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Behind The Scenes of Running Mom & Baby Classes As An OT

As a pediatric occupational therapist (OT) with a passion for working with babies, running mom & baby classes was a no-brainer addition to my practice.

The heart of my business is the aspiration of rebuilding the concept of the village of support. It’s all about supporting the well-being of new mothers and their babies. Ultimately to help their children develop into independent and successful people. All while using an attachment-focused and developmentally driven approach that is respectful and empowering.

I truly believe that as OTs we are perfect fit for supporting mothers in the post-partum period and running mom & baby classes is a great way to get started. As OTs, we can reduce the overwhelm the can come in the early stages of motherhood. As regulated health professionals, we can reduce overwhelm by providing access to credible information and an understanding of what is actually normal for babies (and mamas) at various stages. And then inviting mamas to tune into and listen to their mothering instincts. 

I have been running sold-out mom & baby classes in my community for the past 5 years. And it’s now my mission to pass on this confidence and attunement to mamas all over the world. But, I can’t do this alone, there’s a lot of deserving mamas in the world!  So I also help other pediatric therapists and post-natal professionals support mamas in their communities as well. By running their very own mom & baby classes too!

How My Journey in Running Mom & Baby Classes Began

Since having my first child just five years ago, I developed a strong passion for prenatal and postnatal women’s health. Especially focused on facilitating the bonding/attachment between mothers and babies, and helping mothers support their children’s development from the beginning of life. 

My newfound courage as a mother propelled me into starting my own private practice about 3 years ago, as an occupational therapist and new entrepreneur. I didn’t know that what started as an OT practice would grow into an entirely different entrepreneurial adventure. 

Since then, I have designed and started running Mom & Baby classes called Babies @ Play, that focus on infant development and community. It’s the culmination of knowledge I gained from various courses and professional collaborations. My work is influenced by a range of experts including: dance/movement therapists, yoga instructors, and infant mental health therapists. 

The 6-week class series addresses an unmet need in the community and in the lives of new mothers by combining the benefits of group support while also receiving individualized expert advice as needed. 

My goal with running mom & baby classes is to become a part of the participants’ “village” and to foster mothers’ support networks. This support is so beneficial in helping young mothers transition into one of the most important roles of their lives—that of being a mother.

For many, this new role of mothering brings with it many new, and at times challenging, activities such as feeding, dressing, playing, comforting, and responding to the constant needs of a newborn and infant.

Running Mom & Baby classes helps support these new activities, thus positively impacting the health and well-being of both mothers and babies. 

What exactly do my Babies @ Play Mom & Baby classes Cover?

Education is provided on various concepts to support women in their new role of mothering. It also supports them in learning to be successful play partners to encourage their baby’s growth and development.  

Concepts include:

  • Encouraging appropriate developmental movement patterns
  • Engaging in and enjoying babies’ “tummy time” (time spent on the stomach to support development of neck and back muscles) 
  • Supporting better sleep and digestion
  • Stimulating the sensory and motor systems for optimal development
  • Deepening bonding and attachment between mothers and babies
  • Playing engaging activities and games with babies as they grow 
  • Assisting in nervous system regulation
  • Supporting mothers emotionally so that they can support their children

It’s such a great format to share this valuable content in a fun way where mamas are actively doing the things I am teaching. 

My Goal Is To Spread the Benefits of Running Mom & Baby Classes Worldwide!

I realized early into teaching these mom & baby classes that I wanted more. I wanted to reach mamas all over the world, and I clearly could not do that by leading all the in-person classes.

And it was so clear more mamas wanted this type of class. I had mamas from around Toronto telling me how they wished they had these classes in their neighbourhoods. Asking me to start a class in their area. However, I can’t be everywhere…  So, I needed a way for others to be able to lead the classes so that mamas across the world could benefit. And so my creativity got to work and I built my very first online course! 

The Babies @ Play: Running Mom & Baby Classes Made Easy is an online course designed for pediatric therapists and post-natal professionals. It’s really for anyone with an interest in learning to support moms and babies in a class format with a focus on infant development. 

It is a comprehensive course with content videos, song/activity demo videos, a complete course workbook with supplemental handouts. It even includes templates to help with class structure, re-cap emails, documentation, invoicing, and so much more! It’s really the complete package with all the good of what I completed while still leaving room for people to make it their own. 

I could never in my wildest dreams have imagined how needed this course was! So many pediatric therapists and post-natal professionals had been thinking about running their own mom & baby classes but didn’t know where to start. It brings me so much joy to see all these wonderful professionals wanting to better the lives of the mamas in their communities around the world! And I am pumped I am able to provide a path to make this dream easier for them!

And then of course we got hit by COVID, and the largest pandemic our world has seen in decades, and perhaps this century!  Well, as you can imagine, I really had to pivot my in-person Babies @ Play classes for the mamas too!

Virtual Classes Have Been A Hit!

2020 and COVID-19 has pushed my groups into the virtual space, as it did for many others. Up to this point, I had been running all my classes in-person at various perinatal women’s health clinics and studios around the Toronto area. 

 At first, I was a little hesitant as to whether we could garner the same feeling of community & support. Plus, I doubted my ability to facilitate the class virtually, through Zoom. But, my doubts were quickly laid to rest and virtual classes have gone surprisingly well!  

The mamas are able to come and connect, to learn, to ask questions.I am still able to see the babies and help with positioning through the computer screen (albeit using my words rather than my hands). It’s amazing how you can facilitate with words and a baby doll!

And, with the entrepreneurial spirit in me, I quickly realized that it would be pretty awesome, and not so difficult to create an on-demand option for mamas to purchase as well. These pre-recorded classes cover all the content from my mama and baby classes. So that mamas can follow along with their babies without needing to commit to the specific times that my classes are offered. 

My journey with Babies @ Play has been amazing! And it’s not close to over!  

Though it has not always been easy, I love my new role of being a mother and nurturing the importance of play & development with my two children, as well as with my clients. I believe the best way to encourage learning and optimal growth is through guided play, laughter, and fun in a supportive and positive environment.

I’m thankful for the passion that kept me going when developing my classes with mamas. That same passion helped me to develop my online course to educate other leaders. I’m dedicated to continuing to host my classes in my own neighbourhood (virtually for now). Plus, I’m excited to welcome more professionals into the amazing community supporting mothers. 

If you’re a mama interested in joining Babies at Play class, check out my website where I outline current options including live-virtual classes and the on-demand recordings. 

Click here to get details on Babies @ Play!

Interested in running your own classes?  Start by enrolling in Babies @ Play: Running Mom & Baby Classes Made Easy…. This will be the easiest path to success, without the overwhelm and time…I promise 🙂

Click here to learn more about running your own classes.

Kaili Ets

Kaili Ets

I help overwhelmed and exhausted moms create a clear action plan around their baby's sleep, developmental, reflux, and overall functioning so they can tune into and trust their mama instincts and feel like the confident super moms they are.

hi! I'm Kaili!

Lovingly known as the Holistic Baby Guru. I have a passion for normalizing and bringing clarity around baby sleep, development, reflux, and more. Wife and mom of two, I understands the importance of trusting your mama instincts. I am on a mission to help mamas tune into their intuition and feel like the confident super moms they are. I like to think of myself as an approachable authority on all things baby-related, as that I provides down-to-earth advice that makes everyone feel like they can do this parenting thing!

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