Baby Gym Benefits
Winter for a parent with a young baby can be quite challenging. Being cooped up inside along with minimal adult interaction strongly adds to the risk of a postpartum depression episode. Many parents are not even aware that baby gyms exist and how life changing they can be. For this reason, we have decided to go over what to expect in a good baby gym and the benefits attending a weekly baby class will have on both parent and child.
Like anything, not all baby gyms are created equal. We strongly feel that the My/Mon Gym franchise stands out for the following reasons:
- They have classes for children as young as 6 weeks which makes it ideal at preventing postpartum depression.
- The instructors are very dynamic.
- They use upbeat music that babies just love.
Each My/Mon Gym class consists of the following:
- Exploration of toys and equipment.
- Discussion topic (6 weeks - 6 months).
- Separation play time where parents are at the opposite end of the room and the kids are with an instructor (7 months and older).
Getting out and talking with other parents has the following benefits:
- Relieves feelings of isolation and depression.
- Being able to relate to other parents builds self-confidence as a parent.
- Hearing about personal experiences of other parents can help solve personal challenges.
Child's Physical Health
- Tiring out the baby in the daytime with a class helps foster good overnight sleep habits.
- Children are more confident to try something new or uncomfortable when they see other children doing it (e.g. tummy time).
- Skills teach your child how to place their hands in case of emergency (e.g. they automatically put their arms out when they fall).
- Allowing your child to explore all the different toys, textures and equipment in the gym helps them develop fine motor skills and reflexes.
- Attending a class once a week will help slowly build up antibodies before beginning daycare.
Child's Social Development
- Exposing children to each other inside the gym makes them more sociable with other children outside of the gym.
- Becoming comfortable around other children while the parent is still present helps ease the daycare transition later on (one big change instead of two).
- Exercises that are done alone with the instructor help prevent the development of separation anxiety later on.
- Separation play time also helps prevent the development of separation anxiety later one.