The Best Online Infant Care Classes
The Best Online Infant Care Classes
May 26, 2020

The Best Online Infant Care Classes

The Best Online Infant Care Classes.
The Best Online Infant Care Classes

How often have you heard “don’t worry, you’ll know exactly what to do” as an expecting parent? As much as we’d like that saying to be true, the vast majority of the time it’s just not that way. Things like diapering, infant CPR and pinpointing exactly why your baby is crying again aren’t hardwired into your brain the moment your little one arrives.

Parenting a newborn is a learned skill; you either learn it through experience or by being taught. Learning through experience most often means weeks (if not months) of trial and error and, unfortunately, frustration. Thankfully, you can minimize that frustration and speed up the learning process if someone teaches you how to take care of your new addition—even before they arrive. Let’s face it, we’d love it if babies came with a how-to guide. But since they don’t, infant care classes are the next best thing.

Infant care classes are typically offered in person by hospitals, community centers and houses of worship. Many of those institutions, however, have adapted to virtual classes due to restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic. If you’ve talked with your healthcare provider or ob-gyn about taking an infant care class through your hospital, check with them to see if that class has been made available online. Keep in mind: Infant care classes are different from prenatal and childbirth classes (which you can also find online right now, sometimes even for free), though you might find some classes that cover both childbirth and infant care at the same time.

In case your go-to in-person option isn’t available virtually, or if you’re looking for other options, there are plenty of organizations that specialize in online infant care classes. We’ve rounded up our favorites below.

Tip: If you have medical insurance, you may be able to use your FSA/HSA for infant care classes. Talk with your insurance rep to find out if any classes qualify under your plan.

The Baby Manual

Looking for a literal how-to guide for your newborn? Meet the aptly named Baby Manual. Through a series of instructional videos that include tips from physicians, childcare experts and experienced parents alike, the Baby Manual walks you through all the basics to help with everything from day one through the early weeks (that’s four hours of content!):

  • Baby gear overview
  • Bringing baby home from the hospital
  • Early weeks overview
  • Breastfeeding
  • Formula feeding
  • Diapering & bathing
  • Reducing crying
  • Health & CPR
  • Sleep
  • How to have fun with baby
  • How to go out and about with baby
  • Finding childcare
  • Adjusting to parenthood and lifestyle changes

Each video includes a summary of key points at the end to reinforce everything you’ve just learned. The course is accessed via DVD (unlimited plays and can rewatch for future children) or online (unlimited plays for six months) for $59, or you can have both formats for $79. They also offer individual courses, and the Breastfeeding Manual and Healthy Sleep manual are currently available for free (regularly $29.99 each).


Boot Camp for New Dads

Here’s the only online infant care class for dads, by dads. “Veteran” dads (with their own little ones as helpers) act as coaches and instructors for new “rookie” dads, teaching swaddling methods, bottle feeding, rocking, diapering, bathing and all the basics new dads need to keep their little one healthy, clean and safe—and in just a three-hour crash course. It even comes with a 144-page textbook, Crash Course for New Dads, so you have something to refer to when the class is over.

The online classes are offered every Saturday from 9am to noon PST. Courses are available in person, too (once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted), in dozens of locations across the US. There’s also a Boot Camp for New Moms!


Dads Adventure: Base Camp

Created by the same team of dads from Boot Camp for New Dads, Dads Adventure is less of an online class and more of a series of helpful articles for self-guided learning. The articles touch on all imaginable aspects of fatherhood, and we especially love their infant care section, which includes videos of real dads demonstrating the lessons (swaddling, nail clipping, relieving gas, etc.) with their real babies—and with a few dad jokes too.

Keep in mind: Unlike most of the infant care classes you’ll come across either online or in person, Dads Adventure isn’t run by certified childcare experts like physicians, registered nurses or early childhood educators. All of their expertise comes from being experienced dads.


NewbornCourse.com

If you’ve ever taken a traditional online class through a college, university or distance learning website, you’ll feel right at home with NewbornCourse.com’s format. They include both instructional videos and text-based instruction (like reading a short online textbook), and there’s a helpful glossary you can access at any point to get more information on infant care-related words that are likely new to you (what’s “thrush” again?). The $99.99 subscription lasts for six months, during which time you have access to all five courses:

  • Newborn to Three Months (sleep, nutrition, milestones, etc.)
  • Preparing for Birth
  • Mother Care (how to keep caring for yourself while also caring for a newborn)
  • Nursery and Baby Gear
  • Healthy Child (medical care, immunizations, etc.)

NewbornCourse.com also offers a bonus section just for dads! While some of the course is focused on mothers, what they can do for the new baby and how they can maintain their own postpartum mental and emotional health, the website also includes three articles with helpful, kind and encouraging words for new dads.


Baby 101 by Tinyhood

Founded by two moms who struggled with their own new parenthood, Tinyhood excels in providing flexible options for online infant care courses. Their full-suite course, Baby 101, teaches all the essentials for the first few weeks and months of caring for your little one, including:

  • Breastfeeding
  • Newborn/infant sleep
  • Infant safety (CPR and choking)
  • Baby care
  • How to change a diaper
  • Baby bath time
  • Holding and burping
  • How to trim baby’s nails
  • Newborn tummy time

With everything it includes, this course regularly goes for $160, but you can catch it on sale right now for $49. The best part: you have unlimited access to it for up to one year after purchase.

Only need one or two of these classes? Tinyhood offers their course sections individually for $15 to $40. Keep in mind: While the experts at Tinyhood offer a complete suite of courses on breastfeeding, nutrition and starting solids, they don’t offer courses on formula or bottle feeding. And since Tinyhood is partnered with Welcome Baby, each purchase helps provide essential newborn supplies to low-income expectant mothers.


Parents Place

Parents Place is run by a group of diverse parenting experts, including clinical psychologists, early childhood development educators, lactation consultants, special needs specialists and more. Though they’re based in the San Francisco Bay Area, their online classes and support groups are open to parents across the US. Just a few of their classes include:

  • Baby & Me: support and education group for parents with babies newborn to five months old; occurs weekly on Thursdays
  • 2nd & 3rd Time Moms: support and education group for parents with toddlers/preschoolers who are adjusting to a new sibling; occurs weekly on Fridays
  • Other specialty groups include Parents of Children with Special Needs, Children Six to Twelve Months Old, Mothers & Sons, Fathers & Daughters and Fostering Positive Sibling Relationships for managing sibling rivalry and conflict.

American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED Online

Infant care isn’t just about feeding and diapering, it’s also largely about safety. Did you know there’s a specific process for using CPR on infants? While it’s really, really important to know how to identify hazards and keep them out of your little one’s path, sometimes accidents can happen, and you’ll want to be prepared. The Red Cross’s online class covers CPR, first aid and AED for infants as well as for older children and adults. Keep in mind: If you need certification that meets OSHA requirements for your job, you’ll need to take this course instead, which also requires an in-person skills component (check with your local Red Cross location about taking the in-person portion of the class while COVID-19 restrictions are in place).

The Red Cross also offers classes on child care basics to help you learn the best ways to hold, bottle feed, discipline and play with your baby, among other necessary parenting skills. Child Care Training courses are typically meant for child care professionals and babysitters, but the skills they teach are obviously still incredibly important for expecting parents with little to no experience with babies.

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