Which Baby Classes Should I Sign Up For? And why are there so many?

By Jennie Monness | Illustration by Ana Hard

When it comes to what class to choose for your baby it can be overwhelming because you have no idea what to look for. Depending on your baby’s age, it may feel like you don’t even know what they are able to even see yet let alone what will be “fun” or “enriching.”

Early Childhood and Parenting expert, Jennie Monness of Union Square Play weighs in on what you should look for when it comes to choosing the most optimal class for your baby. 

There are a ton of classes out there but they aren’t all designed age appropriately. The thing is, that’s not necessarily a bad thing if you’re just looking for an excuse to get out with your baby, but if you’re truly focused on what will be the most enriching for your baby here’s the things to look for:

  1. Time of day: You never want to choose a class at a time of day that your baby will be hungry or tired. If a baby’s basic needs aren’t met, there is no way they will enjoy a class.
  2. Think about who your baby is: Are they startled by a large group, loud noises? Choosing an indoor music class probably won’t be the best idea until your baby is a bit older and more used to large groups and loud noises. Outdoor classes like those we offered at Hudson Yards would be more appropriate.
  3. Ask yourself, is the class entertaining or engaging? Many classes are entertaining to sit and watch, a puppet show for instance, and it’s a great way to connect with other parents. But will your baby really be involved in a class like this or just sort of sit there watching? If it’s the latter, that’s ok, but just reframe expectations that your baby probably won’t do much.
  4. Look for classes where your baby can move around with little structure. A sensory play class or an open play class is most appropriate and will allow you to see what your baby is interested in. It also allows for more social interaction which is the point of classes altogether – how to spend time with other babies. 

If you’re in the New York City area, I encourage you to follow Union Square Play and myself on Instagram for fun, engaging ways to play with your babies at home as well as the latest updates on when Union Square Play will be reopening for in person classes.