There’s this post on Reddit’s r\yoga about someone getting yoga rage because a mom brought a noisy baby to the studio. Details to note: The baby was not crying. The baby was with the dad out in the foyer while the mom was in class.
I wasn’t all too surprised by some of the responses since they were along the lines of opinions you’d hear about babies on airplanes or babies at restaurants or babies anywhere that adults prefer not to ever see or hear children. The other responses were attempts at saying this was the true yoga and learning to tolerate and accept things that irritate and make us uncomfortable.
It really begs the question. Is it kosher to bring a baby to class?
There are a few factors at play here.
1) It depends on the baby. Some babies sleep all day long between eating and pooping and aren’t disturbed by a change of scenery or any noises. Other babies get cranky at the drop of a dime and really need to be held in a controlled environment to be happy.
Some babies also make way more noise than others. Mine got to be pretty chatty once he got comfortable with new faces. Thankfully, my fellow yogis thought it was amusing when he talked to them.
2) It depends on the teacher. My teacher Matt has always had an open-door policy about families and invites students to bring anyone they want. Babies as young as a couple months old to teenaged “babies” have attended class. Sure, sometimes the 4-year-olds get bored and goof around. In those instances, the parent will step outside if the kids get too rowdy and in other people’s space.
It helps that the family-friendly teachers know how to relate to kids. Bringing out blocks for the kid to play with or engaging with the kid during class can keep him calm and happy.
3) It depends on the class. There are a few classes that I regularly try to make, so I’ve gotten to know some of the other regulars. They like when I bring the kid to class (or at least they are kind about it). These fall on weekend mornings when he’s the least likely to be overtired.
I would NEVER take my child to an after work/evening class. The students are generally 20-to-30-something’s looking for stress relief at the end of a long work day and are the least likely to be accepting of a young child in class. That and the kid gets cranky and hungry and tired at that hour, aka the witching hour.
As long as people are cool about it and understanding AND you (and the baby) are up for it, I don’t see the big deal with bringing a child to class. Sometimes, this is the ONLY way a parent can get some yoga in, so let’s give them a break, right? And for the parent who is making huge efforts to get to class, coming prepared with snacks and toys and pacis and whatever else the kid may need will give you a fighting chance at a successful outing.
What do you think? Yay or nay on kids coming to yoga class?