Gillian pictured with her husband Damien and son Senan
Babyclasses.ie, is due to give live next week, on April 12.
A glimmer of hope for new parents, parents-to-be, carers and those offering classes and support to those with new arrivals, given the year we have had, will come as a welcome reprieve. following the brainwave of a Thurles native.
Over the past year, first-time mum Gillian Ryan, daughter of Paul and Anne Marie Ryan (nee Duggan, formerly of Ardeen Nursing Home), Mill Road Thurles has been working on an idea; Babyclasses.ie, which is due to give live next week, on April 12.
Babyclasses.ie will be Ireland's only baby classes directory. It will list all the baby classes (both pre and postnatal) on one platform, enabling time-strapped parents to discover new classes in their local area, providing all the relevant class information, and facilitating the secure booking of classes in just a few clicks!
“2020 has been a crazy year for everyone, and it has been especially trying and isolating for new parents who have missed out on ante-natal classes and bonding with other expectant parents,” Gillian told the Tipperary Star.
Her hope is that by taking the hassle out of searching for engaging baby classes, the platform will help parents connect with other parents through attending baby classes, and offer new mums the opportunity to redefine their maternity leave and build lasting friendships with fellow 'pandemic parents'.
After Gillian’s son Senan was born last September, she realised how difficult and frustrating it was to find teachers offering classes for new mums and babies in her area. Friends and relatives were experiencing the same struggles and so Gillian felt there must be an easier way to connect parents with professional baby class providers across Ireland. This is how the idea for Babyclasses.ie was born!
Appreciating first-hand the importance that baby classes can play in the early days of motherhood, Gillian is determined to help support these small Irish businesses to thrive after the pandemic. Gillian wants to reassure any ante-natal, post-natal, or baby class providers that this platform can offer that support by letting parents discover and book onto the amazing classes they offer, hassle-free either online or in person.
Babyclasses.ie is here to support parents and class providers alike and is due in a matter of days!
“I studied Law in UCD, worked in the UK as a Project Manager for several years and packed it all in to become a teacher!
“When Senan was 10 weeks old we moved back to Ireland from London. I was lonely and the long days seemed like an endurance test; I didn’t know anyone in the commuter town we moved to; my husband was gone long hours; and our families were over an hour away.
“I knew I needed to get out and meet other new mums, add a routine to my weeks and basically break up the monotony of my days.
“I started looking for local baby classes that Senan and I could go to... but time after time my search results came up with nothing. Frustrated and feeling more isolated than ever, I spoke with friends and family and discovered they had had similar experiences of struggling to find local baby classes.
“It was then that the idea for babyclasses.ie was born!
“I recognised there was a massive gap in the market and appreciated the large market in the gap. After discussing the apparent communication void and invisible barrier preventing new and expecting parents from discovering Ireland’s class providers, I set about creating a platform to overcome this.
“ It is Ireland's only dedicated platform where parents can go to easily search and book local (and online) baby classes for them and their little ones. Parents can search by location, classes for mum or for baby, by baby’s developmental age range or by class type (e.g., antenatal classes, yoga, or baby swimming lessons).
“Babyclasses.ie has the scope to become a lifeline for isolated parents. Given the difficult year new parents have had, how cut off and isolated they have felt – babyclasses.ie is a free to use resource that can evoke a sense of community and connect new parents all over Ireland. It can spread hope that there is a light at the end of this awfully long and lonely tunnel!
“For the small businesses - the amazing class providers who have been struggling to stay afloat all year, the Platform is here to support them to not only survive... but to thrive! By featuring on the platform for the flat fee of €7.50 a month, their advertising and bookings are managed, and payments are securely processed. Class providers have a unique opportunity to showcase themselves, their experience, their passion, and their classes in front of an eager audience of potential customers.
“Additionally, if there are any teachers who cannot take their classes online now because they don’t have the facilities to process the payments - they can get back to doing what they do best – delivering engaging classes and let babyclasses.ie take care of the rest,” Gillian said.