These are testimonials from parents about their experiences of our Babies! class. Some of them are quite long but we think they’re powerful and they’ll give you an inside view into the magic that happens in a Babies! class. Please read them.
We also invite you to read our testimonials from adults who have explored developmental movement with us.
List of testimonials:
Margot, mom of Ida
Lindsay, mom of Augustus
Susan, mom of Theodore
Saul, dad of Theodore
Amanda, mom of Seraphina
Sam, mom of Hazel
Heidi, mom of Vivian
Alana, mom of Marlon
Lynae, mom of Vuk
Jaime, mom of Iris
Svenja, mom of Matilda
Marie, mom of James
Meggy, mom of Isaac
Tara, mom of Laszlo
Tamara, mom of Theo
Taylor, mom of Elsie
Nina, mom of Calvin
Blanca, mom of Sophia & Samantha
Alyson, mom of Idra
Isabella, mom of Ilaria & Cesca
There’s something magical in the air at The Breathing Project. Some of the moms and I joke about it. When our babies are there, they try new things and often will make advancements just in the hour or so of being there. Most other baby classes we’ve been to are passive – they involve a teacher performing for the kids then telling them what to do, and then the babies kind of lose it and cry and get distracted.
At Babies!, the instructors are on the mat with us, at the baby’s level, and connect in a social/emotional way before anything else. I think this builds trust with the babies, and thus builds their confidence to connect with other human beings and try new things. It’s like they have silent conversations with the babies, just with eye contact and gentle touches.
Ida’s confidence is on hyper-drive when she is there. She climbs more, crawls more, talks more. I think she has really benefited from coming to class, both physically and socially. And, watching how they assist and interact with the babies has helped me learn how to work with Ida — to honor her timing, to let her take the lead, to respect what she understands at this time. The Babies! class is unlike any other baby class I’ve ever seen. It’s really a treasure.
Margot & Ida (age 12 months)
I struggle to describe Babies! to other parents because when one thinks of class, one often thinks of being led through a series of activities that (maybe) help you get to a particular place by a particular time and route, and Babies! isn’t linear like that. Babies! is as outside of time and delightfully round and enigmatic as our little ones, who set the course and, with the incredible care, attunement, and guidance that Sarah, Amy & Nisha provide, flourish and help us caregivers learn how best to support and grow with them. Intellectual curiosity brought me to the first class; alchemy keeps me coming back.
Lindsay & Augustus
We have been taking Theodore to the babies movement class since he was six months old. He is now 15 months and a confident walker. We attribute this to what we learned as parents through the class, the play space, the community and most especially the guidance that we received from Sarah, Amy and Nisha.
Susan & Theodore
We began taking our son to the Babies Project when he was about 6 months old and just starting to crawl. As new parents we were also learning to navigate letting someone we love begin to discover and move in his own body without interrupting or interfering with his own pace unless absolutely necessary. The leaders of the Babies Project are incredibly astute, gentle, and generous with their time and feedback, demonstrating and explaining how to more closely and carefully observe and anticipate our son’s, and other baby’s, movements, intentions, and desires. They have also instilled in us the trust that his innate physical knowledge and potential for competent movement are more often than not normal and appropriate, and to support him without stepping in or becoming overly protective, impatient, or helpful.
The community of other families has also been a joy to be part of and we look forward to seeing and sharing in each other’s updates and excitement each week. We hope to give Theodore a sibling and will be bringing it to the Babies Project to continue the cycle of learning and growing that we have all enjoyed being part of.
Saul & Theodore
My daughter has been going to Babies! every week since she was 6 weeks old (she is now 11.5 months). Since I am now back at work, I look forward to my nanny telling me what they learned in class that week and ways we could be assisting my daughter with movement. I love seeing pictures of her exploring the space and making new friends. This is a truly wonderful space for babies!
Amanda & Seraphina
A lot is said in later childhood about play-based and child-led learning, but I never would have imagined such a thing existing for young infants. It does – at Babies!
Babies! was an incredibly special place for me as a new mom. Most classroom environments I entered with my daughter were set up to entertain her, but at Babies! I was invited to step back and support her as she explored movement and developed her own interests.
My new-mom nerves were calmed by the expertise and kindness of the instructors, who gave me the insight to understand the million tiny steps and skills that babies develop between the big-name movement milestones – and the wisdom to see how I could support her without interfering in her natural development.
Now Hazel is almost 2 years old, and she has grown into a kid who can entertain herself, who knows what she wants and how to ask for it (boy, does she!), who loves to dance and move, and who is gentle with infants. Babies! played a huge role in that, and I am so grateful.
Sam & Hazel
Thank you for providing such a wonderful learning environment for babies.
Heidi & Vivian
Babies! was incredibly valuable for our family in ways that I never expected and that have unfolded over time for my now four-year-old son. When we attended class it was wonderful to be given the tools to sit in the wonder of what he was doing, to recognize the miraculous natural development that was occurring in such subtle ways, and to support this in a manner that was led by him instead of me. As the parent of an infant it gave me the comfort and permission to trust that he knew what he needed developmentally and that my role was to interpret and support. As he has grown I have been impressed by the self-containment that he possesses. He is comfortable and confident in a way that I believe comes from being supported and not pushed.
Now that he is four and we are navigating another big period of expectation with the beginning of school, I am especially aware of how much of what I learned from Amy and Nisha has informed my thinking. Just as he rolled, sat and walked so naturally at the point when he was ready, he will write, count and read. He doesn’t need my push, I have been given the knowledge and permission to trust his abilities and to honor his timing. This has been an important counterpoint to the predominant cultural message that values acceleration and the early attainment of milestones at the expense of skipping over some very important and foundational steps. The understanding that I gained in Babies! has been incredibly valuable to me and one of the things that has informed the way I parent the most. Thank you, Amy & Nisha!
Alana & Marlon
I want to do everything I can to help mission: save Babies Project! My life was in the most stressful and money-scarce place it has ever been during my pregnancy and most of the first year of mamahood. Being able to come to Babies with Vuk, and be welcomed with open hearts and arms was one of my saving graces that always helped bring me back to center. Even when we moved out to Forest Hills in Queens last spring, it has still been worth it for us to make the trek to see you each week! I heart the work you do and loving spirit you provide to families, but first and foremost the babies. You see them and help us see them in that most heart-centered of ways. I know it has helped me grow into the strong mama that I am today, and I thank you for being part of that journey in our lives.
Lynae & Vuk
Babies! at the Breathing Project is a safe, supportive environment that has facilitated the growth and development of my daughter. I’ve never experienced another class like it before, and they really take the time to get to know your baby and what they may need. The educators are extremely knowledgeable and warm. The community that has been created around this class has led to wonderful friendships.
Jaime, Jason, & baby Iris
Babies! is a wonderful space full of colorful toys where babies can just be. Almost naked, babies move around at their own pace, discovering the world and other babies. They receive one-on-one attention and support that meets their very own needs at this developmental stage. One of the three educators takes the time and watches the baby, plays with him/her and does a little fine-tuning in terms of developmental movement education. Nothing is forced or rushed – the baby him/herself sets the pace.
We love coming to Babies! and really enjoy being with other moms and babies to exchange experiences, be on the floor with the babies, playing around and receiving a lot of information about my baby’s very own development stage. Every baby develops on his/her very own schedule and this is exactly what Babies! is about. Each baby gets his/her attention and support.
Another reason why we love coming to Babies! is the atmosphere. It is not as overstimulating as some other classes and there is no class structure – if your baby sleeps a little longer, you can join later or leave earlier for a nap. It is very relaxing and calm for me. I really enjoy watching my daughter Matilda grow, change and develop. She is more mobile and stronger from one week to the other and with every Babies! session I get a little piece of ‘homework’ to practice with her and watch her. It is so much fun to see how these tiny little fine-tunings make a difference with her. I feel like there is development in Matilda after each session – even if it is a little. I can understand the way babies develop and that one little movement leads to the next. And last but not least I love that the babies are without diapers and naked. It’s wonderful!!!
Svenja & Matilda
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you’ve shared with me and James! When I first heard about Babies! from another mom, I wasn’t sure what it was, and thought it might be like a baby yoga class, but what we experienced was unlike anything I could have ever imagined. I entered the beautiful room with sun pouring in through the enormous windows and saw all the adorable babies of all ages and their parents spread out on the mat among a sea of colorful toys. I changed James into the ‘undies’ and approached the mat, and noticed Sarah walking toward us with a gentle smile. She stood about four feet from us and waited patiently. (To be honest, I wondered “What is this lady doing?”) But then James broke into a smile, and she approached him and said to him, “Hi, I’m Sarah.” I think she was waiting for him to initiate a connection, and since then they have been bonded in a really powerful way. We laid down on the mat, and Sarah taught us about “Baby Ball” positions and a gentle way of helping babies move into tummy time, all the while explaining what she was doing and how it could help James move naturally, the way nature designed him to move. He was 3 months old at the time and HATED tummy time. (At home, I’d plop him on his tummy, he’d last for maybe 10 seconds, start screaming, and face-plant in defeat. Pretty much the story of every tummy time ever, right?)
I went home that week after our first session and worked on the method Sarah shared, and on day SIX, he was doing tummy time for 4 minutes at a time, looking around proudly and actually choosing to roll out of tummy time fearlessly when he was ready. I was in love with Babies! from then on because it gave me confidence and direction as a parent and seemed to make James happy, and since that first session, I have gone almost every week for 4 months. (In fact, side note, there is a joke in our mom’s group that when a new mom joins, I say “Hi I’m Marie, what’s your name, and have you heard of Babies!?”)
I love that Sarah and Amy share the same philosophy (let the babies move without forcing them into positions prematurely, intervene gently to help them along when they get stuck, and don’t judge whatever ‘limitations’ they might seem to display), but at the same time they each provide a unique perspective. I mentioned once that James only likes to roll to his right, and since then, they have been teaching James and me (and dad, who adores the classes too!) different techniques to encourage him to turn on his left side. “Who cares if he only rolls right?” you might say. Right? Sure, his life will be fine if he only rolls right, BUT, teaching him full range of motion helps him be more “integrated” and “balanced,” and that can mean a lot when he is learning to pick up a single pea in his high chair, or play an instrument or throw a basketball or learn ballet. And guess what? After 3 weeks of focusing on helping him roll left, he does it comfortably now! Perhaps just as importantly, Babies! teaches me to be patient, to be present and totally focused on my son. No phones, no distractions, just me and the baby. It gives me a chance to observe how incredible he is on his own, and how much he can learn with simple guidance.
Babies! is so great that my family and in-laws wait for the weekly update on what James can focus on next. My sister-in-law even asked me to find out if there were classes in her state. When James enters the room for the Friday session, he kicks with delight and lunges for Sarah when he sees her. (I kid you not, I once saw him gaze into Sarah’s eyes for what seemed like 40 seconds before they broke eye contact — he adores her that much.) And believe me, I almost never write testimonies, and certainly not ones this long. But if there is one single activity I would recommend to all NYC parents, it would be Babies!. Sarah and Amy are like extended family, and they know James and all his quirks in a way that melts my heart. And they know it for all the babies there. I watch them gently help the big kids crawl without dragging one leg, and see them laugh and shrug when the kid insists on dragging the leg anyway, and to try again when the baby is ready. Babies! is the perfect balance of gentle guidance, non-judgmental feedback, and fun. I wish there were classes all over the city so that moms and dads everywhere could experience the joy that comes with learning from Amy and Sarah about the way babies move, interact with their world, and progress through milestones, big and small. Thank you, thank you Sarah and Amy! I couldn’t imagine James growing up without Babies!
Marie & James
It has been a wonderful experience to have access to this no pressure, come as you are class. Isaac has learned so much from Amy, Sarah and Nisha over the last several months, and the social interaction with other babies has been invaluable. As his mom, I appreciate the accepting environment that places emphasis on the process rather than quickly meeting milestones. Groups that are both this beneficial as well as accessible (both physically and financially) are hard to find, and we are grateful to have had the ability to participate. We look forward to the Babies! class each week, and we always leave in good spirits!
Meggy & Isaac
I have been going to The Breathing Project since my son was around 4 months. He had really bad reflux and would never go on his tummy. I tried a few tummy time groups by my house, but when I found The Breathing Project everything changed for us. The time each woman spent with my son was so personal. I learned so many gentle ways to help him on his tummy. I even stopped his reflux medicine a few weeks later.
Laszlo is about to turn one and we are still going to The Breathing Project as much as possible. Every different stage of development has brought new challenges, and I trust the women of The Breathing Project with all their insight and compassion to help Laszlo and me through the next stages. Being a first time mom I felt so safe in their space. I have watched Laszlo and the other babies grow and learn, crawl and walk. It has been an unbelievable experience to be a part of this community of women and babies.
Tara & Laszlo
Attending class with Amy and Sarah in Babies at the Breathing Project has been an invaluable source of support, information, and community for me as a new mother. We started coming when my son was four months old, and I feel like the warm, welcoming atmosphere, plus the opportunity to explore a fascinating space – diaper free! – helped him thrive while providing me with helpful ideas and techniques to support his development. I’m so grateful that a friend suggested I attend that first class – the Babies class is one of my top five suggestions for new moms in New York City!
Tamara & Theo
What Amy Matthews offers in Babies! is priceless guidance for any parent, be they new or experienced, with a child who is healthy or a child not thriving. The key takeaway from my own experience was not “what can I do more or better to help Elsie?” but rather, “Where can I interfere less and offer Elsie the dignity to go through her own process?” This approach is both liberating and empowering for parent and child. I feel blessed to have a thriving toddler who is confident, coordinated, courageous and curious, and grateful to Amy for her gentle, non-judgmental guidance in getting here!
Taylor & Elsie
I just wanted to say how grateful Calvin and I are for the wonderful work you do! We so enjoyed coming to play and work on his movement with you over the months. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Your guidance gave us both confidence as a new mom of a growing baby and a baby evermore on the move. (He is trying to climb into the bathtub as I write this!)
Nina & Calvin
As a dance performer and teacher who had a difficult start and a good amount of pain due to bad posture, uneasy movement, and general awkwardness, I wanted my daughters to develop natural and diverse movement pathways from the beginning.
The Babies Project classes teach me how to support my babies’ healthy movement progression towards walking. But not only that — the class is also a beautiful way to strengthen my relationship with my babies. It’s brought me closer to them and taught me new and fun ways to play with them and understand them. The teachers offer a fascinating look at what babies are doing in their journey towards walking.
Sophie is 3 now. She is so graceful and has always been because of your class. Even when Sophie was a year old, she already was so balanced and she had this quality of a complete human being walking, balanced, poised, secure. I see in a friend’s daughter who also went to your class — that same graceful, balanced, secure, complete quality that I see in Sophie. And there was the most beautiful toddler at your studio the last time I was there–he is already walking–and he has the same quality. It was so beautiful to see it again in him.
Blanca, Sophia & Samantha
There are a few handfuls of experiences, places and people that stay with me wherever I go, whatever I am doing — because the lessons and support are so universally valuable for me. Babies Project is one of them!
Alyson & Idra
This is one of the best activities I’ve taken Ilaria to when she was younger. You guys impart such valuable philosophies about babies and their innate ability and consciousness, especially to first time moms. I can’t stop raving about it and I am really happy to see it has the potential to expand.
Isabella, Ilaria & Cesca