The Early Years

MAIN-prenatal-to-iconHelping parents from birth to age 4

The programs are designed to be a resource and offer support to new and expecting parents. By sharing personal experiences and incorporating current research, parents can gain insight on early development and how to relate and effectively communicate with their babies. 

View class schedule and register or for more information, call 757-727-1300, Ext. 3.

Note on COVID-19: Because of the pandemic, classes will be primarily administered virtually until further notice.

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Childbirth: Let's Get Ready. How do I do that?
The baby is coming, whether you're ready or not. Knowing what to expect can help things go more smoothly. This course is eight weeks and is offered at Sentara Careplex.
  • Week 1: Let's get ready: What you can expect from labor and delivery.
  • Week 2: How much is this going to hurt? Contractions and labor. How can I minimize the pain?
  • Week 3: Medications & interventions. Do I have to have natural childbirth? What medications are available for pain? What if I need a cesarean section?
  • Week 4: The baby's here. Now what? Care for mom, postpartum concerns, going home from the hospital with your newborn.
  • Week 5: Feeding questions. What/when/how do I feed my baby? Can I breastfeed? Do I have to? When do I start solid foods?
  • Week 6: What if my baby won't stop crying? My baby is fussy. How do I know what's wrong? What can I do to calm him or her?
  • Week 7: Hazards everywhere. All of a sudden, baby is crawling, which is great. Until you realize nothing in your house is safe, including baby. Here are tips for how to childproof your home.
  • Week 8: Crawling, walking, talking, sleeping, teething. Your baby is going to go through many stages in the first year: laughing, teething, crawling, standing up. Maybe even sleeping though the night!
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New Baby Care   Now what? Join us for three weeks and get helpful information about the first few months of caring for your new baby.  Topics will include, but are not limited to how to soothe a fussy baby, the best feeding options, how best to keep your baby safe, what to expect as your baby grows and develops, and why it's important to take care of yourself. Attendees will have opportunities to ask questions. Come feel supported and connect with other new parents.

Infant Massage  Learn the art of massaging your baby.  Massage helps your baby to relax, sleep better and experience fewer stomach upsets. Your gentle touch communicates your love to your child. This program is open for children 4 weeks to 6 months. 

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Nurturing Parents of Children, up to age 4 * Children's needs change as they move from rocking and cooing to toddling and chatting. In this 12-week course, parents of children ages 1-4 learn about normal childhood development, establishing nurturing routines and providing positive discipline.
123-magic-icon1-2-3 Magic, Ages 2-4  Appropriate child discipline can be a daunting task. This 6-session program provides easy-to-follow steps for effective ways to discipline children ages 2-4 without yelling, arguing or spanking. You'll also learn when and how your silence can speak loudest.

* This course also meets court-mandated parenting class requirement.