A Word from Lara
Supporting young families in the South San Francisco Bay area
I have taught Bringing Baby Home classes to young couples and families in a variety of life stages—considering parenthood, expecting a baby, or with an infant or toddler at home. So far I have held my classes at ConnectEd in San Jose, and I am looking to expand to other locations in San Jose and the South Bay. Families have come from near and far to join my classes, including San Jose, Milpitas, Fremont, Los Gatos, South San Francisco, Los Altos, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, and Gilroy. I taught my first Bringing Baby Home couple in Redlands, California. One couple took the class who had recently moved to Silicon Valley from the east coast. Another couple traveled to San Jose from Reno, Nevada to join one of my weekend classes.
When should we take this class?
The class is focused on building rituals of connection that will last the lifetime of your relationship. It also focuses on setting appropriate expectations and practicing tools for parenting and for your relationship. You are welcome to take the class at any time from when you are considering parenthood to when you have a toddler or preschooler at home. It is applicable whether it is your first baby or you have other children at home. However, the earlier you take the class, the more time and energy you have to practice the material before you need it. If you are expecting a baby, keep in mind that the second trimester of pregnancy is often the easiest time to take the class because new mothers often have more energy and less morning sickness during the second trimester.
What other parents had to say
[Applicable for] a diverse range of people--considering pregnancy, expecting a baby, or with an infant or toddler at home
“Thanks so much for taking your time and sharing your knowledge with us in need! We feel it was a great experience and will recommend it to new parents we meet in life in the future. Thank you for caring about people and wanting to share your experiences in helping others around you. It’s easy to see that you have a wonderful soul and are extremely successful at making those around you feel loved, warm, and safe. That’s an amazing quality to have, and I would like to acknowledge you.
What I loved about the (Bringing Baby Home) class was that there was a diverse range of people, from thinking about having a baby, to being prego, to having a toddler. Because we are on the other side of the fence, it was great to share our stories and thoughts with the group in hopes that if it happens to them, they know they aren’t alone. [My husband] and I took away a few things from class we are already using and when we do feel flooded, we are going to take out the book and review the steps. We haven’t had conflict yet, but I will keep you posted as to when we do! We have been doing 6-second kisses and practicing using the vocabulary so far.” — Mother of an 18-month old from San Jose, CA
Most classes focus on baby baby baby
Bringing Baby Home for us was a very unique perspective of baby preparation. Most classes focus on baby baby baby but this course equally addresses the two people that made the baby! The conflict resolution exercises and other interactive getting-to-know-your-partner exercises were fun and engaging. Tying in baby's cues only emphasizes the mantra of "really pay attention to your loved ones". Two people are never done learning each other, and this class supports that. In fact we have used the techniques used in this class to listen to each other and solve problems. We have used the activities cards when out on a dinner date too! — Father of a newborn from Sunnyvale, CA
Taught us proper expectations for our relationship with each other
Lara is here today for a "What's My Baby Saying?" session, and although tired with our 3 week old, we are thriving! We are so glad to see her since we did the "Bringing Baby Home" classes before our sweet little guy was born. We learned so much during the weekly sessions before, so it is exciting that we aren't freaking out since Lara taught us proper expectations for our relationship with each other and for dealing with a newborn baby at the same time.
For us the class was sort of like pre-marital counseling, but pre-baby! Even though we have a pretty great marriage with open communication, we needed to talk through our upbringings, our parenting expectations, conflict resolution with each other and also how we plan to resolve conflict with our son. Lara was a great mediator for us and helped us work through some issues. It was very hands on! I would definitely recommend the classes for anyone expecting a baby! — Mother of a newborn from Redlands, CA
Great for people that already have a young child
I would say that although the title of the seminar wasn't specifically for our situation, we derived a ton of benefit from it by just tailoring your teachings to our needs and situation.
I would say that the classes are great for people that already have a young child because in reality the class teaches how to have better and more effective communication with your partner with the massive new pressure and stress that comes with raising a new child and the effect it has on the dynamics of the parents' relationship.
We are closer than ever and really got great benefit from your class. — Parent of an 18-month old from San Jose, CA
We had a great marriage before your class, but we have just become stronger
[My husband] and I really got a lot out of your class. I have actually mailed the two brochures that I took home to our friends who are expecting and to [our] cousin who is thinking of conceiving soon.
[My husband] has been super helpful around the house and more aware of the chores. He has helped each night with cooking or prep. We have been more appreciative towards each other and been doing the 6 second kiss each night. I feel like we had a great marriage before your class, but we have just become stronger. We have not had any fights since we took the class either. ;) — Expectant mother from San Jose, CA
[I learned] how to interact with my spouse in a more respectful way
After our first class, another participant said:
What is one thing that you learned in our first class at Bringing Baby Home that you would like to apply this week? How to interact with my spouse in a more respectful way
What is one thing that you learned in our first class at Bringing Baby Home that you would like to apply with your baby? Watching for baby body language to meet the baby's needs
What is one thing that you appreciated about the teaching style that Lara used for Bringing Baby Home? Using visual auditory as well as interactive medium for instruction
Is there anything that Lara could do differently to help you to learn and work together with your partner? Nothing at this time
What did Lara do at Bringing Baby Home that helped you to feel comfortable and safe to participate? She shared her personal experiences to show how the material related to her life
Is there anything else that Lara could do at Bringing Baby Home to help you to feel comfortable and safe to participate? None at the moment
Is there anything else that you'd like to share about the first Bringing Baby Home class? Very informative so far
Another mother wrapped it up this way:
Overall, how would you rate your experience taking Bringing Baby Home at Little Elf Family Services? 5 out of 5 stars
What did you like best about the Bringing Baby Home class? Practice time
What did you like best about Lara's teaching style? Interactive
What is something that you learned that you would like to apply with your partner? Softened starts
What is something that you learned that you would like to apply with your baby? Involving Dad
Very personal, interactive
Overall, how would you rate your experience taking Bringing Baby Home at Little Elf Family Services? 6 out of 5 stars
What did you like best about the class? Very personal, interactive
What is something that you learned that you hope to use with your partner? Listening & care about her feelings
What is something that you learned that you hope to use with your baby? Playing with them with my partner. Not trying to win their attention over.
- A father of an infant and a preschooler from San Jose, CA
Keep intimacy and sex as an important part of our lives
Overall, how would you rate your experience taking Bringing Baby Home at Little Elf Family Services? 4 out of 5 stars
What did you like best about the class? The interest and support of the instructor, Lara. The learning lessons and actual exercises were helpful to discuss important issues that are not easy to talk about.
What is something you learned that you hope to use with your partner? How to keep intimacy and sex as an important part of our lives... Also, how to identify the 4 horsemen and resolve conflict.
What is something that you learned that you hope to use with your baby? How to read baby cues and signals to understand their wants, needs, and feelings. How to be more involved and a better father to my baby to strengthen our relationship through bonding.
Any comments or suggestions for future classes? I really liked this class and know it will be helpful in strengthening my relationships with my wife and baby. Thank you!
- An expectant father from Gilroy, CA