June 26, 2019 at 03:00AM by CWC
You learned all about geometry, chemistry, classic literature and the like in school—but absolutely nothing about creating and caring for a new human, an objectively important matter. And while you’d love to rely on pros who have already graduated from the subject parenting for intel, your own parents (who did an MVP-worthy job of raising you) live far away from your current home in Southern California. Where, then, do you turn to for help navigating the tricky, high-stakes transition? Cut to you, googling “parenting classes near me Los Angeles.”
Luckily, assistance abounds throughout the City of Angels. From birth to breastfeeding and sleep-training to and beyond, LA is replete with educational opportunities for inexperienced or simply overwhelmed parents. Offerings are diverse, too: Some lean woo-woo while others are more grounded in technicalities, meaning you can mix and match to meet your individual needs and desires.
Still, becoming a parent in Los Angeles can feel as though you’ve inadvertently entered into a race of “Who did it best?” So, here are nine of the top parenting centers in town to give yourself an edge while also finding a like-minded community of peers who will tell you, “It’s good enough,” when you need to hear it most.
Consider your search for “Parenting classes near me Los Angeles” solved with 9 great offerings below.
At this brick-and-mortar brainchild of doula-to-the-stars Erica Chidi Cohen, parenting classes span from 101-type educational opportunities, such as Baby Care Basics, a two-hour session that focuses on the bare bones of keeping your baby alive, to more specialized courses such as First Foods, which zeroes in on transitioning wee ones to the world of solids. There are also eight-week-long baby groups that serve as support as well as school: One tract is for parent and baby and the other is for two parents and baby, and they cover everything from sex and intimacy after birth to language learning for the littles. Though Loom, you can also get help troubleshooting issues at your home, such as feeding, as well as one-on-one coaching to aid you in things like meal-time battles and temper tantrums. Classes catered to those in the LGBTQ+ community and those who are adopting are on offer as well.
5259 W Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90019
The Pump Station is perhaps most well-known for its cadre of lactation consultants, but the business is no slouch in other areas of parental education—non-breast-related classes include CPR and home safety, sleep training (for various stages of development), “ask a pediatrician,” baby sign language, diet/cooking for healthy babies, and more. More nuanced workshops are also on offer, such as one providing counseling for parents who are worried about getting their little ones into preschool (LA problems!), as well as courses for first-time grandparents, or those expecting multiples. Concierge services—e.g. installing car seats or getting those aforementioned lactation magicians to your home for some SOS help—are available, too.
1248 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90038; 2415 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403
If you’re overwhelmed by everything you’re supposed to know about parenting and worried you’re going to get it all wrong, you may want to check out the celebrity-beloved RIE philosophy taught at two LA locations. The company’s simple, reassuring message is that your baby knows best, so you should follow their lead rather than trying to micromanage their every experience. With RIE, the idea is not to treat children or babies like children or babies—no pacifiers, sippy cups, flashy toys, or baby talk—but rather to interact with them as you would any other (older) human. Because this is a way of life, crash courses aren’t on offer here; instead, 90-minute weekly classes run for the entire first two years of a baby’s life and cover all relevant stages throughout that period.
6720 Melrose Avenue, 2nd floor, Los Angeles, CA 90038; 975 E Green Street, Suite A, Pasadena, CA 91106
This San Marino-based space—founded by a mom astounded by the void of community support she encountered after having twins—offers parenting classes that span the pregnancy to preschool time frame. Newborn care, infant CPR and first aid, and other essential, one-off courses are offered alongside eight-week-long educational baby groups and toddler-and-me programs. And if you return to work only to find that your employer is clueless about how to support new parents, the Family Room offers consulting services specifically for businesses.
2130 Huntington Drive, San Marino, CA 91108
This unique program has been around for 41 years, and all of the teachers employed to instruct within it have either graduate degrees or at least 20 years of experience. Unlike other parenting schools, though, this one takes kids from birth to college, meaning you’re able to find education and support for babies, toddlers, tweens, teens, and everything in between. There is a religious tinge to the school, but curriculums focus primarily on parenting challenges above all else.
626 Foothill Blvd, La Cañada, CA 91011
6. Bini Birth
If you’re the type to procrastinate (or, you know, you’ve just been busy!) and are now scrambling to learn what you feel you need to know in a day, Bini might be a good place to start. The center offers a half-day crash course in baby care, which covers everything from swaddling and baby gear to umbilical cord care. There are also childbirth classes (with single-day and weekend-workshop options) for couples, aimed at empowering parents to make the best decisions for themselves and baby. Breastfeeding classes are also regularly on offer, and Bini Birth hosts guest instructors frequently.
13743 Riverside Drive, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Doula Cheryl K. Baker’s westside shingle offers a broad education from a number of diverse instructors, including Baker herself. Learn about the basics of birth and options available to you so you’re empowered to voice your preferences when it comes time for delivery. Baby care courses on breastfeeding, infant CPR, infant massage, and more are also available. Birth Partners also hosts educational support groups, including one for first-time moms older than 40.
1750 Ocean Park Blvd. Suite 206, Santa Monica, CA 90405
Run by two women of color—Kimberly Durdin, a mother of six, lactation consultant, student midwife, doula, and childbirth educator, and Allegra Hill, a home-birth midwife, doula, and lactation consultant—Kindred Space aims to help narrow the race gap in pre and post-natal care. Here, the focus is mainly on birthing, and what happens immediately afterward. Breastfeeding and weaning classes are also on offer, as are support and education groups, categorized by the baby’s age.
6820 La Tijera Blvd #202, Los Angeles CA 90045
Few questions plague new parents quite like, “How the f*** do we get this kid to go to sleep?” At Sleepy Planet, there are multiple avenues offering help on this subject, like group classes and private consultations in your home. The aim is to minimize crying while still teaching babies to fall and stay asleep with ease. Toddlers can also be tough to put to bed, and Sleepy Planet offers assistance for them, too. The company’s two locations offer a wide array of specialized baby groups for support and education purposes, as well as private sessions to help you tackle specific parenting issues as they arise.
10850 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 850, Los Angeles, CA 90024; 860 Via de la Paz, Suite F6, Pacific Palisades, CA 90702
If you can’t make it to one of these parenting classes IRL, don’t despair—technology offers solutions. On a related tip, you may want to watch this blogger’s childbirth video for a very candid look at what to expect when you’re expecting.