Thanks to East Bay Music Together for sponsoring this guide to resources for new parents and babies in the East Bay. East Bay Music Together has a new online class for parents and caretakers of young babies. Babies are positioned so they can watch and interact with their special grown-up, and the grown-up follows the teacher on the screen.
What to Know Before Baby
Where to shop locally to gear up
Berkeley Parents Network Marketplace (Berkeley and vicinity) is a moderated email newsletter of baby- and kid-related items up for grabs at usually good prices (Must subscribe to participate).
Rooster and Next Door (Your Neighborhood) are other hyperlocal social networks where folks may be offering up baby gear they want to get rid of. Unlike the Facebook group mentioned above, these boards are not dedicated to parents, so you'll have to be patient for the right listings. (Check out Rooster — where everything is FREE — and Next Door.)
What do you need to buy?
Oakland-based start-up BabyList lets you create a registry that combines your must-haves with all the pretty little things on Etsy you might like to have. See how it works >
Maternity and Before-Baby Services
AAA will check your car seat installation for free or point you to a fire station near you that will do it. Click here to see the list of places to get car seat inspections and the phone numbers to make an appointment.
Pregnancy Pictures. Browse our list of top family photographers in the East Bay to find someone who will take beautiful photographs of your pregnancy.
Prenatal Massage. Browse our list of best prenatal massage spots in the East Bay.
Prenatal Yoga and Exercise. I'm so high-strung, pregnancy is just about the only time I'll do yoga. Stretching out my expanding body just feels right (Right now our favorite East Bay prenatal yoga classes are online and in the park)! 9 East Bay Yoga Studios for prenatal yoga >
S P O N S O R E D M E S S A G E
The joyful, musical, magical teachers of East Bay Music Together and Canta y Baila Conmigo will lead activities for you and your baby to sing, play, and jam along to via weekly interactive Zoom classes and livestream events. Your baby will begin on their path of musical development while reinforcing message that music is important to your family.
- Save half off for first responders and healthcare workers with code: THANKYOU.
- Out-of-town family (like grandparents or cousins) can join in on the fun with the code: FAMILY
Classes are appropriate for sitting babies. Register for Babies Music Together Online >
Where to take Pregnancy & Childbirth Classes
Birthways (Berkeley) is a non-profit that brings Childbirth Prep, Breastfeeding, Home Birth 101, and Meet the Doula nights to East Bay expectant parents. Browse their newborn classes here >
Alta Bates Summit Pregnancy & Childbirth Services (Berkeley) offers parent education classes and support groups. Prenatal classes include Childbirth, Breastfeeding, VBAC, and Childbirth Refresher classes for second-time parents. See the list >
Kaiser Prenatal Health (Oakland) hosts classes so many for their patients, including a Cesarean prep class for mothers who are having planned C-sections. Browse all the topics here >
Then Comes Baby (Oakland) and The Family Room (Albany) were designed as community gathering spots for newborns and their adults with classes, comfort, and couches. As virtual destinations, they are still providing essential services to new families, but with fewer pillows. Find more East Bay prenatal and birthing classes >
Help When the Baby is Here!
New parent support resources
Where to meet other moms. We have assembled a massive list of new mom groups, activities, and tips for making new friends out in the world. Many of our fave classes, like Music Together, are now happening online. Click here to check it out.
Therapy for new moms and dads. Parenthood is a joy and also a new source of stress. Extra support in a non-judgmental setting is a frequent need of new parents. Local experts Gina Hassan, Rachel Morgan Tucker, and Bruce Linton (especially for dads) have explicitly invited parents to seek support in their therapy practices.
Postpartum support. Postpartum doulas come to the home, provide help with sleep, breastfeeding, food prep and general clean up, including overnight. One lovely postpartum doula we met recently is Megan Shinkle.
For new moms interested in Jewish life. Jewish Families of the East Bay is a local organization available to help families interested in learning about early childhood programs or simply connecting with other Jewish families with similar interests. Also, PJ Library provides free Jewish books and music to children from six months to seven years of age. For more information or to sign up >
Activities and fun
Take Music Together Online classes. In the special class for parents with babies under nine months old, you'll learn lots of fun, interactive music activities that will support your baby's socio-emotional growth, language acquisition, and early brain development. Register for Babies Music Together Online >
Weekly online music classes for ages 6 months to 5 years include beautiful music, instructions to make everyday items more musical, downloadable music, digital songbook, and exclusive access to community activities. Register for Mixed Age Music Together Online >
Rookie Moms: 52 weekly challenges is a list we wrote on our other website, suggesting one activity to help new moms get out of the house — with baby in tow — each week for the first year. If you're on Instagram, use hashtag #510families to share them with us, so we can give you a virtual thumbs up!
Professional family photographs. Browse our list of top family photographers in the East Bay to find someone who will take beautiful photographs of your new baby.
More classes for Parents and Babies – from swimming to music, we have a wonderful guide to all the fun activities for babies that involve weekly session-based classes. Here it is >
Childcare Information and Resources
BANANAS is a local, Oakland nonprofit that helps train, educate, and connect caregivers with employers. They offer supporting materials and specific listings.
Swiss Cheese Childcare connects local parents with babysitters. See their website >
UrbanSitter.com and Care.com work on a membership model that allows matching of potential babysitters with your family based on criteria you set.
Thanks to East Bay Music Together for sponsoring this guide. We're big fans!