When we moved to the suburbs, I had some friends who had kids. I thought that was a good start. What I didn’t realize was that I was going to need “mom friends” with kids the same age as my kid, so that we could discuss milestones, age-appropriate topics and have play dates.

The challenge was how to make such mom friends, especially in the suburbs, where I felt like everything was kind of a drive away, rather than a quick walk, like my life back in NYC.

Very luckily for me, I made a large number of mom friends in the months after my baby was born, and it set me up for social success. I’m very grateful to the several ways below that worked out in my favor. Check them out if you’re looking for new ways to meet other moms where you live.

Go to a new parents meetup

Like I talk about in my list of unique things to do on maternity leave, going to a new parents meetup literally changed my life.

It was here, at the meetup called New Babies and Coffee, that I met a few moms who became my tribe. The only regret I have is that I wish I met them all sooner so we could’ve banded together and become buddies during the hardest days of my having a newborn.

Even if I hadn’t met a close group of friends with children all within five months of one another, age-wise, I still would’ve made friends at the new parents meetup. Everyone was friendly, everyone had a baby up to the age of 1 to bring out of the house and everyone was there for a chat and camaraderie.

It was really the best way I came across to make other mom friends in my town and in my community and I’ve recommended the meetup to everyone I know who wants to make “mom friends” asap.

Join Facebook groups for babies born the same season as yours

The real all-star Facebook group I found out about was due to a friend from high school who had a baby due 6 weeks before mine.

Do you know about “Winter Babies?” she asked me. I hadn’t heard of it.

“Winter Babies” was a Facebook group for anyone expecting to give birth between October and March or April of the next year (it was flexible that way). The strength of a group such as this, for the moms and new or expectant parents in town, was that we could connect with one another, share advice, hand down clothes and ask around for baby products to borrow.

This group was much more directed at having new mom friends whose children were within a few months of mine. This was a much more specific way to ask if anyone else was on maternity leave, looking for a weekday walking buddy. And I certainly made some “Mom friends” by socializing through a group like this.

Join local “mom groups” on Facebook

Before I got pregnant, I never would’ve known that “mom groups” was a thing. While we were living in the town we lived in when I was pregnant and gave birth, there was a large-scale “moms group” on Facebook for moms and other parents in the immediate two towns.

Even if I never made a real “Mom friend” from that group, I certainly could’ve. The group welcomes posting things like, “Is anyone typically free Wednesday mornings to walk at the nature reserve?” to, “Does anyone have a child [X age] who’d like to have a play date at the park?”

Get together and invite some new moms for an event

In the first half a year of having our baby, I knew a few moms so far, like I mentioned. Dan had joined a running club, and we would get notified about all the 5Ks in the area. An upcoming race in June was family-friendly and welcomed “walkers.” So, I asked around if any moms would like to join for walking the 5K.

My great accomplishment was that I got 5 other moms (and their infants!) to join me for walking the 5K route. We even got two dads to join. Afterward, we all went out for mimosas and talked about our birth stories. It’s kind of the story of how our mom friend group solidified.

Join a new moms support group (in person or online)

My support group also became an important part of my early road in motherhood and was a way I aimed to stay healthy in the postpartum phase. Interestingly enough, the women in the support group overlapped with some of the women in my very local Facebook moms group, but only by a smidge.

This created a safe space for us all to voice touchy parenting topics or talk about our feelings, and it also provided an outlet to make real-life friends if any of us lived within 10-20 minutes of each other.

Sign up for “Mommy and me” classes (even with a newborn)

One of the BEST things we did in our first year of having a baby was join a music class for children 3-18 months old on Friday mornings. Our daughter was 6-8 months old during the duration of the music classes, and she LOVED the songs and bubbles.

Because the children are so young in these types of classes, it was easy to talk to other parents about their kids, ask where they lived, and ask what they did for work. Because I grew up in the area where we moved, I saw some semi-familiar faces I could reconnect with as parents.

Go to parks

I’ll say one thing: having a winter baby was hard because who wants to hang out in a park during a Northeast winter? I wasn’t going to be the first one to go sit in a park and look at my baby (although if I had already had toddlers, or older kids, this would be so different! They have to get out and play).

So, depending on the age of your child, meeting other parents in local parks year-round is possible. If you have highly social children, maybe they’ll make the first move in chatting or playing with other kids their age on the jungle gyms.

If your child is shy and you’re the friendly one, wave hi to other parents and start up a conversation. You never know where it could go, if you find things in common right off the bat.

Join the town pool

Whether you live in the suburbs or in the city, join a local pool in order to meet other moms (and dads!). Our town, and the town we just moved from, has a great town pool, where the kiddie pool is the cool spot for lots of parents to hang out with their little kids, toddlers and babies.

If you have a baby, you’ll probably be hanging out in the shade with a bassinet or your infant napping in a baby carrier, but if you have a toddler, chances are you’ll meet other parents as your toddler inquisitively asks to play with other children’s pool toys.

Network among friends and family

Leave it to my family: everyone always wants to help family members meet people. When we moved from the city to our apartment in the suburbs, my sister actually introduced me to a woman who was my brother-in-law’s brother’s friend’s wife. Picture that!

In the first weeks of moving, we hung out with them and some mutual friends — a woman I knew from working at summer camp in my teens. While none of our children are exactly the same age, they little ones are all within a year of one another and it was great to have “starter mom friends” as the new folks in town.

Ask around contacts if anyone else has a child your child’s age

I was VERY lucky that because I had such a long maternity leave (I got laid off during maternity leave, so it was longer than expected), I was milling around our apartment complex with our new baby all the time.

I got to know the building management staff very well, and I was fortunate that the General Manager of the 200-unit building was incredibly friendly and loved helping out the residents to make connections. Within moments, she had given me the phone number of a mom who had a baby 3 months older than mine.

I texted her, and we started chatting about the challenges of early motherhood, like naps, feeding and illness. On the first day it was too cold for walks outside, we both went down to the building’s club room for some time to warm up over tea and meet each other’s babies. We stayed friendly mom friends until we moved to our house!

Be open and flexible

Even though I had met a few moms already, I wanted to keep meeting other moms. I also acknowledged that not everyone was lucky like I was, having met my “tribe” within 6 months of having my baby.

One time, a new mom posted in one of the local Facebook groups that she was free for a walk outside and was happy to have anyone else join her. Another mom and I both spoke up, and I invited them to my apartment complex, which was next to a little park.

While I didn’t have a super strong “hitting it off” experience with the mom who brought a child a bunch older than my little baby, I did hit it off with the other mom, who had twins and lived down the street. To my good fortune, months down the road, she gave my daughter a bunch of great hand-me-down clothes from her twins and we stayed friendly. I’d say she’s still a “mom friend” of mine.

Why is it so hard to make new mom friends?

I went over this question a lot in my head. I think in general, it’s harder to make new friends later in life. After all, when you finally give birth, start raising a child and you’re looking for people to socialize with, the stars have to align.

You might feel the need to share values, parenting styles, lifestyle commonalities or personality types with new mom friends. And for me, it was overwhelming and scary, to think about finding these people like needles in haystacks in the new place where I had moved.

Or, if you move to a new town or city and you don’t have any friends close by, you obviously want new mom friends who kids who will play with yours. Is there a way to make mom friends so that you’ll stay friends?

I hope this list will help you out, especially if you are a new mom or new parent who is seeking the companionship of other moms where you live. I feel like I got lucky with how things went for me as a new mom and finding my friends, and I hope you will get lucky, too.