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To think "classes" for babies and very young children a re a money-making scam?

(282 Posts)
Gateau Mon 01-Sep-08 09:17:57

I've never heard anything so ludicrous in all my life - "classes" for babies and very young children. I'm talking about the likes of music and singing classes, 'gym' classes, overpriced swimming classes etc etc.. The list is endless.
Recently someone told me their baby learnt to "wave" at a music class and another told me their little one learnt to climb stairs at gymn classes. Ummm, can we not teach them these ourselves??! I did.
I just find them so patronising and more than that, I don't think it's fair to put them in classes at such a young age. There's enough time for classes when school comes round.
I know some Mums, partic SAHMs want their LOs to socialise with other LOs and classes are a social outlet for them, but what's wrong with natural growth - ie nursery,a playgroup or mother and toddler group, soft play, the park, the garden, playing inside with them yourself, inviting other LOs round to play......??
IMO these classes are nothing but a money-making scam; I can't believe so many parents have fallen for it.

domesticslattern Mon 01-Sep-08 09:21:11

They are for the parents really Gateau. We are so bored out of our trees that we would go anywhere to be with other people, in a baby-friendly environment. The play groups round here are very few and far between.

bluebell82 Mon 01-Sep-08 09:22:02

i take my dd to a music class and to be honest i feel it has made her more confident, we sing all the songs at home and she generally enjoys it. I appreciate where you are coming from but surely it is the mothers choice and if i am in the stupid camp in your opinion then so be it.

the classes also helped me interact with other moms.

Wheelybug Mon 01-Sep-08 09:22:18

I think its 'each to their own'.

I did more classes than mother and toddler groups with dd when she was a baby because I couldn't bear M&T groups. They bored me.

Classes however had more of a structure so I found more interesting for me. DD did a music class from 8 months and swimming from the same age and loved them both but they weren't pressurised - just 30 mins of one activity. She also did M&T, soft play, park, garden, playing inside, having others round to play etc.

I did draw the line at the Gym classes (big chain which name escapes me at the moment) wihch were charging £8 a session in my area.

puffling Mon 01-Sep-08 09:23:14

If you're in a surestart area, there's stacks on and it's all free. The first thing we'll be paying for is pre-school now dd's old enough.

Gateau Mon 01-Sep-08 09:24:42

Maybe in some cases, yes.
But I think many MUms are pressurised into feeling they must do the classes - or they're failing their child and being an obstacle in their way of being a child prodigy.
These people that run the classes are really reeling the cash in.

stripeymama Mon 01-Sep-08 09:25:01

I agree.

As a single parent with no money I have still never ever been tempted to take dd to baby synchronised swimming or whatever. There are far more enjoyable (and free!) ways to socialise - afternoons in the park (good way to meet other parents/children), trips to museums (great for crawlers on quiet days) etc etc.

cornsilk Mon 01-Sep-08 09:25:41

I used to like going as it was a chance to talk to other parents.

Gateau Mon 01-Sep-08 09:26:29

Of course, it's each to their own; that stands to reason. Who said 'stupid' camp? I'm just voicing my opinion, that's all.

Gateau Mon 01-Sep-08 09:28:29

You've hit the nail on the head, stripeymama. IF you don't have the money then you don't do classes. You use your own initiative as to what to do with your LOs and they are no worse off.

Slubberdegullion Mon 01-Sep-08 09:30:13

What domesticslattern said.

They are for mums.

I did Tumbletots for a bit, until I realised I was paying £6(or however much a session was) for dd1 to push a trolley around a church hall. She didn't want to do the rest of the guff.

I did Rythmn Time until dancing with scarves got all too much for me. Also teacher didn't know Carnival of the Animals was by Saint-Saens. That was the deal breaker.

I preferred M&T groups but take very much an 'each to their own' response to such things.

ThinWhiteDuchess Mon 01-Sep-08 09:30:48

Gateau, you would hate what we do then! I take my DD to something called "Baby College". It's really all about singing, signing, etc., but she absolutely loves it and so do I. As Bluebell says, I feel it has made my DD more confident.

Each to her own I guess. If we want to shell out for these things, feel it helps our children and also us as mothers, then I guess that's up to us!!

Guadalupe Mon 01-Sep-08 09:33:28

Yes there's the park, and the ducks and playgroup and so on but if people enjoy meeting up with others and their children enjoy waving a cloth and banging musical instruments, how is that falling for a money making scam?

I personally can't stand mother and toddler groups or soft play. How are they natural growth? Do you mean they do what they like while the parent watches? Mine have always done what they like at music group though I don't know about swimming and gym classes.

islandofsodor Mon 01-Sep-08 09:35:01

I don't run classes for babies, I run them for older children and beleive me the people running them are generally not "reeling the cash in" as once you take out the hall hire costs, paying staff and insurances etc there is very little left.

But that's beside the point.

I took dd to baby music class. I feel she got a lot out of it however she was slightly older when I saw the results, thungs like putting her toys away whilst singing the song they sung at class to do that.

She however gained almost as much from song time at toddler group and from the other varous groups we went to. The library run free music group was awful though, not from any fault of the lovely, enthusiastic staff but due to squashing over 25 mums and tots in the room, it was a scrum.

Which is why I only took ds to classes, not toddler groups. He hated toddler groups or any place where there was lots of people. Baby classes which restricted numbers were perfect for him. If it had not been for them he would not have socialised with other children at all until he went to nursery at age 3 an I would not have socialised with other mums.

Bumperlicious Mon 01-Sep-08 09:35:32

I think the classes are mostly for the parents IMO, a way to meet other people and feel like you are actually doing something with your day. Parks are fine when it's not pissing it down, and museums are fine if you live in London or another big city. But if you don't there is not always a lot going on.

stripeymama Mon 01-Sep-08 09:36:45

Well I think that if you are excluded from such things on the basis of cost (as I and most of my friends are) you will tend to be biased against them and consider them unnecessary.

DD is fine, in fact she is very sociable and bright. I would go as far as to say that associating with other adults a lot (we do a lot of not very traditionally child-friendly things with my childless friends) has done her good.

I do have a bit of a bee in my bonnet about 'baby-friendly' though - IMO it tends to mean depressing, expensive, often tacky and over-stimulating... Obviously you need to go to places where children are welcome but it doesn't have to mean Baby bloody Waterskiing. They are just as well off with having a friend over and being sent in the garden to look at slugs whilst you drink coffee with the other parent.

But then I am rather into Benign Neglect.

Anna8888 Mon 01-Sep-08 09:37:14

Yes, I quite agree that "classes" for babies and young children are a money-making scam.

A good, free, voluntary M&T group is a much better way of socialising with other young mothers.

Pruners Mon 01-Sep-08 09:38:43

Message withdrawn

WickedBitchoftheEast Mon 01-Sep-08 09:41:08

I took my DS to music class for three terms which was seriously exspensive at about £60.00 a term, 5wk baby massage course & we still go swimming every week (Just with my mate & her DD) we go to the zoo, farm shop, and canal once a month, we also go on the river (about once a week) on a small boat I brought for my dad for his birthday, and he loves it and I go for him NOT me, I would prefer to go visit a friend/family watch a good documentary.

Stripey ~ is right though, there is plenty you can do for free.

Now I would love to sit on my arse all day chatting on here but it's a sunny day and the river is calling.

Gateau Mon 01-Sep-08 09:41:52

Your point being, Prunsers?
Whatever the reason, doesn't get away from them being a money-making scam - IMO. Which is my point.

islandofsodor Mon 01-Sep-08 09:42:56

Not if your child screams, throws himself on the floor and has a meltdown becasue there are too many people in the room Anna888.

SoupDragon Mon 01-Sep-08 09:43:11

Well, there's no way I could have taught my children water confidence without the lessons given I'm not confident myself. I did the art classes because I didn't have to set up the stuff nor clear up the mess and there were 8 activities for DD to flit between - I couldn't have done that amount of stuff at home.

Gateau, you did effectively say that parents who go to these classes are stupid when you said "I can't believe so many parents have fallen for it".

<<laughs at the idea of a good free M&T group>>

islandofsodor Mon 01-Sep-08 09:43:43

Also if you are excluded from all the free activites becasue you happen to have the wrong postcode as we were.

islandofsodor Mon 01-Sep-08 09:44:35

Good point Soupy, round here the cheapest M & T group is £1 a session per child.

Guadalupe Mon 01-Sep-08 09:47:12

What's wrong with it being for the parents anyway? I am sure most children still do the usual activities like going to the park.

Of course if you have a good mother and toddler it's great for socialising and the children are not deprived but that doesn't mean that someone choosing to use a class is falling for a scam.

Why don't you write to Hustle and see if they can include it next week? I can just see Jessica waving the tambourine before gleefully whizzing off in a white van.

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