Why I loved NCT

Our NCT group

When I first found out we were pregnant just under two years ago, my first thoughts were excitement, fear, anxiety, is it a boy or a girl? Both my husband and I were shocked, but over the moon. I quickly started to think about all the products that we would need to purchase, that’s just me, and I started to make lists. One of the things that I knew we should do was to attend NCT classes. A lot of my friends and work colleagues had been to NCT. They learnt a lot and met a fantastic group of friends through it. It seemed like the “done” thing to do, to make friends that would be your sounding board during the last few weeks of pregnancy and support you during your maternity leave. 

So, in January 2015 we signed up for NCT Signature courses starting in June. I was pretty shocked by the price. We paid just under £300 for 16 hours of courses that included 4 to 5 hours on three consecutive Saturday’s, and 3 hours after work for the breastfeeding session. I think that price might be slightly weighted for London, and I’m not sure how it compares to the rest of the country. However I definitely think it was money well spent, I’m sure that I have wasted more on useless baby products.

Our classes were held in the function room of a local pub, which meant that we could have a few drinks (or Lemonades) afterwards to get to know each other and discuss the classes. I know that the boys enjoyed being able to have a pint after 4 hours talking about placenta’s and knitted boobs!

Having completed the course, we set up a What’s App group with everyone included – the girls and the partners. I remember getting the notification when the group was set-up, going to a work meeting and seeing over 200 messages pinging on my phone. It was really exciting as one by one each of us had our babies, hearing about the birth and seeing the first pictures of the babies. Then once all the babies were here and we could brave stepping out of the house, we quickly settled into a routine of baby classes, coffee, cake, baby bounce and wine during the weeks of our maternity leave.

We were lucky and had a good group, and I’m sure that we all feel the same. I look back and I think how lucky we were to have a good year, and here’s why:

  • There was always someone to have coffee and cake with. 2015/2016 was the year I ate cake every day, and also starting drinking coffee. The girls are to blame for this.
  • At 3am when you’ve been up all night with a baby who won’t sleep or one that wants to feed all night, there was always someone who would also be awake who you could have a What’s App chat with.
  • We were all going through the same stages of development or milestones with our baby at the same time. The girls were a brilliant sounding board for advice or moral support when you’re in the trenches of sleep deprivation and all day breastfeeding.
  • Breastfeeding is scary when you first need to do it in public. I remember being super scared the first time, but I was quickly put at ease and no one bats an eyelid anyway.
  • They were the only group of people that I have felt comfortable with to have conversations about poo. What colour, how much, how often and those famous poosplosions.
  • We would attend baby sensory and baby bounce every week as a group. It was lovely to have that routine, but also good that we knew we would be meeting up.

I love my NCT friends. I couldn’t have got through a year of maternity leave without them. They were a pillar of support and fun to be around, and made sure that I got out of the house everyday. Now that we are all back at work, I really miss being able to nip out for lunch for a catch-up. Although now that I have gone part-time at work to 4-days a week, I should be able to see these ladies a little more often.

For anyone that is considering doing NCT classes, I really recommend them. I hope that you make a fantastic group of friends, have a laugh during the course, and share a maternity leave together just like we did.

Claire x

28 Comments

  1. kristin mccarthy November 12, 2016 / 2:33 pm

    A sound village is key to parental survival isn;t it? Glad you have your tribe mama!

    #fortheloveofblog

  2. Sam November 12, 2016 / 3:41 pm

    This is fab. So much support around you, and a fab way to meet new friends.
    #fortheloveofBLOG
    Sam recently posted…Don’t Worry, Be Happy My Profile

  3. Kirsty - Winnettes November 12, 2016 / 3:52 pm

    I recommend them to everyone too. They are really pricey but I think they were worth it. I didn’t have the best group in the world, everyone was nice but some of them started excluding others quite early on. I didn’t realise this so some of us felt a little silly when we weren’t invited places. However one of my closest friends was from the NCT group and I would be lost without her nearly 4 years down the line, so for that alone it was totally worth it.
    #fortheloveofBLOG

  4. Claire November 12, 2016 / 4:18 pm

    I never did anything like this, but fortunately, I found my awesome group of friends at the local baby groups afterward! A good tribe really is worth its weight in gold! xx #fortheloveofblog
    Claire recently posted…Hand Decorated Advent Calendar Trees!My Profile

  5. Michelle G November 12, 2016 / 4:57 pm

    Sounds like you got loads from the group. My friend did the NCT classes and is still friends with people she met on it. I signed up too but then they cancelled them. Interesting article #fortheloveofBLOG

  6. Louise November 12, 2016 / 10:31 pm

    I didn’t do NCT, I did consider it but due to work commitments I couldn’t make the meetings. Sometimes I do wish I had done it but the mummy friends I have made since didn’t do it either and did Daisy birthing instead which sounds like a lovely antenatal class! I have heard that a lot of people locally found the NCT groups to be very cliquey, you were either in or out! #fortheloveofblog
    Louise recently posted…I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award 2016My Profile

  7. Michelle November 13, 2016 / 12:59 am

    I did the NCT course with my first and have made a couple of lovely friends through it. I always recommend it to friends I know as it’s so helpful to have people going through the exact same stages as you #fortheloveofblog

  8. Wendy November 13, 2016 / 10:26 am

    Aww I really wish I’d done something like this, would have been lovely to have a group of friends to share the experience with. Sounds like you had a great group, shame it’s so pricey!xx

  9. Lucy November 13, 2016 / 2:17 pm

    I don’t know what NCT stands for, but I’m guessing its some sort of parent group? It’s good that you had a good support network. During those first few weeks it is nice to know you’re not the only one awake in the middle of the night! #ForTheLoveOfBlog
    Lucy recently posted…5 tips for taking your baby to workMy Profile

  10. alisonlonghurst November 13, 2016 / 2:46 pm

    One thing that really came through all of yesterday’s discussions at Blogfest, was: get a female support network and help and support each other. This is exactly what an NCT group does and I know a group that just met up with all their teenage kids – lovely. Alison x #fortheloveogblog
    alisonlonghurst recently posted…A Cacophony of womenMy Profile

  11. Angela Watling November 13, 2016 / 3:49 pm

    This sounds exactly like my experience with NCT! Not everyone I know was as lucky but our group all really clicked. Like you we had a whatsapp group (although it took the boys a lot longer to get round to setting one up!) and we shared a lot of tips and advice. I was the last in our group to give birth so it was great having the rest of them ahead (one 6 weeks ahead which is an age with a baby!). Some of us still take our little ones with a class on Mondays when we aren’t working, but it’s harder to sit around as long now with almost 2 year olds. Of all the money I spent though, this was definitely the best! #fortheloveofBLOG
    Angela Watling recently posted…Are we really listening ? My Profile

  12. Sonia November 13, 2016 / 4:18 pm

    I also found NCT invaluable for making friends with my first as we were the first in our group of friends to have kids so I knew no one who was off during the day. My eldest is now 10 and some of us are still in contact. #fortheloveofBLOG
    Sonia recently posted…Why We Are Learning Spanish as a FamilyMy Profile

    • The Pramshed November 13, 2016 / 11:56 pm

      Ah that’s lovely, I hope that we’re still friends in 10 years x

  13. Briony November 13, 2016 / 11:10 pm

    I didn’t do NCT, but every single mum I know who did now has a great group of friends and very well socialised kids. Now I’m not saying L isn’t socialised, he is, but I’m not!!! #fortheloveBLOG
    Briony recently posted…How we use Heinz SoupMy Profile

  14. Kat November 14, 2016 / 8:37 am

    I would consider NCT classes for sure if I had another, if they are around where I am! I was on a thread with women from Netmums and we still have our facebook group going – it’s lovely! Especially now as some of them have two or three children now! its great to have that support #fortheloveofblog
    Kat recently posted…Slipping Through My Fingers – Week OneMy Profile

  15. Emma me and b make tea November 14, 2016 / 12:15 pm

    I didn’t do them as I didn’t want to pay the high price. it was a similar cost over Bristol way. I met some great friends though through the children’s centres and baby sensory 🙂 #fortheloveofblog
    Emma me and b make tea recently posted…What NOT to Buy New Parents this Christmas!My Profile

  16. Helena November 14, 2016 / 7:22 pm

    Geees whizz that is expensive! I have only ever gone to the equivalent but like the NCT sales.#fortheloveofblog
    Helena recently posted…Word of the Week: BeginningMy Profile

  17. Tooting Mama November 14, 2016 / 7:50 pm

    Darn you NCT girls are so lucky!

    I adopted, two older kids so it was a lot harder finding my tribe so to speak, a case of getting out there and finding people – grabbing numbers where I could find them, turning up to adoption meets / coffee mornings hoping I’d click with other mums. Not grumbling I have a bunch of mums with birth children and adopted kids who are firm friends it just took a bit longer.

    But your NCT buddies are going to be friends for life, and that’s so awesome! #fortheloveBlog
    Tooting Mama recently posted…A feminist manifesto in 15 suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieMy Profile

  18. Mindful Mummy Mission November 15, 2016 / 7:13 am

    Ah yes the ‘knitted boobs’ – it brings it all back! I feel very lucky too that we have made some wonderful friends through our NCT group and though everyone got on 6 + years later we are particularly close to 3 of the other families – 3 out of the 4 of us all with 3 children now!! We always joke that it’s ‘buying mummy friends’ as we didn’t really rate the classes but we LOVE that we found each other. 🙂 #fortheloveofBLOG
    Mindful Mummy Mission recently posted…And You Thought You Were Worried…My Profile

  19. Abi November 15, 2016 / 10:56 am

    I had my little dudes in Canada so NCT was a foreign concept (ironically!) Having just moved back with a two year old and a four year old I admit I find myself cursing NCT for being so good at making friendship groups because they are difficult to infiltrate as a loner mum haha! #ForTheLoveOfBlog
    Abi recently posted…How To Be A Grown UpMy Profile

  20. Busy Working Mummy November 15, 2016 / 11:44 pm

    This is something I didn’t do and I deeply regret it. I don’t have a lot of friends with children so I do tend to struggle on. Although we do swimming and football now which means we meet new toddlers and parents through those classes #fortheloveofblog
    Busy Working Mummy recently posted…Why Mental Health is so importantMy Profile

  21. mainy - myrealfairy November 16, 2016 / 2:25 pm

    These are such great networks and its something I didn’t do but I hear such fab things about them now.

    Mainy

    #fortheloveofblog
    mainy – myrealfairy recently posted…It’s A Winner!My Profile

  22. Siena Says November 18, 2016 / 8:57 pm

    I think when you have got a group of like minded people around you, you can conquer everything. The NCT isn’t very big round where I live and so my network developed from a forum which was very popular in the early 2000s. We formed a little group of 7 of us and have been friends ever since, our first babies are just turning 12! We don’t see as much of each other as we used to with life getting in the way, but it’s good to know they are there.
    And yes the ability to discuss poo is an absolute must for any firm friendship xx

    #FortheLoveofBlog

  23. Becci - The UnNatural Mother November 19, 2016 / 6:40 am

    I never did NCT as i already had a great group of friends around me with newborn babies. Sadly the experience you talk about is not the feedback i was given by local mums in our area but glad you found the classes worthwhile and ultimately have found a great network of friends from it #fortheloveofBLOG
    Becci – The UnNatural Mother recently posted…Hotel Chocolat Christmas GiveawayMy Profile

  24. Kate Orson November 19, 2016 / 8:07 am

    Sounds like you had an amazing group! I ended up doing a hypnobabies course, and I live abroad so I missed out on all this! If I’d known in advance I’d have definitely built up my network before having a baby, but luckily I did my tribe after my daughter was born. fortheloveofBLOG
    Kate Orson recently posted…Why Distracting Your Child From Having Tantrums Makes Parenting HarderMy Profile

  25. Mummy and the Mexicans November 19, 2016 / 4:06 pm

    I totally missed out on all that, and it would have helped me a lot. I didn’t find any ante natal classes where we live in Mexico, so I missed out on the support and advice and friendship. #fortheloveofBLOG
    Mummy and the Mexicans recently posted…Bilingual Toddler Update at 31 monthsMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge