Parent Infant Philly offers classes in South Philadelphia for parents with babies up to age 3, using RIE® principles.

Applying principles begun in Hungary by Magda Gerber and expanded upon by Janet Lansbury, our classes employ observation to help you better understand your baby or toddler as we watch them interact with other children and play independently; we discuss the subtle nuances of language and ways to build trust and connection with our babies and young children. We strive to create a relaxing atmosphere for parents and children alike.

Registration Form

EVERY Friday, 9:45-11:15am

Monthly Saturday classes!
Sign up for 10/26, 10:30am-12pm

“You opened our world up into a relaxed parenting style. Even sent me toward a Waldorf school. It is wonderful. Thank you Maria for holding the RIE classes it really changed everything for us!! We…hope that other parents find their way to you!!”   — J.D.

I am so honored to support you in your parenting journey. Working on building a respectful, connected relationship with your children can be so rewarding, and hard work, too. The words we use, the expressions we show, the triggers we return to, the choice to intervene or not, holding space for a child during a tantrum, all require practice to help you parent the way you want to.

Parents are working toward a common goal – taking care of our children as best we can. The nuances vary from one family to the next. There is a lot of trial and error as you get to understand your child and your role as a parent. Recognizing that our behaviors and choices are based on our life experiences, including how we were brought up, is an important step toward the self-reflection RIE® can bring about. There is an effort in looking inward and understanding that your child reflects what you put out, and respecting your child as they are, from day one. Holding space for a child and yourself can be challenging at times.

Building a deep connection in those first few years can make your parenting journey more relaxing in so many ways — our bodies can rest when our babies are in their safe spaces; our minds can be at peace knowing they can play happily without requiring you be ON 24/7, or inadvertently inhibiting your child’s natural curiosity and development. When we consider that child’s play is of vital importance, we begin to see how interrupting them might be disruptive. And we begin to see that all emotions our toddlers have are valid, and stem from somewhere – we learn to look for the meaning behind the behavior.

About our classes:

WHY: When we give young children uninterrupted playtime in a safe environment, they can show us how capable they are. Attentive caregiving deepens the bond between parent /caregiver and child, leading to fulfilling attachments for both parent and child, while also fostering independence in your child.

WHERE: Classes are held at Lilypad, 1234 S Broad Street, just north of Wharton Street in South Philadelphia, easily accessible by public transportation or with plenty of 2-hour street parking.

Single class: $25 per class with pre-registration
10-Class Card: $190
5-Class Card: $100

Register for a class: Pre-registration required Email or register here.

If you practice or wish to learn more about RIE® and/or conscious and respectful parenting, join us for a class. You can be the change!

Classes begin with a check-in and space for questions as they come up, and also include quiet observation of children immersed in their play, helping us to recognize their interests. Our classes model respectful parenting principles with the aim of becoming more confident as a parent and trusting of your child. Classes allow your little one the space and freedom to move, play and explore as she wishes. Playing uninterrupted in an open, safe space with others allows your child a secure emotional and physical space to learn, move, and interact authentically. Parents enjoy the relaxing non-judgmental atmosphere and discussions.

SNACK TIME: Snack is included. Children enjoy a snack while learning about patience, turn-taking and manners around mealtime. Parents get an example of how to explain and hold limits in a respectful and age-appropriate way. Children choose whether or not to participate.

CLASS DURATION: All classes are an hour and a half.

CLASS SIZE: Attendance is limited to a small group of children per class to ensure smaller groups. Send us an email to let us know class date(s) you plan to attend, and once payment is received, your spot is reserved. We cannot guarantee how many children will be in attendance each class, as schedules vary, so you may be the only ones in class or there may be up 4 other families. We will do our best to keep you informed.

BENEFITS: So far, our classes have shown us how well babies can move when they are free to pursue their own goals (reaching for a ball that rolls away can help with resilience and build self-confidence when baby at last grabs her plaything). Our toddlers have been drinking from open glasses with great success (sometimes a change of clothes is in order as they learn), and sitting for a delightful snack time as we chat and model limits and patience. Toy taking all but disappeared by the end of our first 8-week toddler session. Parents have enjoyed seeing their child interact with other babies and toddlers. Each child discovers new ways to interact with the play objects, both alone and sometimes with peer assistance, which is such a joy to watch.
We talk about the common phrases parents use: “you’re ok” “good job” “share” to discuss the emotional and social repercussions of our language, which has brought up great conversations and helps us subtly rethink how we interact with our children. “Are you ok?” “You did it.” “It’s hard when someone has a toy you really want.”

We realize nap times can vary and would love your input on the best times for your little ones. (Mornings at Lilypad are booked up except for Fridays, and the occasional Saturday)

If price is holding you back, we can offer scholarships and discounts for EBT card holders with ID.

Private facility and at-home sessions are also available by appointment. Home sessions include assessment of your baby’s play area/safe space (including play objects), and advice on how to implement select RIE® principles at home, in ways that work best for your family. Specific questions can be answered after observation time with your baby as we get to know your child’s preferences, interests and movement.

Facility sessions are for child care providers or teachers/parents at facilities with multiple children, and offer hands-on exploration on the value of child-led play, the whys of minimal adult intervention, and benefits of respectful interactions with young babies, for your parents and care providers. The importance of continuous care between providers and children will be introduced. A relaxed, respectful and loving care provider/child relationship is the goal of these sessions.

Series is facilitated by a RIE®-practicing parent who has completed the RIE Theory and Foundations Course™. Maria has been practicing with her son since he was almost one (skipping this and skipping that, as it worked for her family). When she discovered it, RIE® really resonated, and she has been attempting to spread the word for the last 6 years. Emotional validation of children is so vital to the process of RIE®, and this concept has forever changed the way she sees and interacts with babies. After running several RIE®-inspired playgroups and a few classes, Maria decided to enroll in an intensive RIE® foundations course. The course has led to greater understanding of Magda Gerber’s principles and has really opened up the whys of RIE®. Maria would love to share those principles with you, and hopes that your views will also be changed when you notice how well RIE® helps you connect and empathize with young children.

Contact ParentInfantPhilly at GMAIL dot com to sign up or with questions.