Congratulations! You’re a mom (or dad)!
Being a parent is the most important job you will ever have. It is unbelievably rewarding, amazing and breathtaking, but it can also be exhausting, stressful and, at times, lonely! As a parent it is important to make connections with other moms or dads and continue to feel like part of a community. A great way to do that is through Mommy and Me classes and programs!
When my son was almost one, I enrolled us in a Mommy and Me class at the Little Gym. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. Not only did it allow my son and I to bond on another level, it also helped me build lifelong friendships with other moms. Besides connecting you with the mom/dad community, Mommy and Me classes and programs offer amazing developmental benefits for children. There are also significant benefits for parents!
10 Benefits of Mommy and Me Classes
Helps Increase Mobility and Independence: Participating in Mommy and Me classes helps babies and toddlers strengthen muscles thus making crawling and walking easier. Through play, kids’ mobility is increased which in turn increases their independence.
Enhances Social Awareness: Mommy and Me classes allow kids (and adults) to interact with others. It exposes babies to new people which means new sights and sounds as well. It also allows babies to see how others will react to their behaviors which is critical for social development.
Provides Sensory Stimulation: Mommy and Me classes of any kind from yoga to gymnastics to swimming allow for sensory stimulation for babies and toddlers. Children learn best when using all their senses so engaging in a class that provides visual, auditory, physical and tactile stimulation is extremely beneficial for overall growth.
Increases Confidence: As a child increases his independence as stated above, they also boost their overall confidence. They feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when they are able to crawl through an obstacle course or slide down an incline mat. The greater their confidence, the greater their development.
Fosters Language Development: As kids play and watch others, they are taking in language. They are listening to what everyone says from the parents to the kids to the teachers. This allows them to develop vocabulary and increase auditory skills. Participating in Mommy and Me classes also helps children understand how to follow directions.
Encourages a Healthy Lifestyle: Mommy and Me classes usually involve physical movement of some sort. This helps children realize at a very young age that exercise is important for healthy development. These classes also help parents stay active during a time when getting to the gym really is not much of an option!
Allows Moms to Make Connections: Participating in Mommy and Me classes allows parents to meet other parents. It allows you to learn from others as well as make new friends. It helps create a support system and validate some feelings of stress you may be experiencing.
Increases Muscle Strength and Motor Development: Mommy and Me classes that involve physical movement such as gymnastics and swimming helps babies and toddlers develop large and small muscles allowing for greater overall motor development. These classes also help improve coordination and balance.
Improves Mood: We have all heard that exercising improves mood, but did you know Mommy and Me Classes can do the same thing? Besides getting you out of the house and meeting new people, it also gets you up and physically active which helps release endorphins. This chemical helps improve mood and diminish the perception of pain! This is especially important for those that experience symptoms of postpartum depression.
Strengthens the Parent/Child Bond: Taking a class with your child helps you connect on a different level without the pressure of feeding, crying and burping! It allows you to relax and have fun with your child. You can laugh and play with each other as well as learn what your child likes and dislikes with regard to play.