Looking to soothe your savage baby? There's more than one way to bring a little Zen into the playpen...

By Sharlene Breakey

It's trendy to be Zen. It's trendy to be a parent. Ergo, it's ultratrendy to be a Zenned-out parent. Witness the recent explosion in kidcentric yoga studios and massage classes. But you have to wonder: Isn't the concept of chilling out with a child in tow a bit oxymoronic? Sure, you can relax if you've booked a baby-sitter along with that massage. And yes, with a lot of rocking and reading, you can get your kid to simmer down- but that's hard work. So we decided to see if it's possible for parent and baby to get centered together. My partner in crime was the ultimate tough customer: Edie a 14-month-old who's drunk with her newly acquired power to stand on her own two feet.

Baby Massage Class

Edie loved that foot rub so much, I became obsessed with taking her to a baby-massage class. I quickly discovered that while everyone offers them,  most limit enrollment to noncrawling infants. But because massage pretty much jump-started the whole bond-with-baby craze, I was determined to locate a class. Ultimately, I turned to Maternal Massage and More, where we attended a class that was largely populated by infants. We toddled into a big room that had a padded floor and a relaxing vibe; the space was filled with moms and babies so tiny, my peanut looking like a marauding giant. I staked out a spot near he door so we could make a quick getaway should baby Goliath start trampling the squirts, but she stayed put much longer than I expected. She clearly liked what was on the menu: If I stopped rubbing her fingers, for instance, she spread them out for more stroking. But even though the other moms weren't the slightest bit bothered by our squirming, I couldn't relax- and I wanted the pace to quicken. Edie and I highly recommend this class, particularly for moms with infants.