time! Maybe as we get to know everyone in the group better and I want to know the answer to something I’ve asked, I might be a little more pressing to get an answer!
The course leader then covered the mechanics of how the baby comes out (in a vaginal delivery), obviously stressing the whole time that every birth is different… We then split into two groups again (but this time stayed with our partners) and completed two activities. One where we had to split baby-related items into ‘essential’, ‘would be nice’ and ‘unnecessary’ (it would appear the only ‘essential’ item is a car seat as they won’t let you leave the hospital without them – we all agreed that we’d buy most of the ‘would be nice’ items too and consider many to be essential!) and the other where we had to identify whether photographs of babies showed them to be ‘crying’, ‘calm alert’, ‘active alert’, ‘sleepy’, ‘light sleep’ and ‘deep sleep’. The course leader then talked to us about signs babies exhibit to show they want feeding. This was probably the most useful part of the evening.
To finish off, we completed an activity where we had to read a diary extract from a parent of a newborn where we contemplated what the first few days at home with baby might be like in terms of overbearing visitors etc.
Do I think it’s worth it? Well, the jury is still out there. Hubby and I are very cynical and think that the whole ‘what do you want to get out of the course?’ thing was more of an icebreaker and that the course likely has set topics for each week (especially as at one point the course leader shut down a question with a sharp, “no! That’s next week!”). However, I do feel like we’ve already gelled with one particular couple and everyone else seemed really nice too. It’s good to know that we have started to make friends with people who will be going through the same big life change as us.
What was your NCT experience like? Would you recommend it to others? Or did you not bother? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored in any way. We have paid for our NCT course ourselves; I just wanted to share our experience of it.