July 20, 2019 at 02:00PM by CWC
Living in the city that never sleeps is fun when you’re hungry for chaos at all hours of the night. It’s less fun, however, when you and your baby are skipping zzz’s for reasons that have nothing to do with bright lights or crowded bars. If there’s any city in which to enter parenthood fully prepared to avoid not only this but all other less-than-savory scenarios involving your child, it’s New York City. But because your search for “best parenting classes near me New York City” likely yielded a barrage of results, knowing where to start is tricky.
Options in NYC abound when it comes to parental education, so the challenge isn’t so much finding the help as it is finding the right help. No matter your values and beliefs, the following curated list should help you narrow your options to find resources that work for you.
Found: 10 great answers to your “parenting classes near me New York City” search.
Brooklyn-based Birth Day Presence is a winner of the Red Tricycle Totally Awesome Awards in the category of “Best Parent Education Programs”—so it’s clearly no slouch. Its founder, Jada Shapiro, is often cited as a parenting expert, too. At Birth Day’s Park Slope, Greenpoint/Williamsburg, and Union Square locations, childbirth education is the focus, with course-length offerings designed to fit every schedule (e.g. four-day, two-day, one-day, and crash). The company also offers a class that combines basics to know about newborn care, breastfeeding intel, and infant safety and CPR.
Also a Red Tricycle winner, the Henry Street Settlement Parent Center dates back to 1893 and was founded by social-work and public-health pioneer Lillian Wald. The space serves Lower East Side parents and, somewhat miraculously, the 6- to 12-week courses are free. Options include a 6-week program for expecting mothers, a 6-week program for mothers with babies over age 2, and a 12-week “parenting journey” course for both partners. The center also hosts six-week parenting groups for those who have children, those who have teenagers, and those who have children with special needs.
265 Henry St, New York, NY 10002
Tribeca Pediatrics sprung from one doctor’s desire to treat his young patients more like a country doctor than a big city one. He ran the original practice from his own home, and as business grew so too did its offerings. Tribeca Pediatrics now gives parenting classes in addition to pediatric medicine in three locations: Tribeca, Prospect Heights, and Chelsea. Traditional childbirth (read: hospital versus home) classes are available, as are courses on the essentials of infant care, breastfeeding/feeding, and safety. There’s also a “Boot Camp for Dads” through renowned organization NYC Dads Group, which focuses its efforts on helping parenting partners feel empowered during a baby’s early days.
4. City Births
City Births is run by a former investment banker who got the baby business bug after becoming a parent. The organization’s five locations, scattered across midtown and Upper Manhattan, offer courses aimed at preparing parents for childbirth and all that comes after. Such classes include birth prep (with specialized versions catering to LGBTQ+ families and those pressed for time), infant care, breastfeeding, CPR and safety, and another boot-camp-esque class for partners (also through NYC Dads Group).
After working in both hospitals and birthing centers, Stork & Cradle founder Tamara Hawkins felt that both reinforced new parents’ ideologies around childbirth without preparing them for the unpredictability of the real deal. After her own labor, which she had elected to experience medication-free, turned into a C-section after 48 hours, she became passionate about women learning about childbirth in a comprehensive manner that marries holistic and Western practices. Stork & Cradle’s birthing classes provide just that, and the school also offers similarly well-rounded courses in breastfeeding, baby care, and infant CPR. Hawkins is available as a lactation consultant for parents who are interested in the personalized assistance.
This Bronx-based business has been operating for 15 years, and founder Cynthia Fields has been working in the parental-education field for 10 years longer than that. As such, the Parenting Training Network has become a staple in the New York City parenting classes scene, and what sets it apart is the breadth and specificity of its courses. Workshops are inclusive of parents who have children with special needs, older children, and teenagers, and those who are concerned about raising a child in the digital world.
1866 Washington Ave, 2nd Floor, Bronx, NY 10457
If you’re looking for a bargain, this is it: Some of NYU Langone Health’s Parent Education Courses are free, and most are far less pricey than offerings at other facilities. Plus, not only are standard classes in childbirth prep and baby care on offer, but less common classes—including one aimed to help your dog adjust to the new baby, another for first-time grandparents, one for carseat installation, another for parents of multiples, and more—are, too. (P.S. many hospitals offer parenting classes, so you may want to check with your delivery hospital if that feels easier, more comfortable, or more convenient.)
Founded in 1874, the 92nd Street Y is storied AF, with many famous names parading through its doors as educators in various fields (Martha Graham! Margaret Atwood! Susan Sontag!) And while your parenting teachers may not be as famous as these marquee names, you can bet they are as skilled. A wide array of classes are on offer here, including new-parent primers and extending to courses for grandparents, second-time moms and dads, those trying to navigate their kids’ early schooling, and much more (even baby massage is on the table). Multiple times are offered for each class, too, which makes the 92nd Street Y ideal for busy parents with tough schedules.
1395 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10128
Founded by Trinidad and Tobago native Andrea Syms-Brown—a certified lactation consultant, infant massage instructor, and newborn care educator—Baby in the Family offers a two classes focused on the basics of baby care at various locations. One is a two-hour course covering newborn basics meant to be taken 4 to 12 weeks before the due date, and the other is a deep dive into breastfeeding. Baby in the Family also facilitates what’s known in Trinidadian slang as breastfeeding “limes,” aka hangouts for new moms, and Syms-Brown offers at-home breastfeeding assistance, which can include a 10-hour overnight educational experience.
When the Parent Collective founder Jessica Hill gave birth to her children in the United Kingdom, she was amazed by the services charity the National Childbirth Trust offered. The organizations organized parenting classes by neighborhood and due date so new parents enter the experience with both knowledge and a built-in support system around their home. Upon returning to the America, Hill launched the Parent Collective with the aim of replicating that program. Among the offerings is a couple’s prenatal class, meant for both learning and socializing, which covers birth, breastfeeding, burping, and beyond. The Parent Collective’s locations also feature several workshops, like Healthy Sleep Habits, Promoting Positive Sibling Relationships, Surrogacy and Adoption, Transitioning Back to Work, Traveling with Babies and Small Children, and more.
Because there’s no such thing as too much knowledge, here are 3 tips for navigating major parenting milestones while staying true to yourself. Speaking of which, yogi Hilaria Baldwin uses (what else?) yoga techniques to attack the toughest pose of all: motherhood.