Do I need to enroll my baby in a class?

Infant classes are touted as a way to boost your baby's growing brain. But do babies really need it?

Learning Stages

By Candace Lindemann

Children's Author & Education Consultant

Candace Lindemann is a published children’s writer and educational consultant. She holds a B.A. from Yale University and an M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. You can also find Candace blogging at While Candace’s degrees prepared her for a career in education, she’s found that the best preparation for parenting is on-the-job training.

When my first child was four months old, we joined a music and movement class. The brochure touted the effects music has on the developing brain.

Honestly, though, I needed the class more than my baby did. I was going out of my mind from the isolation of new motherhood in a strange place. While I was disappointed there wasn't much time to chat with other moms, I did learn some fun ways to play with my baby. We did cute little flips, dangled silk scarves in front of chubby little hands and sang nursery rhymes.

The truth is babies are an easy audience. All they really want and need is mom or dad's attention and cuddling. And they can play the same game several times a day, every day, for months. You know how a three-year-old will have PB&J for lunch every day? In the same way, an infant never tires of peekaboo.

However, games and toys are useful for keeping adults engaged in play. We crave novelty, even if babies do not. A few carefully chosen toys and a little research into infant games can help maintain your interest and reassure you that your parenting instincts are on the right track.

If indulging in a class helps you enjoy new parenthood, go for it. On the other hand, don't worry that your baby is missing out if a class does not fit in your budget, schedule or lifestyle!