Our Favorite Baby Classes In New York City
Classes with Bodie were some of my favorite hours in my first year of motherhood. They allowed me a way to structure our days together, gave me a community of recognizable faces and friends in a similar parenting stage and gave us a different environment or set of activities than I could create at home.
I was spared the overproduced classes I've been warned about and I benefited from friends and family who had navigated the baby curriculum in the city before me. They pointed me to a set of classes that I found distinct because of their teacher quality, the community of mothers and caregivers that they attract and their format and style that engages and teaches the parents as much as the kids.
Dan founded the Songs For Seeds program at Appleseeds - a popular play space in Chelsea and the Upper West Side. He broke off on his own to create a more intimate feel to his music play groups. Classes can be organized privately in your home pending your neighborhood and group size or he offers classes downtown and uptown at a variety of studio spaces and parks. The classes run 45 minutes and Dan keeps the rhythm of the class moving along for kids and adults with different elements like instruments, stories, baby signing and hilarious adaptations on grown up favorites. Classes are small enough to be dynamic so Dan can gauge what's working and pivot quickly to keep everyone engaged.
Dionne is a legend in this city. Her knowledge in baby development is deep and her spirit is so kind that moms and kids feel totally comfortable with her. Her movement classes are sectioned based on where your child is (pre-crawling, crawling, walking, etc.) so the activities always feel relevant to where you and your baby are. The class attracts open-minded, engaged and smart caregivers and Bodie and I ended up meeting and making some dear friends there. Our Thursday or Friday mornings with Dionne for Bodie's first year helped me feel so confident in my parenting and his growth.
Several friends in and out of New York swear by the RIE method for their infants and toddlers but the classes are casual playgroups that are loved by loads of different parents and school teachers. The playgroup is led by instructors who are trained in the RIE method and help coach parents through situations they observe. For example, when Bodie went through a standing on tables phase, an instructor would help offer language or direction that I could use. The classes are an hour and a half and the part that our friends have adored is the group of mothers they get to meet, the smart instruction quality and the rare gift of getting to sit and watch your children interact with the world.
What classes would you add to this list? If you're not in New York, what are some of your favorites? xo
Featured Image via Albion