Thursday, March 17, 2011

Germy Baby Gym - Dislike

Monday night, I took Julianna to a free "Trial" class at the local Baby Gym. I won't mention any names since I am not going to speak that nicely of the place. Baby Jake and his mom Nicole also signed up with me. We had talked about possibly enrolling our munchkins for a 10 week class this summer so they could get some socilaization with other babies, and have some fun while we're at it. So we went to our trial class {luckily free!} on Monday night.

We got there and it was rush rush... get in the class... take off your shoes, and oh yeah, leave your stuff in a pile on the floor or wherever... rush rush ... and oh yeah, are you going to sign up with us? Are you going to enroll? (What? Let me take the class first - sheesh!).

So Nicole and I ripped off our shoes, took off the baby's shoes & socks ...then with my coat, purse & baby bag dangling off my arm, we ran into class. I ended up throwing my 'stuff' on the  floor in the corner. (Where was everyone else's stuff?? Apparently they knew to leave it all in the car!).

The instructor was maybe 18 years old. Terrific. We sat in a circle and sang a song, and the babies got to play with some toys out of a bucket on the floor. We did some quick excersises with our babies and walking/crawling in a circle. Oops, Julianna doesn't walk or crawl. I felt like a moron standing her up and trying to force her to walk. She looked at me like "Mommy, what are we doing??". {Note: I was told when I called originally that she would be fine in this class even if she didn't walk or crawl yet}

The instructor had us move from excersise to excersise. Now, granted my daughter is just under 10 months old. I don't expect her to go do a a blanace beam routine... The class age was 10 months to 18 months. So the other kids were clearly more advanced than her and were running circles around her literally. Baby Jake is very advanced too and is crawling and pulling himself up to stand. Yayy Jake! Then there's Julianna. She plops down on her butt and observes the other babies quietly. I knew she wouldn't be able to participate in some things, so that part of it was not really a surprise. I was able to have her stand up and hold herself up (for a few seconds) on the bars. She also stood on the balance beam with my help... and she was able to hold onto the uneven bars. I felt totally lost during the whole class... I felt that the instructor did not guide us very well at all. Good thing this was a free trial class.

Then I noticed it. (I think Nicole took notice long before me) - the kids were mouthing all the equipment (normal of course).... but then I thought "Gee, I wonder if they sanitize anything here?" - and I noticed there was food crumbs on the floor and it was not very clean actually. MASSIVE GERM PIT. YUCK. And then my thought was "Wow they get $30 for one 45 minute class here?"

At the end, we sat in a circle and each baby got to choose a  toy out of the same bucket from the beginning of class. So let's see... My kid gets to lick some other baby's germs & drool off the same toys used earlier. YUCK. So as all the babies were sharing germy toys, I got grossed out and took Julianna's away and that was that. I was done. Luckily, it was then time to go - and we got rushed out of the room like a flock of sheep. I hadn't even stepped 2 feet into the lobby and I was being asked if I was going to sign up. Uh yeh ok. Then I noticed the next class was hurried into the room (glass walls) - and look at that - NO sanitizing of any toys or mats or anything in between classes. GROSS. Sorry but that is just nasty. As soon as I got Jules home, I used sanitizing wipes on her hands & feet. UGH! Maybe I am just one of "THOSE" moms but I really don't want my kid sucking on a toy that 19 others just licked in the last day. No way.

I was talking to a friend the next day, and she said the place she to goes sanitizes all the toys, equipment & mats in between classes - and they have an area where  you can clean off the children's hands & feet (like a wash station). This place did not have that - it was highly recommended and a national chain. I was disappointed.

The kicker is - the next day, I got a call from one of the 18 year olds at the front desk asking if (you guessed it) I was going to enroll Julianna in a class. HA! As if! I told the girl exactly why I would not be enrolling Jules and why I would not be returning there... and suggested she let her manager or the owner know. So after I told her all this, she said to me, "OK, well sorry to hear that, we hope to see you soon" - WHAT? Did you not just hear anything I said about your germ-pit gym? So I'm pretty sure that complaint will go nowhere -

On a brighter note- I did some research and found a really neat place about 15 minutes from my house - It's
"Open Play" all day and you pay $10 and stay as long as you want. I talked to the owner, he is a toy inventor and said he is focused on making the best indoor play area for kids, and he even has a full time cleaning staff to ensure he place stays safe & clean. Babies have their own area so they don't get trampled by bigger kids... and they have all healthy snacks/food there. There is a cafe' where you can have lunch and chill out with your kid or while your kid plays (once julianna is older). We are hoping to check it out this weekend. That beats having to pay for a membership & weekly class at a Baby Gym place! Much cheaper and you can come & go as you please. SOLD.

Regardless of how the Monday night class went... I did get some cute pictures...
(I appoligize for the blurriness and the random body parts in the pictures)

Sitting patiently with Baby Jake in the beginning of class

Waiting for Mommy to take off her shoes

Bubbles... Julianna (back of head shown) was terrified of them.

Julianna playing with the dirty ball.

Jules on the bar trying to show her arm strength. Mommy having heart attack watching.

Jake & Julianna playing on the mat

Jake's had enough of Julianna - LOL

Julianna just playing by herself.



Holding onto the bar with mama's sausage arm balancing her

Observing the other babies on the bars

Runners stretch

Jake & Jules hanging out on the mat together. He's telling her quite the story!

Oh Observant one


  1. How gross!!! We checked out Maia's school to a TEE and sat in on 3 classes. The teachers have been there for 20 years!!! And they know every child by name and age and it's CRAZY. Picking a place is hard but when you find the right one, it's GOOOD

  2. I know the gym you went to and Liam went to the same gym, but here in Florida. All the girls here were also 18-21ish. Mine was clean to the eye, but they never wiped anything down or sanitized either. Liam was a little older 18 molds or so. He was the younger one in his class and all the circle time just did not interest him. We tried for 2 months but for the money he, and I were just not enjoying it. Good luck with your new gym!

  3. Hope the new gym is better. They do the bucket of toys at the library, too. They SAY they sanitize them...who knows. I try not to think about it but I totally understand your concern with the germs. Love the pictures of Jake and Jules, especially the one where his hand is in her face...made me laugh so hard! Kids are funny.

  4. I think I'm "that mom", too. I love the runner's stretch picture, althouth it kind of made me hurt looking at it!

  5. My kids get sick from those germ infested places every time! Yuck! If you find some place clean, stick with that!

  6. Yeah, using the same toys and not cleaning them in any way is pretty nasty. The baby gym we go to probably does this too, but at least it LOOKS clean and they have a bucket for toys that have been licked, etc. (although I'm sure most go unnoticed). Now that Nate is older I am less worried about it, but the younger they are (and more vulnerable), I am definitely all about being obsessive when it comes to cleanliness. Sorry the class sucked so much! Sometimes they are nice for routine and meeting people, but open play is awesome - no commitment, new toys, get out of the house. Glad you found that new place!

  7. Oh yuck, I totally feel you. That is gross. When I used to take N to a class, that was the first thing I checked. Luckily I was able to find a place that cleans everything and even sanitizes the toys after each class. I can't imagine how places like that stay in business... $30 for germs and the possibility of our precious babies getting sick? no thanks!

  8. Haha...I know where you went! I hope your new gym is cleaner. I have issues with baby classes that started three years ago...I took 9-month old Kaia to a class that had a similar bucket of toys to what you described. I knew they hosted several classes a day, so when I saw the toy bucket being dumped out and the babies gumming everything I HAD to ask if they sanitized the toys. I was told that they disinfected everything every afternoon. Um, yeah, that wasn't good enough for me. :) Out came the hand sanitizer from my purse and we left soon after. When we put Kaia in a class a few months ago the gym asked if we wanted to put Harry in one too. It wasn't even a decision. I know some people love their baby classes...I'm just not sold.


  9. Wow, yuck, gross......not real sure what to even say about that place! First of all, those toys need to be sanitized, everything goes in babies mouths!!!!! As for Julianna being left out since she doesn't crawl...Kylie can crawl and does really well, but there is no way that she would crawl in a circle or even crawl where you wanted to, she would be crawling off to pick up and eat the crumbs off the floor :) I can't imagine Kylie doing much of those things and that is way too structured for that age group. Glad you found an open play place!

  10. Hm ... sounds like the place I've been taking Hope locally - LOL. It's not dirty to the eye (certainly no food allowed) but I wonder every time about the sanitation - especially in the ball pit. They do collect used toys in a "dirty toy bin" ... but who knows if they clean them between classes? Of course Hope is older now, and I haven't seen any of the kids in her class put anything in their mouths, but of course there are other age groups before and after us! They haven't pressured me at all about whether or not I'm signing up for more classes. I feel like they fit a LOT of activities into our hour class, and Hope really loves it. She, thankfully, hasn't gotten sick. If I don't go back, it will be because of the high prices!

  11. This is kind of a funny follow up -

    I posted a picture on facebook of the gym instructor in the background of one of my pictures.
    (We'll call her Suzy)

    So my friend saw the picture on facebook - she tells me she works with Suzy at her job (Suzy has another job too I guess) - and she said suzy told her she hates working at the baby gym b/c it's so dirty!!

    So you KNOW if Suzy thinks it's dirty... then no way should anyone go there. LOL.


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