Postpartum + Parenting


Art of Babywearing


Babywearing has been growing in popularity in recent years but there in nothing new about this practice. Mothers have been carrying their babies and keeping them close for millennia. We will discuss the benefits of babywearing for both the baby and the caregiver. There is a learning curve with any baby product, including baby carriers. It is important to think of babywearing as a skill that can be learned. See a demonstration of the four main types of baby carriers which include adjustable slings with rings (these come padded or unpadded), pouch slings that are not adjustable, asian-style carriers, and wraps that simply tie on. Come to this class to examine and try on the different types, brands and sizes of baby carriers to see which suits you best. See why babywearing will become one of your most important parenting tools! If you have questions about a specific carrier or want to arrange a fitting , we would be happy to schedule a priviate consultation to help you one-on-one.

Adjusting to Motherhood


Most new mothers feel incredible joy when their newborn is safely snuggled in their arms. However, it is quite common to experience short term challenges after the birth of your baby due to the physical, emotional and lifestyle changes that come with motherhood. Some women eventually figure out how to balance: they learn how to get some sleep, connect with the outside world and become comfortable with their new role. For many women, this balance is not as easy to attain. What are realistic expectations? What are normal sleep habits and patterns for newborns? What does breastfeeding really look like? How do you know you are doing the "right" things as you learn to care for your baby? Michelle Fonte, mom of six and co-founder of The Gathering Place offers this class in the spirit of helping new mothers navigate the terrain of the first months of life with their newborn, learn trust their natural instincts and discover (and embrace) their "new normal".

All About Pumping


For some moms the transition back-to-work after baby is a source of anxiety even before the baby arrives. For others, it seems to sneak up on you. Aside from managing the details of where & how your baby will be spend his/her day, wondering how to manage breastfeeding, pumping /bottlefeeding may seem like a big mystery. How will your know if you’re pumping enough? What kind of pump should you buy? How long can you freeze the milk? Does it go bad? Where will you store the milk while you’re at work?…This class is here to provide you with the tools you need to help ease your mind about the details of becoming a breastfeeding mother working outside the home.

Becoming a Father


Being prepared to be a new father doesn’t just mean decorating the baby’s room and buying loads of stuff, it means opening your mind to the fact that life will inevitably move to a different rhythm once your baby arrives and developing strategies for coping with it. If you are a new dad, you will, for the first time in your existence - become truly responsible for another person. Taught by an experienced father, this course is formatted to address the issues of fathering…providing the information and support to help fathers feel more involved and confident in the arena of childbirth and childrearing.

Baby's First Year


Deciding to homeschool is more than choosing the cirriculum or the books or the subject matter, it is a lifestyle choice. There are no hard and fast rules. There are many styles of homeschooling and you can adapt to one or more styles to suit your family. Families have a wide range of homeschooling approaches available to them including structured "classroom-like" teaching at home, unit studies where children explore a particular topic from all angles, co-op studies with several other families, and child-initiated learning. Additionally your child's learning style has a great impact on your success in homeschooling. In this workshop information about homeschooling in South Florida will be provided including links to guidelines, resources and curricula.  We will also discuss what homeschooling actually looks like, incorporating learning styles and adequately meeting the needs of your children and family as homeschoolers. This class is a follow-up to our Homeschooling 101 workshop. Although attendance at the 101 workshop is not a pre-requisite it is recommended as introductory topics will not be covered.

And Baby Makes Three


What really changes when you become a parent? Everything does - instantly. The first year of life with a new baby can present significant challenges in a couples’ relationship. Changing dynamics in the mother/father dyad, the refocus of attention to the baby and away from the couple, and increasing marital dissatisfaction are all common issues. This class will provide you with the tools you need to be able to meet these challenges and prepare for the adjustment a new baby will require. You will be given practical advice on how to make the transition to parenthood as smooth as possible. Topics covered will include common concerns in the early weeks postpartum, coping with sleep deprivation, dealing with emotional ups-and-downs, when to ask for help and where to get practical support. The course will focus on communication skills, effective co-parenting techniques to improve interactions with the new baby as well as keeping both partners actively involved in the child rearing process. There will be time for discussion and brainstorming and couples are encouraged to bring their individual concerns and questions . After this class, there will be opportunities for further communication with the instructor. 

Vaccinations A-Z


The U.S. government advises that by age 6, children should have vaccinations against 14 diseases, in at least two dozen separate doses. Vaccinations aren’t mandated–but they are strongly recommended by Federal law, and some schools require documentation of them or a good reason (like a religious one) for why they haven’t been completed before they’ll enroll a student. Nationally representative studies published in 2010 and 2011, surveying parents of kids age 6 and younger found that at least 1 in 10 toddlers and preschoolers were lagging behind or not following the recommended vaccination schedule. Parents still have options: refusing some shots, delaying others or abstaining entirely. The workshop is designed to give you a balanced look at pros and cons of vaccination so that you can make an educated decision. The facilitator will discuss each vaccination in the childhood series, providing explanation of the relative disease, how the vaccine is made, possible side effects, benefits and points to assess a child's at-risk level  when considering if the vaccine is necessary and schedule options.

Infant Massage


Massage increases bonding between baby and caregiver, helps to relax baby, facilitates optimum quality and quantity of infant sleep cycles and communicates caring through the universal language of touch. Babies love massage, even at an early age. We offer a single two-hour class and a four week series for those parents who want to build additional skills. Classes are 80 minutes in length and designed for caregivers and precrawlers. Over the course of four weeks we will cover connecting with your baby, learning to massage your baby using imagery, baby yoga stretches, intro to Reflexology and the integration of the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of infant massage. Our small group classes ensure that each parent and baby dyad receive personalized attention. Our classes are baby led, which means it's okay for your baby to cry. The group setting allows for parents to share and learn from each other while getting to know their babies better.

Baby-Led Weaning


It's true. There really is no need to cook food, blend it becomes a puree and then serve it to our little one on a spoon. If your baby is 6+ months and can sit upright unaided, then they are likely capable of handling real food. In a nutshell, baby-led weaning means skipping spoon-feeding purees and letting babies feed themselves finger foods right from the start—at about age 6+ months. Oral motor development is both learned and reflexive. There are developmental windows of readiness for chewing, swallowing, accepting textures and other aspects of feeding. They can eat at their own pace and engage their senses—exploring food through sight, touch, smell, and taste. Babies also develop hand-eye coordination and chewing skills, and are more likely to eat wholesome family meals sooner. Learn how to provide healthy and safe meals for each stage of your baby’s development. We’ll discuss how to make your own baby food, a timeline for introducing new foods and ways to make feeding your baby fun and easy. Learn how to successfully introduce solids and how to develop healthy eating habits for life. Topics discussed include: when is your baby developmentally ready, selecting and preparing food for your baby, which foods to introduce and when, product recommendations to make meal-time easier, how to identify food allergies and Tips and tricks on reading your baby’s food cues, vegetarian diets, and including water in your baby’s routine.

Newborn Sleep 101


In the transition from individual to becoming a parent, sleep sometimes takes center stage.  Your baby's sleep habits now dictate how much, or how little sleep you get.  So it’s not a wonder that the most commonly asked questions we hear from parents are about sleep.    “When will my child sleep through the night?”  “My child was sleeping through the night, and now he’s waking up again, what do I do?”  “Do I allow my child to continue sleeping in my bed, or should I transition him to his room?”  “My baby woke up crying, do I allow him to cry it out? Or should I go soothe him?”    Getting your baby settled in and sleeping well isn’t always an easy task. In fact, sometimes it can be quite challenging. The importance of adequate sleep, for both you and your baby, is severely underestimated. You don't have to "cry it out" to encourage healthy sleep habits in your child. This educational workshop is designed to help parents understand and encourage healthy sleep in newborns and what sleep “should” look like in the first year. Taught by a trained and certified sleep consultant, the workshop will cover a baby’s unique sleep patterns of those first 12 months, realistic expectations for sleep based on the baby’s age, and routines that can help establish positive sleep associations and promote good sleep habits. Time for questions and answers is provided. Time for questions and answers is provided.



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