The first step in starting a play group is to find compatible parents with children roughly the same age as yours. Good places to look are: childbirth and exercise classes, MOMS clubs, La Leche League, church and neighborhood social groups, and the local playground.

Spend time with others and get to know them before forming a play group. Let instinct be your guide. Do you feel comfortable with these parents and the way they interact with their children?

When you are ready to discuss logistics, talk about how you plan to handle conflicts among the children. Two excellent resource books are "Playgroups," by Sheila Wolper and Beth Levine, and "Siblings Without Rivalry," by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish.

Keep it small. Try to picture the babies as toddlers and 2-year-olds, and honestly assess your emotional and physical limits.

Rotate to each other's homes. This shares the burden of food preparation and clean-up, which can be daunting prospects when you have a baby.

Keep it short initially. More than two hours may exhaust you and your child.

Activities. When the children outgrow babyhood you will want to plan some simple activities such as craft projects, songs and games. "The Playgroup Handbook," by Laura Peabody Broad and Nancy Towner Butterworth, contains creative ideas through the seasons.

"Things to Do With Toddlers and Twos" and "More Things To Do with Toddlers and Twos," by Karen Miller, also are excellent resources.

Solving Problems. There will be issues to deal with among the children as they grow into toddlerhood and early childhood, mostly concerning sharing and aggression. Consult books mentioned under "Getting Started" and/or child care experts if you are having difficulty solving problems yourselves.

Involving Others. Plan occasional outings with fathers and other family members. Welcome neighborhood children as guests of the group when the children get older. This way your group remains open and healthy. Check your local library for the books and guides mentioned.