Category Archives for Baby Yoga

What is Baby Yoga & Play?

Our class is a little different . . . .

baby yoga classThere are a lot of yoga studios advertising parent & baby classes, but it’s sometimes hard to tell from the descriptions what will actually happen in class.

Some instructors focus exclusively on mom. They keep the lights low and the room warm in the hopes that baby will sleep.

Some instructors incorporate infant massage and movements in the first few minutes of class and then shift their attention to adult yoga for the rest of the class.

In a lot of classes, baby’s roll is relegated to being used as a weight, albeit a very cute one.

While there’s nothing wrong with any of these approaches, that’s not what we are doing at Breathing Space.

baby yoga class

Baby Yoga & Play focuses on the interaction between baby and caregiver with lots of baby-centric activities, but we do incorporate postpartum appropriate stretching and strengthening for caregivers.

baby in tummy time poseBabies participate while on their backs, tummies, or held in loving arms. For grownups, this class is a special opportunity to meet other parents and caregivers, get support, and learn about baby’s emerging personality

As a parent and a long time yoga student, I just loved the baby-centric Itsy Bitsy Yoga classes I took with my daughter during maternity leave – way back in the 5th Street Capitol Hill Yoga studio era.

Itsy Bitsy Yoga for Tots with Jen Mueller

My zen baby (ha!) upside-down

I was back to working 3/4 time by the time my daughter was 2 months old. Our weekly baby yoga class was a time for me to drop-the to-do lists and rushing around that is a fact of modern life and just enjoy my baby in a community of parents for an hour a week.

Yes, I  always left feeling better in my body than I arrived, but during a time in my life that was sometimes disorientating and not all sunshine and rainbows, I left feeling just plain better.

Baby & Me Yoga Class

We blend baby moves with postures for parents

So, grownups in Baby Yoga & Play will also get to do a bit of postpartum-appropriate yoga themselves, including strength- and flexibility-building postures, breathing exercises, and relaxation techniques to address common physical complaints and mental/emotional stressors during the new-parent period.

Breathing Space Baby Yoga & Play series also incorporates developmental topics and time for parent-to-parent support during class. Our hope is that the community built in yoga will carry over into friendships and playdates off the mat.

Yoga class was a special time and both my daughter and I loved it. That’s what we are trying to continue with Baby Yoga & Play at Breathing Space.

__

jen headshot

Jennifer Mueller has been teaching yoga for children and families in Washington DC since 2008. Jen is a Yoga Alliance® Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RTY 200) and Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher (RCTY) as well as a Certified Educator of Infant Massage, and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).

Jen teaches Breathing Space Baby Yoga & Play classes, Tot, Toddler and Little Families Yoga, afterschool classes, and directs day-off and summer camps . . . in addition to doing a bunch of behind the scenes stuff to keep it all running.

Effective Nov 1, 2018 – Baby Yoga & Play classes are offered in 3-6-week series. Full registration required, no drop-ins.

moms and babies in yoga classWe know it’s hard to get out of the house with a newborn, that naps are sometimes unpredictable, and life can be complicated . . .  and that’s why we are requiring series registration for this class.  

Committing to the whole series makes it infinitely more likely that you actually attend. It far too easy to say “oh, I’ll go next week” if you are planning on dropping in. If you end up with an unavoidable conflict, illness, or disrupted nap-time, you can take advantage of our generous makeup policy.

Make Up Options for Baby Yoga & Play

baby & me yoga, warriorsBecause it’s hard to convince babies to be born and maternity leaves to be set on our schedule, we offer lots of flexibility:

  • If students must miss a class, they are welcome to
    • attend any other appropriate class as a makeup within the same timeframe, or
    • bring a friend to class as a makeup.
      See makeup class FAQs for details.
  • Any of baby’s favorite grownups are welcome in this class – mom, dad, grandparent, nanny . . .  and the same adult need not attend each time. Registration is for one adult-baby on a weekly basis, but occasional visitors are welcome to attend as well.
  • Partial registration: If there is room in the class once the series begins, late registration will remain open for the first 1/3 of the series. Registration automatically prorates. If you can’t complete a series but can commit to 2/3 of the series in consecutive weeks – say because you are going back to work before our series ends – contact us about partial enrollment.

So what does this mean?

  • If a full series conflicts with work or travel, feel free to attend multiple times a week during the weeks you can attend.
  • If you are going back to work and baby will be home with a nanny or other caregiver, feel free to have them attend in your stead.

Still not sure if Baby Yoga & Play is right for you? That’s why we have a no-risk registration policy. If you attend your first class and decide it’s not a good fit, we make it easy to drop a class series.  Read all of our class policies and FAQs.

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Baby Yoga & Play series registration:

Nov 14 @ 11:30 am – 12:30 pm Shenanigans Art Space
This class for newborn to precrawling babies and their grownup(s) contains dozens of yoga-inspired movements, postures, songs, rhymes and activities designed to support baby’s development. Each class is filled with calming, nurturing ways to enhance… Continue Reading What is Baby Yoga & Play?
Nov 28 @ 11:30 am – 12:30 pm Shenanigans Art Space
This class for newborn to precrawling babies and their grownup(s) contains dozens of yoga-inspired movements, postures, songs, rhymes and activities designed to support baby’s development. Each class is filled with calming, nurturing ways to enhance… Continue Reading What is Baby Yoga & Play?
Dec 5 @ 11:30 am – 12:30 pm Shenanigans Art Space
This class for newborn to precrawling babies and their grownup(s) contains dozens of yoga-inspired movements, postures, songs, rhymes and activities designed to support baby’s development. Each class is filled with calming, nurturing ways to enhance… Continue Reading What is Baby Yoga & Play?
Dec 9 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Hill Center
This class for newborn to pre-crawling babies and their grownup(s) contains dozens of yoga-inspired movements, postures, songs, rhymes and activities designed to support baby’s development. Each class is filled with calming, nurturing ways to enhance… Continue Reading What is Baby Yoga & Play?

Yoga Class FAQs: Baby, Tot, Kids, and Family Yoga

baby yoga class, centeringWe get lots of questions by phone and email, but sometimes it helps just to put them out there:

Early Childhood Yoga FAQs

We often here from parents that they are hesitant to enroll if they aren’t sure their child will enjoy a class. We get it. That’s why we have our:

No Risk Refund Policy – Not sure if a kids & family series class will be right for you or your child? Register and come to the first class. If you notify us in writing within 48 hours after the first class that you will not be able to continue the session, we refund all but $2o for that first class.

We are also very flexible about switching classes for students who have nap time shifts during the course of a series. For example, if your child is enrolled in an 11 am class and starts napping at that time, we’ll happily switch her into one of our 9 or 9:30 am classes instead.

Yes! That’s Tot Yoga, which is for crawlers (or near crawlers) and walkers up to 24 months.

preschooler yoga class, massageYes, please do. We often have younger siblings in tow for Little Families Yoga classes. They are welcome to nap or be in arms during class. No charge for non-walking siblings, just bring them along.

Learn more about Early Childhood Yoga

marching game, preschooler yogaYes. Siblings attending the same class are eligible for 1/2 price registration. Children older than 1 yr must register (no charge for infants younger than that). See our pricing and discounts page.
Typically we can accommodate siblings 1 year younger than the stated age range, so 1 yr olds in Little Families Yoga (2-4 yrs) and 3 yr olds in Family Yoga (4-8 yrs).

Absolutely. Your child is welcome to bring any grownup they want with them to class. Up to 2 caregivers may attend class on a weekly basis. Additional visitors may attend occasionally and are encouraged to participate. Please be considerate of space constraints when bringing guests.

Nope, sorry. We don’t offer drop-in options for classes for crawling or older children or trial classes during the regular session.  Children really do need the consistency of a weekly class both for comfort and so they can best learn and drop-ins can be disruptive to the class routine. Read more.

tot yoga game with bolstersSince it often takes several classes for a child to settle in, dropping in once is not really the best indicator of whether your child will enjoy class. However, we get that it can be tough to commit to a class when you can’t imagine what happens or how your child will react, so:

  1. We occasionally offer trial/drop-in days, when the teacher will spend a little extra time explaining the class routine and parents get a chance to see a class in action.
  2. We have a no-risk refund policy. If you register for a class and decide for any reason it’s a bad fit for you, your child, or your schedule, and you decide early in the series, you can drop the class and get a prorated refund. See details.

We also understand that life is unpredictable and have a generous makeup policy for families that wish to commit to a series but know they will miss a class or two.

Amalie teaching Little Families, preschooler yogaProbably Toddler Family Yoga, but get in touch if you think the slower, slightly less boisterous environment of Tot Yoga might be a better fit. Learn more about Early Childhood Yoga classes.

Yep. We move a ton.

Generally, if you are enrolling in a class for your child’s age, we are prepared for your child to behave in age-appropriate ways.

kids yoga bowFor Little Families Yoga (2-4 yrs), we don’t use yoga mats and instead move all over the room. Some of our students are always on the go and that’s really quite alright. Some toddlers seriously need to move in order to pay attention. Those are the students parents assure me do the yoga poses at home, just never in class. Sometimes those students join in briefly whenever their favorite activities come up and then go back to running in circles. It’s all good.

For Kids or Family Yoga (ages 3-6, or 4+), we do use mats and are beginning to learn to be on the mats for much of the class. Class is still super active, we move off mats for all sorts of games, and we don’t expect stillness from young children.

If your child has special needs, it is helpful to check in ahead of time so the instructor can be prepared and think through lessons and activities with your child’s needs in mind. We are happy to have you enroll and decide after the first class or two if it is the right fit. Again though, check in with the instructor. Parents are typically more worried about possible disruptive behavior than our yoga teachers and will work with you on strategies to help your child succeed in class.

Tot yogaAbsolutely. It sometimes takes a few weeks for our more reserved students to get comfortable enough to participate. That’s one of the reasons we offer classes in 6-10 week series rather than drop-in. Toddlers especially need time to get used to a space, a group of people and an instructor.

Even once they are comfortable, some more reserved little ones may be more watchers than doers in class. That doesn’t mean they are not learning and they may be more inclined to practice at home.

tot yoga kicking cobraWe do expect parent participation. The more yoga you do in class the more your child will do.

While parents should expect to move quite a lot, we will be doing yoga appropriate for the child’s age range, so it’s probably not a workout for the grownups as compared to an adult class.

Amalie teaching Little Families, preschooler yogaPoses and activities are designed with toddlers/preschoolers in mind. While your instructor will likely be able to make suggestions, we expect adults to take care of their own bodies during class.

It’s rarely a problem. Pregnant moms often skip or modify belly-down poses and anything else that doesn’t feel right and adults with special conditions adjusting accordingly.

The biggest challenge is probably for adults who have significant difficulty getting up and down from the floor. I’ve had mobility-challenged caregivers, usually older nannies or grandparents, do very few of the poses with no problem. My suggestion is to try it and see how it goes.

Do note that several of our class venues are down a flight of stairs (strollers can be left locked outside). Our Saturday and Sunday class venues are handicap accessible.

Yes, one adult can bring more than one child to class. (See below for special nanny share policies)

  • Baby Yoga & Play – Yes, you can bring twins. Because so much of this class hands on we charge the same for two babies as one baby if there’s only one caregiver attending. No need to register both babies, simply put them both in your account profile, sign one up, and join us.  If you are bringing two adults, you must register both children. Sibling discounts will apply.
  • Tot Yoga – Yes, twins, siblings. and nanny-shares are welcome, however all children between crawling-24 months must be registered and all children present must have accounts in the system. No need to register non-mobile younger siblings or share partners. They are welcome to tag along with parent/caregiver, just note them on the registration form (and have their parents create an account for them if they are not attending with a paying sibling). Sibling discounts automatically apply.See below for nanny-share discount.  
  • Little Family Yoga or Toddler Family Yoga– Again, twins, younger siblings, and nanny-shares are welcome. This is the age range we most often see younger siblings. All children older than 1 year must register for class. No need to register non-mobile younger siblings or share partners. They are welcome to tag along with parent/caregiver, just note them on the registration form (and have their parents create an account for them if they are not attending with a paying sibling). Sibling discounts automatically apply.See below for nanny-share discount.  
  • Family Yoga – Siblings up to one year younger or older than the target age range are welcome to register for Family Yoga classes. For example, 3-year-olds are welcome in classes with the stated range of 4-8 yrs. If you have any questions about the appropriateness of class for your child, please contact us. Sibling discounts are automatic. 

Please contact us with any additional questions or to discuss situations that don’t fit the above scenarios.

Nanny Share Registration

All children must be added to their own parent’s account in our registration system to attend class. Please do not add an unrelated nanny-share child to your profile. Their parents must set up an account and accept our terms & conditions.

If a nanny-share misses a class, the whole share is welcome to make up class on an alternate day or parents of the enrolled students my bring the child to do a makeup on the weekend, with or without their share partner.

Class specific policies:

  • Tot, Toddler or Little Family Yoga – Families registering as part of a nanny share (one caregiver bringing multiple unrelated children) are are eligible for a 10% discount with the code NANNYSHARE10. Discounts must be taken during registration and cannot be applied retroactively.
  • Baby & Me Yoga – Because so much of this class hands on we charge the same for two babies as one baby if there’s only one caregiver attending. However both families in a Nanny Share registration must create accounts and be reachable in case of emergency, so both families can use the discount code NANNYSHARE50 to take half off registration.

bsfy-open-house 711We have several different parent-child yoga classes on our schedule and people have asked, which one should they should sign up for? To answer that, pick the best description that fits your situation:

If you have one child, pick the appropriate age range:

  • newborn to almost crawling babies – Baby Yoga & Play or Infant Massage
  • crawling (or almost crawling and at least 7 months old) to 1 years – Tot Yoga
  • 12-24 months – Tot Yoga or Toddler Family Yoga or as a younger sibling in Little Family Yoga
  • almost 2 to 4 years – Toddler Family Yoga or Little Family Yoga
  • 3 yrs – Toddler Family Yoga, Prenatal Yoga or as a younger sibling in Family Yoga
  • 4 yrs – Little Family Yoga or Family Yoga
  • 5-10 yrs – Family Yoga

If you have a 3 year old or children in multiple age ranges, you have a choice of classes:

Little Family Yoga Yoga (21 months – 3 yrs)

  • bsfy-open-house 698Very active, playful class with simple movements and beginning breath and body awareness exercises
  • Beginning to incorporate imaginative play and storytelling in relation to the yoga poses and activities
  • Games are very simple, usually consisting of only one or two steps: jumping in and out of circles, following directions …
  • Partner poses are very simple
  • Typically only uses yoga mats as a prop or for relaxation
  • Good for young 3 year olds or reserved children likely to stay close to their parent during class
  • Appropriate for siblings younger than 2 to participate (may enroll at half price, non walking infants free)

Family Yoga (4-8 yrs)

  • breathing space 744Still active and playful, in fact a bit more athletic as coordination improves,
  • More imagination/pretend, more and more involved stories,
  • Games become more complicated and start to have rules: move & freeze, musical mats …
  • Partner poses with parents begin to be recognizable as yoga poses
  • Uses mats for the majority of the class, but children will move around the room for many activities
  • Good for older 3 year olds (and 4+) as well as very verbal or out-going 3 year olds
    Also good for 3-year olds who’ve taken our classes for several months and would enjoy the challenge of keeping up with the big kids
  • Appropriate for younger siblings 2 years and older or older siblings 10 and younger to participate (50% sibling discount)

bsfy-open-house 702All classes can accommodate younger or older siblings, so what do you do if both children are not within the same class age range?

You have multiple children to enroll:

  • A 3-year-old and a 1-year-old – Little Family Yoga (2-4 yrs) with the younger one enrolled at half price
  • A 5/6 year old and a 2 year old – Family Yoga (3-8 years) with the younger enrolled at half price
  • A 5- and 8-year-old – Family Yoga (4-8 yrs) with the older enrolled at half price.

Sibling discounts are automatic; just sign up both children.

Our Tot Yoga (crawling-24 months) and Little Family Yoga (21 months-4 yrs) have a 3 month age overlap on purpose. Personality, more than physical development, should be the deciding factor between the two classes. 

tot yoga circle timeTot Yoga tends to be a quieter class with more repetition from week to week, so suits more reserved toddlers better.

Little Family Yoga tends to be louder and move move more quickly from activity to activity to suit the energy level of 2-4 yr olds. Little Family Yoga requires more verbal direction following, incorporates more imaginative play, and typically involves less physical helping from parents. Very active almost-2 year olds often do well in this class because the social environment challenges them more than that of the younger group. Younger siblings accustomed to the energy and speed of older toddlers and preschoolers tend to enjoy this class as well, even if they are not able to do every pose.

Toddler Family Yoga (walking-4 yrs) is a crossover class which is very much like Little Family Yoga with some adaptations 12-21 month old students. 

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Family Yoga FAQs

We often here from parents that they are hesitant to enroll if they aren’t sure their child will enjoy a class. We get it. That’s why we have our:

No Risk Refund Policy – Not sure if a kids & family series class will be right for you or your child? Register and come to the first class. If you notify us in writing within 48 hours after the first class that you will not be able to continue the session, we refund all but $2o for that first class.

We are also very flexible about switching classes for students who have nap time shifts during the course of a series. For example, if your child is enrolled in an 11 am class and starts napping at that time, we’ll happily switch her into one of our 9 or 9:30 am classes instead.

Yes! That’s Tot Yoga, which is for crawlers (or near crawlers) and walkers up to 24 months.

preschooler yoga class, massageYes, please do. We often have younger siblings in tow for Little Families Yoga classes. They are welcome to nap or be in arms during class. No charge for non-walking siblings, just bring them along.

Learn more about Early Childhood Yoga

marching game, preschooler yogaYes. Siblings attending the same class are eligible for 1/2 price registration. Children older than 1 yr must register (no charge for infants younger than that). See our pricing and discounts page.
Typically we can accommodate siblings 1 year younger than the stated age range, so 1 yr olds in Little Families Yoga (2-4 yrs) and 3 yr olds in Family Yoga (4-8 yrs).

Absolutely. Your child is welcome to bring any grownup they want with them to class. Up to 2 caregivers may attend class on a weekly basis. Additional visitors may attend occasionally and are encouraged to participate. Please be considerate of space constraints when bringing guests.

Nope, sorry. We don’t offer drop-in options for classes for crawling or older children or trial classes during the regular session.  Children really do need the consistency of a weekly class both for comfort and so they can best learn and drop-ins can be disruptive to the class routine. Read more.

tot yoga game with bolstersSince it often takes several classes for a child to settle in, dropping in once is not really the best indicator of whether your child will enjoy class. However, we get that it can be tough to commit to a class when you can’t imagine what happens or how your child will react, so:

  1. We occasionally offer trial/drop-in days, when the teacher will spend a little extra time explaining the class routine and parents get a chance to see a class in action.
  2. We have a no-risk refund policy. If you register for a class and decide for any reason it’s a bad fit for you, your child, or your schedule, and you decide early in the series, you can drop the class and get a prorated refund. See details.

We also understand that life is unpredictable and have a generous makeup policy for families that wish to commit to a series but know they will miss a class or two.

Amalie teaching Little Families, preschooler yogaProbably Toddler Family Yoga, but get in touch if you think the slower, slightly less boisterous environment of Tot Yoga might be a better fit. Learn more about Early Childhood Yoga classes.

Yep. We move a ton.

Generally, if you are enrolling in a class for your child’s age, we are prepared for your child to behave in age-appropriate ways.

kids yoga bowFor Little Families Yoga (2-4 yrs), we don’t use yoga mats and instead move all over the room. Some of our students are always on the go and that’s really quite alright. Some toddlers seriously need to move in order to pay attention. Those are the students parents assure me do the yoga poses at home, just never in class. Sometimes those students join in briefly whenever their favorite activities come up and then go back to running in circles. It’s all good.

For Kids or Family Yoga (ages 3-6, or 4+), we do use mats and are beginning to learn to be on the mats for much of the class. Class is still super active, we move off mats for all sorts of games, and we don’t expect stillness from young children.

If your child has special needs, it is helpful to check in ahead of time so the instructor can be prepared and think through lessons and activities with your child’s needs in mind. We are happy to have you enroll and decide after the first class or two if it is the right fit. Again though, check in with the instructor. Parents are typically more worried about possible disruptive behavior than our yoga teachers and will work with you on strategies to help your child succeed in class.

Tot yogaAbsolutely. It sometimes takes a few weeks for our more reserved students to get comfortable enough to participate. That’s one of the reasons we offer classes in 6-10 week series rather than drop-in. Toddlers especially need time to get used to a space, a group of people and an instructor.

Even once they are comfortable, some more reserved little ones may be more watchers than doers in class. That doesn’t mean they are not learning and they may be more inclined to practice at home.

tot yoga kicking cobraWe do expect parent participation. The more yoga you do in class the more your child will do.

While parents should expect to move quite a lot, we will be doing yoga appropriate for the child’s age range, so it’s probably not a workout for the grownups as compared to an adult class.

Amalie teaching Little Families, preschooler yogaPoses and activities are designed with toddlers/preschoolers in mind. While your instructor will likely be able to make suggestions, we expect adults to take care of their own bodies during class.

It’s rarely a problem. Pregnant moms often skip or modify belly-down poses and anything else that doesn’t feel right and adults with special conditions adjusting accordingly.

The biggest challenge is probably for adults who have significant difficulty getting up and down from the floor. I’ve had mobility-challenged caregivers, usually older nannies or grandparents, do very few of the poses with no problem. My suggestion is to try it and see how it goes.

Do note that several of our class venues are down a flight of stairs (strollers can be left locked outside). Our Saturday and Sunday class venues are handicap accessible.

Yes, one adult can bring more than one child to class. (See below for special nanny share policies)

  • Baby Yoga & Play – Yes, you can bring twins. Because so much of this class hands on we charge the same for two babies as one baby if there’s only one caregiver attending. No need to register both babies, simply put them both in your account profile, sign one up, and join us.  If you are bringing two adults, you must register both children. Sibling discounts will apply.
  • Tot Yoga – Yes, twins, siblings. and nanny-shares are welcome, however all children between crawling-24 months must be registered and all children present must have accounts in the system. No need to register non-mobile younger siblings or share partners. They are welcome to tag along with parent/caregiver, just note them on the registration form (and have their parents create an account for them if they are not attending with a paying sibling). Sibling discounts automatically apply.See below for nanny-share discount.  
  • Little Family Yoga or Toddler Family Yoga– Again, twins, younger siblings, and nanny-shares are welcome. This is the age range we most often see younger siblings. All children older than 1 year must register for class. No need to register non-mobile younger siblings or share partners. They are welcome to tag along with parent/caregiver, just note them on the registration form (and have their parents create an account for them if they are not attending with a paying sibling). Sibling discounts automatically apply.See below for nanny-share discount.  
  • Family Yoga – Siblings up to one year younger or older than the target age range are welcome to register for Family Yoga classes. For example, 3-year-olds are welcome in classes with the stated range of 4-8 yrs. If you have any questions about the appropriateness of class for your child, please contact us. Sibling discounts are automatic. 

Please contact us with any additional questions or to discuss situations that don’t fit the above scenarios.

Nanny Share Registration

All children must be added to their own parent’s account in our registration system to attend class. Please do not add an unrelated nanny-share child to your profile. Their parents must set up an account and accept our terms & conditions.

If a nanny-share misses a class, the whole share is welcome to make up class on an alternate day or parents of the enrolled students my bring the child to do a makeup on the weekend, with or without their share partner.

Class specific policies:

  • Tot, Toddler or Little Family Yoga – Families registering as part of a nanny share (one caregiver bringing multiple unrelated children) are are eligible for a 10% discount with the code NANNYSHARE10. Discounts must be taken during registration and cannot be applied retroactively.
  • Baby & Me Yoga – Because so much of this class hands on we charge the same for two babies as one baby if there’s only one caregiver attending. However both families in a Nanny Share registration must create accounts and be reachable in case of emergency, so both families can use the discount code NANNYSHARE50 to take half off registration.

bsfy-open-house 711We have several different parent-child yoga classes on our schedule and people have asked, which one should they should sign up for? To answer that, pick the best description that fits your situation:

If you have one child, pick the appropriate age range:

  • newborn to almost crawling babies – Baby Yoga & Play or Infant Massage
  • crawling (or almost crawling and at least 7 months old) to 1 years – Tot Yoga
  • 12-24 months – Tot Yoga or Toddler Family Yoga or as a younger sibling in Little Family Yoga
  • almost 2 to 4 years – Toddler Family Yoga or Little Family Yoga
  • 3 yrs – Toddler Family Yoga, Prenatal Yoga or as a younger sibling in Family Yoga
  • 4 yrs – Little Family Yoga or Family Yoga
  • 5-10 yrs – Family Yoga

If you have a 3 year old or children in multiple age ranges, you have a choice of classes:

Little Family Yoga Yoga (21 months – 3 yrs)

  • bsfy-open-house 698Very active, playful class with simple movements and beginning breath and body awareness exercises
  • Beginning to incorporate imaginative play and storytelling in relation to the yoga poses and activities
  • Games are very simple, usually consisting of only one or two steps: jumping in and out of circles, following directions …
  • Partner poses are very simple
  • Typically only uses yoga mats as a prop or for relaxation
  • Good for young 3 year olds or reserved children likely to stay close to their parent during class
  • Appropriate for siblings younger than 2 to participate (may enroll at half price, non walking infants free)

Family Yoga (4-8 yrs)

  • breathing space 744Still active and playful, in fact a bit more athletic as coordination improves,
  • More imagination/pretend, more and more involved stories,
  • Games become more complicated and start to have rules: move & freeze, musical mats …
  • Partner poses with parents begin to be recognizable as yoga poses
  • Uses mats for the majority of the class, but children will move around the room for many activities
  • Good for older 3 year olds (and 4+) as well as very verbal or out-going 3 year olds
    Also good for 3-year olds who’ve taken our classes for several months and would enjoy the challenge of keeping up with the big kids
  • Appropriate for younger siblings 2 years and older or older siblings 10 and younger to participate (50% sibling discount)

bsfy-open-house 702All classes can accommodate younger or older siblings, so what do you do if both children are not within the same class age range?

You have multiple children to enroll:

  • A 3-year-old and a 1-year-old – Little Family Yoga (2-4 yrs) with the younger one enrolled at half price
  • A 5/6 year old and a 2 year old – Family Yoga (3-8 years) with the younger enrolled at half price
  • A 5- and 8-year-old – Family Yoga (4-8 yrs) with the older enrolled at half price.

Sibling discounts are automatic; just sign up both children.

Baby Yoga & Play classes, for newborn to pre-crawling babies and their grownup(s), contains dozens of yoga-inspired movements, postures, songs, rhymes and activities designed to support baby’s development. Each class is filled with calming, nurturing ways to enhance bonding, soothe the inevitable cranky moments, and improve baby’s sleep.

Baby & Me Yoga ClassBabies participate while on their backs, tummies, or held in loving arms. For grownups, this class is a special opportunity to meet other parents and caregivers, get support, and learn about baby’s emerging personality.

Grownups will also get to do a bit of postpartum-appropriate yoga themselves, including strength- and flexibility-building postures, breathing exercises, and relaxation techniques to address common physical complaints and mental/emotional stressors during the new-parent period.

Breathing Space Baby Yoga & Play series also incorporates developmental topics and time for parent-to-parent support during class. Our hope is that the community built in yoga will carry over into friendships and playdates off the mat.

Most appropriate from 6-weeks until baby is mobile. Moms, dads, grandparents or other caregivers welcome. No previous yoga experience necessary; be prepared/dressed for movement.

Our Tot Yoga (crawling-24 months) and Little Family Yoga (21 months-4 yrs) have a 3 month age overlap on purpose. Personality, more than physical development, should be the deciding factor between the two classes. 

tot yoga circle timeTot Yoga tends to be a quieter class with more repetition from week to week, so suits more reserved toddlers better.

Little Family Yoga tends to be louder and move move more quickly from activity to activity to suit the energy level of 2-4 yr olds. Little Family Yoga requires more verbal direction following, incorporates more imaginative play, and typically involves less physical helping from parents. Very active almost-2 year olds often do well in this class because the social environment challenges them more than that of the younger group. Younger siblings accustomed to the energy and speed of older toddlers and preschoolers tend to enjoy this class as well, even if they are not able to do every pose.

Toddler Family Yoga (walking-4 yrs) is a crossover class which is very much like Little Family Yoga with some adaptations 12-21 month old students. 

preschooler yogaTot Yoga classes, for crawling or nearly crawling babies to 24-month-old toddlers, are engaging and fun. Class incorporates age-appropriate yoga poses, dance and creative movement, songs, stories, and games as children learn yoga through social interaction, repetition, and play.

tot yoga collageYoga helps babies, toddlers, and preschoolers explore movement milestones, gain confidence, build strength and fitness, learn a tool for self-regulation, connect with parents and caregivers, and set the foundation for healthy body attitudes and a fit lifestyle. 

We encourage each child to embrace their own unique expression of yoga poses while supporting their development and growth. Parents and children playfully move together through poses, songs, and activities appropriate for crawlers and walkers.

Registration is by child and includes up to two caregivers on a weekly basis. Any of your child’s favorite grownups is welcome and the same grownup need not attend every class. 

Little Family Yoga classes for 21-month-old toddlers to 4-year-old preschoolers, are engaging and fun. Class incorporates age-appropriate yoga poses, dance and creative movement, songs, stories, and games as children learn yoga through social interaction, repetition, and play.

Yoga helps toddlers, and preschoolers explore movement milestones, gain confidence, build strength and fitness, learn a tool for self-regulation, connect with parents and caregivers, and set the foundation for healthy body attitudes and a fit lifestyle.  

bsfy-open-house 702Classes incorporate imagination, songs, words and stories and age-appropriate postures and activities as parents and children playfully move together. We encourage each child to embrace their own unique expression of yoga poses while supporting their development and growth.

Registration is by child and includes up to two caregivers on a weekly basis. Any of your child’s favorite grownups is welcome and the same grownup need not attend every class. 

Younger siblings are welcome in class. Registration is required for 1 year old or walking siblings. Sibling discount (50%) is automatic. Non-walking infants may attend free.

Toddler Family Yoga classes, for walking toddlers to 3-year-old preschoolers, are engaging and fun. Class incorporates age-appropriate yoga poses, dance and creative movement, songs, stories, and games as children learn yoga through social interaction, repetition, and play.

Yoga helps toddlers, and preschoolers explore movement milestones, gain confidence, build strength and fitness, learn a tool for self-regulation, connect with parents and caregivers, and set the foundation for healthy body attitudes and a fit lifestyle.  

tot yoga playing with parachute

Classes incorporate imagination, songs, words and stories and age-appropriate postures and activities as parents and children playfully move together. We encourage each child to embrace their own unique expression of yoga poses while supporting their development and growth.

Toddler Family Yoga is a crossover class featuring activities from both our Tot Yoga and Little Family Yoga repertoire.

Registration is by child and includes up to two caregivers on a weekly basis. Any of your child’s favorite grownups is welcome and the same grownup need not attend every class. 

Younger siblings are welcome in class. Registration is required for 1 year old or walking siblings. Sibling discount (50%) is automatic. Non-walking infants may attend free.

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Kids Yoga FAQs

We often here from parents that they are hesitant to enroll if they aren’t sure their child will enjoy a class. We get it. That’s why we have our:

No Risk Refund Policy – Not sure if a kids & family series class will be right for you or your child? Register and come to the first class. If you notify us in writing within 48 hours after the first class that you will not be able to continue the session, we refund all but $2o for that first class.

We are also very flexible about switching classes for students who have nap time shifts during the course of a series. For example, if your child is enrolled in an 11 am class and starts napping at that time, we’ll happily switch her into one of our 9 or 9:30 am classes instead.

marching game, preschooler yogaYes. Siblings attending the same class are eligible for 1/2 price registration. Children older than 1 yr must register (no charge for infants younger than that). See our pricing and discounts page.
Typically we can accommodate siblings 1 year younger than the stated age range, so 1 yr olds in Little Families Yoga (2-4 yrs) and 3 yr olds in Family Yoga (4-8 yrs).

Nope, sorry. We don’t offer drop-in options for classes for crawling or older children or trial classes during the regular session.  Children really do need the consistency of a weekly class both for comfort and so they can best learn and drop-ins can be disruptive to the class routine. Read more.

tot yoga game with bolstersSince it often takes several classes for a child to settle in, dropping in once is not really the best indicator of whether your child will enjoy class. However, we get that it can be tough to commit to a class when you can’t imagine what happens or how your child will react, so:

  1. We occasionally offer trial/drop-in days, when the teacher will spend a little extra time explaining the class routine and parents get a chance to see a class in action.
  2. We have a no-risk refund policy. If you register for a class and decide for any reason it’s a bad fit for you, your child, or your schedule, and you decide early in the series, you can drop the class and get a prorated refund. See details.

We also understand that life is unpredictable and have a generous makeup policy for families that wish to commit to a series but know they will miss a class or two.

Yep. We move a ton.

Generally, if you are enrolling in a class for your child’s age, we are prepared for your child to behave in age-appropriate ways.

kids yoga bowFor Little Families Yoga (2-4 yrs), we don’t use yoga mats and instead move all over the room. Some of our students are always on the go and that’s really quite alright. Some toddlers seriously need to move in order to pay attention. Those are the students parents assure me do the yoga poses at home, just never in class. Sometimes those students join in briefly whenever their favorite activities come up and then go back to running in circles. It’s all good.

For Kids or Family Yoga (ages 3-6, or 4+), we do use mats and are beginning to learn to be on the mats for much of the class. Class is still super active, we move off mats for all sorts of games, and we don’t expect stillness from young children.

If your child has special needs, it is helpful to check in ahead of time so the instructor can be prepared and think through lessons and activities with your child’s needs in mind. We are happy to have you enroll and decide after the first class or two if it is the right fit. Again though, check in with the instructor. Parents are typically more worried about possible disruptive behavior than our yoga teachers and will work with you on strategies to help your child succeed in class.

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Postnatal & Baby Yoga FAQs

Yes! That’s Tot Yoga, which is for crawlers (or near crawlers) and walkers up to 24 months.

 

preschooler yoga class, relaxationThat may not work. There isn’t a lot to entertain big kids at baby yoga, but we have occasionally had parents bring older children, mostly when other plans for them have fallen through or school is closed. Siblings are welcome in that circumstance. We do not recommend bringing older children on a weekly basis.

If you need to bring your older child, we recommend bringing quiet toys or books and arriving a few minutes early to set up a space for your child and to set expectations. Please check in with the instructor ahead of time if possible.

If we hold class on a day that school is closed, we’ll be very flexible in our planning. If there were ever enough demand for childcare during one of our series, we would definitely consider that. If you want to take class with a toddler and infant regularly, consider attending Little Families Yoga instead or doing a makeup in that class if you decide to skip rather than attend baby yoga.

Baby & Me Yoga Class

Baby Yoga & Play focuses on the interaction between baby and caregiver with lots of baby-centric activities, but we do incorporate postpartum appropriate stretching and strengthening for caregivers. 

It is not designed as a workout for caregivers, but you do need to be prepared to move and we hope you will leave feeling better in your body than you arrived.

We spend a good portion of the class sitting criss-cross or in other positions on the floor and we get up and down several times. Almost every class incorporates lunges or squats while holding baby as well as some shoulder or low-back exercises for caregivers. All postures can be modified to address caregiver movement limitations.

Comfortable, stretchy clothing is important and jeans are not recommended.

moms and babies in yoga classGenerally, class is most appropriate after 6 weeks. We strongly recommend that you be cleared for exercise, especially if you had a surgical birth or complications. Baby too tends to be more ready to participate after about 6 weeks. A 45-minute class is a long time for a newborn. Very young babies often sleep, eat, or fuss their way through class.

That said, you are still welcome to come. We’ve had moms happily start class as soon as they are ready to be out and about, modifying exercises that are too strenuous (such as skipping the abs) and addressing baby’s needs as they arise. Sometimes, just being at class is what mom needs. If that’s you, please come.

If you would like to wait until the six week mark but class is already starting, don’t fret. Late registration is welcome for several weeks into the series as long as there is room in the class. We are happy to reserve your child’s spot in advance if you contact us.

playing in baby yogaPlease bring a baby blanket and small, quiet toy to all our class locations.

Most of our venues have a few yoga mats to lend, but you may prefer your own yoga mat for hygiene or comfort. If so, please bring one.

 

baby yogaYour baby will cry.

Let’s just get that out in the open. That’s how babies communicate; it’s totally fine.

Even the fussiest babies are welcome in Baby & Me Yoga. Your instructor will not be distressed and is happy to have you there and, I promise, the other moms/caregivers have been there and will be far less upset about your baby fussing than you will be. Please join us.

baby yoga classThat’s fine too. We are not running baby boot-camp.

We have never been able to talk babies into being born on our series schedule, so offer a very flexible makeup policy and partial registration.

If you are able to commit to the majority of a series, we can set up a partial registration for you at the series rate. Simply contact us with your specific dates.

Of course, if your child will be home with a family member or nanny when you go back to work, you are welcome to have the join class when your leave ends.

There are a lot of yoga studios advertising parent & baby classes, but it’s sometimes hard to tell from the descriptions what will actually happen in class.

baby yoga class

Some instructors focus exclusively on mom. They keep the lights low and the room warm in the hopes that baby will sleep.

Some instructors incorporate infant massage and movements in the first few minutes of class and then shift their attention to adult yoga for the rest of the class.

In a lot of classes, baby’s roll is relegated to being used as a weight, all be it a very cute one.

While there’s nothing wrong with any of these approaches, that’s not what we are doing at Breathing Space. 

baby yoga class

Baby Yoga & Play focuses on the interaction between baby and caregiver with lots of baby-centric activities, but we do incorporate postpartum appropriate stretching and strengthening for caregivers. 

baby in tummy time poseBabies participate while on their backs, tummies, or held in loving arms. For grownups, this class is a special opportunity to meet other parents and caregivers, get support, and learn about baby’s emerging personality

Baby & Me Yoga Class

We blend baby moves with postures for parents

Grownups in Baby Yoga & Play will also get to do a bit of postpartum-appropriate yoga themselves, including strength- and flexibility-building postures, breathing exercises, and relaxation techniques to address common physical complaints and mental/emotional stressors during the new-parent period.

Breathing Space Baby Yoga & Play series also incorporates developmental topics and time for parent-to-parent support during class. Our hope is that the community built in yoga will carry over into friendships and playdates off the mat.

Most appropriate from 6-weeks until baby is mobile. Moms, dads, grandparents or other caregivers welcome. No previous yoga experience necessary; be prepared/dressed for movement.

 

Effective Nov 1, 2018 – Baby Yoga & Play classes are offered in 3-6-week series. Full registration required, no drop-ins.

moms and babies in yoga classWe know it’s hard to get out of the house with a newborn, that naps are sometimes unpredictable, and life can be complicated . . .  and that’s why we are requiring series registration for this class.  

Committing to the whole series makes it infinitely more likely that you actually attend. It far too easy to say “oh, I’ll go next week” if you are planning on dropping in. If you end up with an unavoidable conflict, illness, or disrupted nap-time, you can take advantage of our generous makeup policy.

Make Up Options for Baby Yoga & Play

baby & me yoga, warriorsBecause it’s hard to convince babies to be born and maternity leaves to be set on our schedule, we offer lots of flexibility:

  • If students must miss a class, they are welcome to
    • attend any other appropriate class as a makeup within the same timeframe, or
    • bring a friend to class as a makeup.
      See makeup class FAQs for details.
  • Any of baby’s favorite grownups are welcome in this class – mom, dad, grandparent, nanny . . .  and the same adult need not attend each time. Registration is for one adult-baby on a weekly basis, but occasional visitors are welcome to attend as well.
  • Partial registration: If there is room in the class once the series begins, late registration will remain open for the first 1/3 of the series. Registration automatically prorates. If you can’t complete a series but can commit to 2/3 of the series in consecutive weeks – say because you are going back to work before our series ends – contact us about partial enrollment.

So what does this mean?

  • If a full series conflicts with work or travel, feel free to attend multiple times a week during the weeks you can attend.
  • If you are going back to work and baby will be home with a nanny or other caregiver, feel free to have them attend in your stead.

Still not sure if Baby Yoga & Play is right for you? That’s why we have a no-risk registration policy. If you attend your first class and decide it’s not a good fit, we make it easy to drop a class series.  Read all of our class policies and FAQs.

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Top 5 Reasons to Do Yoga with Your Infant: Baby Yoga & Play FAQ

baby & me yoga, warriors

5. Yoga is good for babies.

  • The poses we do in baby yoga classes are developmentally supportive, may improve digestion, ease gas pain and colic, and boost the immune system.[1]
  • Yoga play stimulates the vestibular system, proprioceptive development,  and motor control.[2]
  • Baby Yoga rhymes, songs, interaction, and movement stimulates language development.[3]
  • Dedicated face time interaction in baby yoga class stimulates baby’s neurological development and empathy skills.[4]

4. Baby yoga class is good for parents.

mom and baby centeringEven though more than half the poses we do in class are for baby, the benefits for mom and dad can be dramatic. Practicing yoga with your infant can help you feel more relaxed and gentle stretching and conditioning exercises can provide relief from some of the stresses and physical symptoms of early parenting.

3. Yoga practice helps babies sleep better and longer. 

Moving and engaging with caregivers for 45+ minutes is a lot of work for babies. Many parents report that their best naps of the week are on baby yoga days.

2. It’s is a way to get to know your baby better.

moms and babies in yoga classYour baby will engage with you and the yoga poses, games and songs in a way that will reveal his or her unique personality. Does she like vigorous movement or gentle activities? Is he outgoing or reserved with new people and experiences? Your baby will communicate their preferences in class and participating is another opportunity to connect with your baby and meet that fundamental need of your child.

1. Baby yoga is fun.baby yoga

Hands down, this is the best reason to do yoga with your baby. Babies have fun. Parents have fun. You both learn games, songs and poses to use at home and to teach other people in baby’s life.

Baby Yoga Frequently Asked Questions

Yes! That’s Tot Yoga, which is for crawlers (or near crawlers) and walkers up to 24 months.

 

preschooler yoga class, relaxationThat may not work. There isn’t a lot to entertain big kids at baby yoga, but we have occasionally had parents bring older children, mostly when other plans for them have fallen through or school is closed. Siblings are welcome in that circumstance. We do not recommend bringing older children on a weekly basis.

If you need to bring your older child, we recommend bringing quiet toys or books and arriving a few minutes early to set up a space for your child and to set expectations. Please check in with the instructor ahead of time if possible.

If we hold class on a day that school is closed, we’ll be very flexible in our planning. If there were ever enough demand for childcare during one of our series, we would definitely consider that. If you want to take class with a toddler and infant regularly, consider attending Little Families Yoga instead or doing a makeup in that class if you decide to skip rather than attend baby yoga.

Baby & Me Yoga Class

Baby Yoga & Play focuses on the interaction between baby and caregiver with lots of baby-centric activities, but we do incorporate postpartum appropriate stretching and strengthening for caregivers. 

It is not designed as a workout for caregivers, but you do need to be prepared to move and we hope you will leave feeling better in your body than you arrived.

We spend a good portion of the class sitting criss-cross or in other positions on the floor and we get up and down several times. Almost every class incorporates lunges or squats while holding baby as well as some shoulder or low-back exercises for caregivers. All postures can be modified to address caregiver movement limitations.

Comfortable, stretchy clothing is important and jeans are not recommended.

moms and babies in yoga classGenerally, class is most appropriate after 6 weeks. We strongly recommend that you be cleared for exercise, especially if you had a surgical birth or complications. Baby too tends to be more ready to participate after about 6 weeks. A 45-minute class is a long time for a newborn. Very young babies often sleep, eat, or fuss their way through class.

That said, you are still welcome to come. We’ve had moms happily start class as soon as they are ready to be out and about, modifying exercises that are too strenuous (such as skipping the abs) and addressing baby’s needs as they arise. Sometimes, just being at class is what mom needs. If that’s you, please come.

If you would like to wait until the six week mark but class is already starting, don’t fret. Late registration is welcome for several weeks into the series as long as there is room in the class. We are happy to reserve your child’s spot in advance if you contact us.

playing in baby yogaPlease bring a baby blanket and small, quiet toy to all our class locations.

Most of our venues have a few yoga mats to lend, but you may prefer your own yoga mat for hygiene or comfort. If so, please bring one.

 

baby yogaYour baby will cry.

Let’s just get that out in the open. That’s how babies communicate; it’s totally fine.

Even the fussiest babies are welcome in Baby & Me Yoga. Your instructor will not be distressed and is happy to have you there and, I promise, the other moms/caregivers have been there and will be far less upset about your baby fussing than you will be. Please join us.

baby yoga classThat’s fine too. We are not running baby boot-camp.

We have never been able to talk babies into being born on our series schedule, so offer a very flexible makeup policy and partial registration.

If you are able to commit to the majority of a series, we can set up a partial registration for you at the series rate. Simply contact us with your specific dates.

Of course, if your child will be home with a family member or nanny when you go back to work, you are welcome to have the join class when your leave ends.

There are a lot of yoga studios advertising parent & baby classes, but it’s sometimes hard to tell from the descriptions what will actually happen in class.

baby yoga class

Some instructors focus exclusively on mom. They keep the lights low and the room warm in the hopes that baby will sleep.

Some instructors incorporate infant massage and movements in the first few minutes of class and then shift their attention to adult yoga for the rest of the class.

In a lot of classes, baby’s roll is relegated to being used as a weight, all be it a very cute one.

While there’s nothing wrong with any of these approaches, that’s not what we are doing at Breathing Space. 

baby yoga class

Baby Yoga & Play focuses on the interaction between baby and caregiver with lots of baby-centric activities, but we do incorporate postpartum appropriate stretching and strengthening for caregivers. 

baby in tummy time poseBabies participate while on their backs, tummies, or held in loving arms. For grownups, this class is a special opportunity to meet other parents and caregivers, get support, and learn about baby’s emerging personality

Baby & Me Yoga Class

We blend baby moves with postures for parents

Grownups in Baby Yoga & Play will also get to do a bit of postpartum-appropriate yoga themselves, including strength- and flexibility-building postures, breathing exercises, and relaxation techniques to address common physical complaints and mental/emotional stressors during the new-parent period.

Breathing Space Baby Yoga & Play series also incorporates developmental topics and time for parent-to-parent support during class. Our hope is that the community built in yoga will carry over into friendships and playdates off the mat.

Most appropriate from 6-weeks until baby is mobile. Moms, dads, grandparents or other caregivers welcome. No previous yoga experience necessary; be prepared/dressed for movement.

 

Effective Nov 1, 2018 – Baby Yoga & Play classes are offered in 3-6-week series. Full registration required, no drop-ins.

moms and babies in yoga classWe know it’s hard to get out of the house with a newborn, that naps are sometimes unpredictable, and life can be complicated . . .  and that’s why we are requiring series registration for this class.  

Committing to the whole series makes it infinitely more likely that you actually attend. It far too easy to say “oh, I’ll go next week” if you are planning on dropping in. If you end up with an unavoidable conflict, illness, or disrupted nap-time, you can take advantage of our generous makeup policy.

Make Up Options for Baby Yoga & Play

baby & me yoga, warriorsBecause it’s hard to convince babies to be born and maternity leaves to be set on our schedule, we offer lots of flexibility:

  • If students must miss a class, they are welcome to
    • attend any other appropriate class as a makeup within the same timeframe, or
    • bring a friend to class as a makeup.
      See makeup class FAQs for details.
  • Any of baby’s favorite grownups are welcome in this class – mom, dad, grandparent, nanny . . .  and the same adult need not attend each time. Registration is for one adult-baby on a weekly basis, but occasional visitors are welcome to attend as well.
  • Partial registration: If there is room in the class once the series begins, late registration will remain open for the first 1/3 of the series. Registration automatically prorates. If you can’t complete a series but can commit to 2/3 of the series in consecutive weeks – say because you are going back to work before our series ends – contact us about partial enrollment.

So what does this mean?

  • If a full series conflicts with work or travel, feel free to attend multiple times a week during the weeks you can attend.
  • If you are going back to work and baby will be home with a nanny or other caregiver, feel free to have them attend in your stead.

Still not sure if Baby Yoga & Play is right for you? That’s why we have a no-risk registration policy. If you attend your first class and decide it’s not a good fit, we make it easy to drop a class series.  Read all of our class policies and FAQs.

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Sources:

  1. Garabedian, Helen. (2004). Itsy Bitsy Yoga: Poses to Help Your Baby Sleep Longer, Digest Better, and Grow Stronger. New York, NY: Touchtone/Simon and Schuster.
  2. Kopp, Claire. (2003). Baby Steps, Second Edition: A Guide to Your Child’s Social, Physical, Mental and Emotional Development in the First Two Years. New York, NY: Holt Paperbacks.
  3. McEllroy, M. (2014, July 14). Months before their first words, babies’ brains rehearse speech mechanics. UW Today.
  4. Medina, John. (2011). Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five. Seattle, WA: Pear Press.
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