Baby classes can provide your child with valuable skills for his or her future development and are a great way for you to bond. You could also find that heading to class is a fun way to meet new mums. With so many classes to choose from, it can be hard to know which ones are right for your baby. We’ve rounded up the kinds of baby classes on offer to help you make up your mind.

Special needs? Mainstream classes could still be perfect for you

Special needs baby classes

If your baby has special needs he or she will more than likely be able to attend a mainstream baby class, though it's worth checking with the class instructor first, in case there's anything specific you need to be aware of beforehand. During various classes your baby’s motor and social skills can be improved. Certain classes, such as baby painting and storytelling, can be great fun and therapeutic at the same time. Find out if there are special need classes in your area.

Get story-telling to boost your baby's ability to communicate

Story and rhyme classes

Although babies won’t be able to fully grasp what you're saying, listening to your speech can help boost your baby’s ability to communicate and build up an understanding of how speech is used. This also has advantages for you, as it can help you bond with your baby. Even if you can’t get to a story or rhyme time class, you can still enjoy story or rhyme time at home. Find out if you have any story and rhyme classes near you.

Bop along at baby disco

Baby disco

Although regular weekly classes are usually aimed at toddlers aged 2 years and older, many recurring events are held all over the country for babies from 6 months of age. Baby disco is one such event and can help your baby develop an appreciation for music and explore how to respond to music with their body. It’s also a great way for you to bond. See if your local area has any baby disco classes.

It's gym, but not as us adults know it!

Baby gym

Baby gym encourages your baby to explore his or her surroundings and develop physical abilities in a fun and safe environment. Age-appropriate challenging circuits are laid out for your baby to try and conquer. Sensory play is slowly becoming a big part of baby gym classes so sensory equipment and activities may be included to stimulate your baby. Find out where your local baby gym classes are.

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Improve your baby social and physical skills at active baby class

Active baby classes

Active baby classes put the emphasis on enjoyment and are fun-filled and energetic. The classes help your baby boost his or her social skills as well as their range of physical skills, such as balance, agility and co-ordination. There are many active baby classes nationwide including Tumbletots and Gymboree. See what type of active baby classes your area offers.

Communicate with your child before they can even talk

Baby signing

Baby signing is a way of communicating with your baby before he or she is able to talk. It may help you understand your baby’s needs and feelings. Although classes start from birth, babies 6 months and older benefit more from the lessons. Babies will be encouraged to copy hand signals and it can take up to six weeks before they are able to sign back confidently. Find out if there are local baby signing classes near you.

Baby massage may help your little one feel secure and relaxed

Baby massage

Baby massage is suitable from birth but some classes may ask you to wait until your newborn is 6 weeks old. Massaging can help develop your relationship with your baby as the gentle touching can help your baby feel secure and well attached. Research has suggested that baby massage may help reduce crying and relieve teething and colic symptoms. See if your local area offers baby massage classes.

Baby swimming class is fun and boosts confidence in the water

Baby swimming classes

Swimming classes help your baby become confident and comfortable in the water, and may benefit him or her when it comes time for formal swimming lessons. Spending time in a pool can also help strengthen vital organs, and improve strength and stamina. Have a look to see if your local area offers baby swimming classes.

Discover your baby's love of music

Baby music classes

Baby music classes can be an excellent introduction to music. Props and instruments are sometimes provided to help keep your baby entertained. Classes are often structured to build on a baby’s ability to respond to music. Companies such as Monkey Music and Jo Jingles offer baby music classes nationwide. See where baby music classes are held in your local area.