It is never too early to take your baby to classes. I took my son to various baby development classes from his first month onwards. He transitioned successfully through each stage of development and these classes provided the structure needed for both physical and mental development.

These days, you can find a wealth of baby development classes designed for parents and babies to enjoy including: baby massage, swimming, music, yoga, music, artwork, baby signs, dancing and sports. These are creative outlets for babies to learn and flourish. Plus, it is a personal treat to get out of the house and meet other moms with their little ones on the same quest to develop confident children of tomorrow.

Month 1: First Step (Israeli-Methodology) Classes

My son enjoyed his First Step classes and he made great progress becoming calm and relaxed. These classes feature gentle interactions with babies through touch, massage, stroking and gentle voice techniques. At one month, my son only knew to cry to communicate with me, and many times I got his message wrong. Having done these motor and sensory classes, I understand his cues, even the difficult ones when he’s feeling overstimulated with this bright, busy world. I also received an immense amount of information, and became less worried about his development. Try other similar concepts and sensory programs in your neighbourhood.

Month 2: Swimming Classes

Swimming mimics the womb environment–fluid and low impact—creating the ideal environment for babies’ physical development. It is also a wonderful way to bond with your baby and get him more active. At two months, my son spent much of his time on his back. I started him on a swimming program, which helped build his flexor muscles and prepared him for new milestones: rolling over and lifting his head and legs. When he discovered the freedom of buoyancy, he became even more relaxed in this friendly, sociable environment.

Month 3: Music Classes

A music-rich environment has great benefits to helping babies master each milestone, so I now attend Music Together baby classes. Music stimulates the language centre of the brain and encourages communication. It taps into multiple skill sets through the senses. At three months, my son was babbling and in this stimulating environment he showed an eagerness to decode the words and symphonies he heard around him. Music Together and other similar early childhood music curriculum starts as early as one month.

Month 4: Baby Yoga Classes

Baby Yoga Classes, much like adult yoga, promotes healthy development of the mind, body and soul. It is an interactive exercise for both mum and baby that features: gentle body strokes, mini twists, mini stretches, and upper and lower body movements. At this class my son learned a few exciting short cuts to ease his transitions into new milestones such as head control, sitting, crawling, standing, and early steps. Baby Yoga is pioneered by Birthlight, a non-profit organisation with extensive experience in pregnancy, birth and baby.

Month 5: Baby Signing Classes

Baby Signing Classes will delight both parents and baby. Baby signing classes, like TinyTalk in the UK, teaches babies how to expand their communication skills to an exciting new level. This class came in handy for me as my son had reached a new milestone, adding new sounds to his repertoire.  Baby Signing Classes had a weekly theme to teach my son useful signs related to the family, bedtime rituals, play at home and in the park, and mealtime events. We had fun playing with the signs, plus my son and I read various types of books together to reinforce his new skill.

Month 6: Baby Dance (Coordination) Classes

At six months, it was fun watching my son bounce around to rhythmic beats or in imitation of my goofy dances. Soon I realised how much he could benefit from taking dance classes. Dance programs, such as a baby ballet syllabus, offers key stages of ballet and starts as early as six months. My son began a gradual process of movement that involved balance, coordination and rhythm. His appreciation for music and yoga were also reflected in these sessions, and of course the physical and social benefits built his confidence.

Month 7: Baby Sports Classes

At seven months, I introduced my son to a Baby Sports and Gymnastic-based development programme, and he absolutely loved it. These classes focus on developing babies’ fine motor skills including ball manipulation, grasping and leg movements. The curriculum is well-planned with qualified sports staff and weekly themes played out in a friendly, safe environment. Baby sports classes like The Little Gym offer a range of coordination activities suitable for all abilities.

Month 8: Baby Artwork Classes

Creating little Picassos at a stage when my son was pushing the boundaries on how messy he could get was perfect. These hands-on craft activities give him the tools to express himself with no restrictions. Cloaked in cute mess-proof garments, I watched as my son used developing hand-control techniques to grab, spread, push, and splatter paint over prepared surfaces. Art tools and messy hands were the vehicles of a limitless imagination. The Creation Station is one of several similarly structured art classes around town that benefit baby, toddler, and pre-schooler.

At 8 months when separation anxiety is part of a new milestone, my son is busy channelling much of his energy into bouncing around, holding and throwing balls while learning to become a self-assured little man.