Infant Reflexes

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At it’s core Baby College is a parent and baby programme which concentrates on your baby’s correct neurological development. One of our main themes throughout the classes is the replacement of your baby’s infant (primitive) reflex with more adult responses.

What exactly does that mean?

All babies are born with a set of infant reflexes which help them survive their time in the womb, the birthing process and their first few months of life.  These reflexes help ensure their survival and then their subsequent development.

Babies have no control over their body’s movements so nature (and a millennia of evolution) have developed a system which overcomes this problem and that is a set of automatic inbuilt infant reflexes.

A seconds old baby stroked gently on the side of the face will turn, purse their lips and root for the breast (Rooting Reflex) and if that breast is placed in the baby’s mouth they will suck (Sucking Reflex).  These reflexes make sure that the baby can feed but the baby has no control over this action; if you stroke their check their head will turn and, initially, they can’t stop this from happening. As this action is performed over and over again the infant develops muscle control and is able to override this reflex and then eventually they can move their head and suck whenever they want to and not be controlled by their reflex.

It is this process of repetitive movements that help use up your baby’s infant reflexes and within our expertly designed Baby College classes we use a set of age appropriate specific exercises to ensure that this process happen.

Why is it Important?

It is essential that for normal neurological development to happen a baby must use up and replace its infant reflexes at the appropriate time.  This is normally a natural process but it is not always automatic and retention of these primitive reflex can hinder correct development and can be linked to learning problems later in childhood.

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We use many different exercises throughout all our age groups to help ensure that the reflexes are used up and reduce down potential problems.  The key to this process is movement and we incorporate lots of fun movement activities in all our classes.

For more information come and try a class near you





Social Baby

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Baby College classes provide a safe and secure environment for babies to interact with each other and with the adults attending the classes.

Having fun, learning through play and understanding how to connect with other babies and children is very important to us at Baby College. This is because interacting and playing with both peers and adults presents an immense amount of learning opportunities for young children. Toddlers and infants reap the huge cognitive and emotional benefits of interacting with others. The right socially interactive environment will help children develop strong language skills, creativity, social intelligence, and confidence.

Learning new skills requires practice, trial, and error. Our classes provide a comfortable setting for children to experiment with and practice skills such as sharing, cooperation, taking turns, and showing respect for others. Our very first activity within the classes is our Hello Song where every baby and child is welcomed into the classes so that even the youngest attendees can start to learn about social interaction.  Never forget your tiny baby is a social animal: look how they lock eyes with you from day one and within weeks they are smiling and cooing, pulling very firmly on those parental heartstrings.

Understanding how to interact with their peers can often be quite confusing for young children.  It’s not until they are approaching the end of their time at Baby College that they start to develop empathy for others.  Sharing and taking turns are hard concepts to accept when you are two!

“Isabelle starts full time school in September. She is definitely ready and is a lovely, inquisitive little girl. I believe the Baby College classes have contributed to her willingness to learn and the confidence to join in with other children.  

George and I are looking forward to starting the class in September.”

Marie, Isabelle (4) and George (10 months)

Find a class near you at



Positive Parenting

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At Baby College we help parents navigate their way through the difficult task of parenting their babies and toddlers (especially those toddlers).

During the classes positive parenting is encouraged.  Positive Parenting is a framework that parents can adopt which helps them re assess their interactions with their children and helps make these more positive. It’s a framework that works for all children whether they are 16 months or 16 years old.

The first step is to realise why their baby or child is displaying a certain behaviour.  All children test the limits you set and try to cross boundaries some of the time. This is an inevitable part of growing up, learning and becoming an independent person. Younger children particularly may test constantly. This is not them being naughty or disobedient – it is the only way they can learn when you mean what you say and what the limits to their behaviour are.

Attention seeking: Children crave attention from their parents and will do just about anything to get it.

Feeling powerless: Children (like adults) like to feel in control of their lives and if a child feels upset at not having control, they may often hit out or get mad at an older sibling or friend or you.

Feeling sad: A child of any age may show that they are feeling sad or anxious by behaving badly and may need more sympathy and affection. Punishing them will only make matters worse.

Stage of development: Some children are simply not able to do what their parents want because of their age or stage of development.
Revenge: Trying to get back at someone they feel has treated them badly – a sibling, parent or friend. Children may not understand your reasons for insisting on a rule or limit – it helps to recognise their feelings of anger.

Positive Parenting helps parents understand their child’s actions and the reasons behind them.  Simple steps and ideas are promoted and discussed so that parents can help their children understand and navigate this sometimes confusing world.

To find out more book online into one of our classes at



Christmas with Your Baby

Baby at Christmas

Christmas and Traditions

We all love Christmas as we get to spend time with family and friends and enjoy all the celebrations that come with the holiday period. It’s a wonderful stimulating  time with new sights and smells, songs and games and festive traditions.

A great idea is to start some of your own family traditions with your little ones as research shows that the best childhood memories are not down to material wealth but about spending time together.

“Christmas traditions are important. Kids need to feel they belong and shared memories help reinforce that and helps them to develop their own sense of identity” says psychologist Dr Amanda Gummer, an expert in play and parenting

However deciding whose family traditions to pass on can be quite a source of discussion in most homes! Try to compromise and use a few from each family, or of course make up your own.

Here are a few ideas (out of many):

  1. Gift filled advent calendar (to be reused each year)
  2. New pyjamas on Christmas Eve
  3. Making Christmas cards
  4. Favourite Christmas book to read together
  5. Letting your child choose and buy a new Christmas bauble each year (perhaps taking them with them when they leave home to set up their own)
  6. Making homemade decorations and food together

Remember children love traditions even more than adults

Surviving Christmas with Small Babies

Christmas is a great time for exciting sights, sounds, smells and stimulation – you will be amazed how babies change and grow in response to the excitement, attention and stimulation that Christmas provides. However, young babies and lots of excitement and “strangers” don’t always mix. You may end up with a crying, exhausted and over stimulated baby or hyperactive toddler if you’re not careful.

Here are some tips below to help make sure both you and your baby will enjoy this Christmas together.

Tip 1 – Don’t Overdo It

Everyone is probably very excited to have a new baby or toddler in the family, especially around the holidays and your baby’s first few Christmases are experiences you will remember the rest of your life.  However try to make sure you have some quiet time so that you and your baby/toddler can have some calm time to yourselves.

Tip 2 – Keep a Soothing Toy / Comfort Blanket Around

Whether there are new people the baby isn’t used to in your house, or you are taking them to new surroundings, keep them comfortable by wrapping them in a favourite blanket and keeping a familiar toy they like around.


Tip 3 – Mummy Chill

Young children are very tuned into how their parent feels. The best way to keep your baby calm is for you to relax. When things start to get stressful, take a deep breath and calm yourself. The tips above about not over scheduling and taking breaks will work well to keep you relaxed as well. Accept all offers of help too!

Christmas and Young Children

As with babies Christmas is a fantastically exciting time with toddlers and small children but at this time of year you can often see exaggerated emotions, highs and lows seem to happen more quickly and more frequently. Adult stress just compounds the stress on children, who may already be over-excited in anticipation of Santa Claus, presents and sweets.


Children whose behaviour is becoming difficult before Christmas may be asking for more recognition of their needs and some time with you. Even 15 minutes of this special time helps. Sit quietly together; go for a walk together; do things together (make Christmas crafts, Christmas biscuits, read favourite story book).

Over-stimulation of children in the Christmas season, with too much going on all at once, is a common cause of stress and emotions.

More information about Baby College, our classes and our franchising opportunities and how to book a class near you at

Weaning Your Baby


From around six months old your baby is ready to be weaned and this marks quite a leap in their development.

Your baby will be ready for solid food when you notice the following signs:

  1. He can sit up and hold his head steady
  2. His hand eye coordination has developed sufficiently that he can bring objects easily to his mouth
  3. He is able to swallow

Another sure sign that he is ready is when he starts pinching food from your plate!

To begin with, how much your baby takes is less important than getting them used to the idea of eating. They will still be getting most of their nutrition from breast milk or infant formula.

Babies don’t need three meals a day to start with, so you can begin by offering foods at a time that suits you both.

Gradually, you’ll be able to increase the amount and variety of food your baby eats, until they can eventually eat the same as the rest of the family, in smaller portions.

  • Always stay with your baby when they are eating in case they start to choke.
  • Let your baby enjoy touching and holding the food.
  • Allow your baby to feed themselves, using their fingers, as soon as they show an interest. Place the food directly onto the tray of the highchair and allow them to pick the food up at their own pace.
  • Don’t force your baby to eat – wait until the next time if they’re not interested this time.
  • If you’re using a spoon, wait for your baby to open their mouth before you offer the food. Your baby may like to hold a spoon, too.  You can put pureed food directly onto the tray too so that they can try to feed themselves.
  • Start your baby with soft cooked fruit and vegetables (or mashed) such as carrot, sweet potato, broccoli, pear apple.  Raw foods such as avocado and banana are very good options.

Weaning should be a fun time for your both!

How to Encourage Your Baby’s Social Development

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Your baby’s social development starts from birth.  She is hard wired to make a connection with her carers in order to ensure her survival.

The youngest of babies will try to make eye contact and they certainly know how to cry to get your attention. Within a few months your baby will be smiling, giggling and cooing and be very happy in social occasions.

Your job as a parent is to help make your baby’s social development as successful as possible and this starts at birth and like your baby you are hard wired to do this too.

Natural, instinctive,  positive parenting means that you touch, hold, kiss and cuddle your baby; you spend hours looking into her eyes whilst you sing, talk and and smile with her; you respond to her cries giving her the love she wants when she needs it.  Your attention will help her feel valued and help her develop a strong sense of self worth and confidence.

Playing and having fun with your baby, taking her out to see the world around her and spending time with family and friends will help her to learn about the importance of social bonds outside of her close family unit and how to interact within the wider world.  Your support and love will help her feel secure in these new environments so that she will be happy to make new friends.  Babies learn through imitation so she will very quickly emulate your behavior!


Musical Development in Early Childhood

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Singing and music play an important role in our culture and are present in a variety of our social and educational activities: theatre, television, cinema, celebrations, worship etc. From birth, parents instinctively use music to calm and soothe children, to express their love and joy, and to engage and interact.

Research undertaken by a team of researchers in the 1990s showed that the exposure to music from early childhood onwards helps children to speak more clearly, develop a larger vocabulary, and strengthen social and emotional skills. The psychologist Howard Gardner already argued in 1983 that music intelligence is as important as logical and emotional intelligence. This is because music has the ability to strengthen the connection between the body and brain to work together as a team. For instance, when dancing and moving to music, children develop better motor skills whereas singing along to a song helps them to practise their singing voice and improve their language skills. In general, the exposure to music supports children in their development process to learn the sound of tones and words. Exposure to music also benefits a child’s social and emotional development too.

Parents play the most important role in musical education and the more exposure that a child has to music and music play at home improves a child’s music ability far beyond those who have no exposure.

Music and singing is used throughout our Baby College classes; from the very beginning with our Hello Song, dancing, music play, action rhymes all the way through to our parachute ride and Goodbye Song.  We use traditional nursery rhymes and modern variations to help give parents inspiration for play at home.