Motherhood Mondays - Baby Classes/Baby Sign

Monday, 16 March 2015

Hello my FrootiMummys!

This weeks Motherhood Monday post is about baby classes that may be available in your area. 

To be fair I can only really comment on two classes I've attended so far - Baby Massage and Baby Sign, however I've heard Baby Yoga is like Baby Massage but without oil, but now my son's a bit too old to attend haha.


Baby Massage
credit: http://raisingchildren.net.au/verve/_resources/PIP-massage-2.gif
My local Baby Massage class had a large group of babies, all laid out in a circle in front of their mummies/carers and we were told we could bring our own oil, otherwise an oil is provided (tested first before use). Also recommended to bring along: towel and change of clothes.
The class consisted of every carer singing nursery rhymes along with the teacher/instructor, whilst she showed us different massage techniques on a baby dolly.

I was lucky enough to sit next to the instructor for the first session, which helped my bubba focus on her face rather than whether he liked being stripped down to his nappy in front of all these babies or not!
We learned different motions for the full body as well as techniques to help ease wind. The fun part for my bubba was when he was on his stomach and able to look around at all the other babies whilst enjoying a nice back massage.

I'd certainly recommend going to at least one baby massage class if there is one held near you as I found it fairly helpful to try new techniques I wouldn't have thought of at home after a bath for instance.

Baby Sign
credit: http://www.babysignlanguage.com/signs/drink.gif
Baby Sign (or Sign Language) is a fairly new concept whereby the babies are taught Sign Language and yes whilst most people associate Sign Language with deafness, this concept is to do with babies learning to communicate before they're able to speak, to ease frustration.

I first knew about Baby Sign when I saw my friend Ayan's son sign to her before he could talk and I knew there and then that one day my baby was going to go sign class!

The course is held over 6 weeks (1 hour sessions), usually with two instructors/teachers and at the end the babies get certificates too which is quite cute despite the fact they have no idea they're on a course haha.
my little superstar's certificate <3
The first session covers why Baby Sign is handy;
  • empowers babies to communicate earlier
  • boosts self confidence - can allow a baby to communicate frustrations
  • can help parents identify a baby's needs
  • enhances bonding/interaction
I have to add my own benefit for Baby Sign too- 
  • Multi lingual babies - if you plan on teaching your child more than one language, Baby Sign is a great way to use the Sign for an object/action in English, then reinforce it in the language you're also using (in my case Arabic).
I was quite impressed with this extra benefit when I discovered I could talk in both English and Arabic for the same Sign word and I'm interested to see if my little boy picks up on it.

The sessions consist of starting by saying Hello to each baby, then on to learning words of the day in Sign (e.g. one week Animals, one week Basics/Meal Times, Nappy/Bath time and so on).
The Sign words are used within Nursery rhymes that we sing together in a group with the actions to reinforce it to the babies who sometimes stare mesmerised at all these mummies/carers doing all the actions and singing.

There are also various activities that the instructors then do.. much to their own amusement at times which is funny for us parents to see too. Things like "what's in the bag" (followed by more relevant nursery rhymes related to the object pulled out), musical instruments and then bubbles!
The babies love the bubbles, the way their faces are in awe when the bubbles are falling around them is priceless.

I'm currently on my third course of Baby Sign and at the first course I noticed my little bubs was deeply concentrating and taking it all in with an expressionless face (which is weird for him as he would usually smile at anyone and everyone).

The second course we started attending with my cousin and her baby who he is familiar with and it was cute to see my little munchkin act like a big brother saying "look, its my class!" 
It was at the second course that he began to get confident and army crawl away from me to explore with the other babies.

Now on the third course, he's definitely confident and knows the routine; actually playing instruments, grabbing objects and of course staring intently at the bubbles and waiting for the instructor to blow them.

Sign language wise - he certainly learned the Meal Times/food related Sign words ("drink milk", "eat food" etc) and would grunt impatiently if I mentioned "drink milk". I now have to mime the word "milk" or "eat" to friends/family for fear of him thinking it's time to eat or drink haha

"Bath time" is another favourite of his, he knows what's to come if I sign for "bath" and bounces excitedly. He understands "Change Nappy" and "Sit" as well as "Lie Down/Sleep" so it's quite impressive to see this.

Honestly speaking, I think my baby is developing verbally/cognitively more than physically, so I'm yet to see him Sign himself, but I think he'll actually speak words before he learns to sign; he's constantly babbling away with different tones of voice which I'm sure he thinks is actual words but it's just handy for me to Sign whilst I do an activity and helps him concentrate on what I'm saying as opposed to be oblivious to noises coming out of my mouth lol.

Anyway!! 
As you can tell, I'm definitely a Baby Sign fan and would recommend any parents to take their child along to at least two courses if it's offered near them.

It does take practising at home too though, but to be fair the words taught at the class are things we'd be doing on daily basis a fair few times anyway seeing as babies eat poop and sleep more than anything haha.


So that's my verdict on the classes I've attended so far, I'd recommend getting out and about to any mum (especially new ones), it's great to meet other mums/parents and also actually feels good to get out for you and baby too with the change of scenery.


I'd love to know if you're a mum/carer who has attended any baby classes and what you thought, and I'd love any suggestions too!
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