Y Beginnings Parenting Center

Hi, there! We’re thrilled to welcome you to the Y Beginnings Parenting Center!

This is your invitation to come out and play‑-with new babies, parents and caregivers from the neighborhood--together at the Y. We’ve got a full roster of classes, programs, and events planned (and always in the works!) for expectant families and those with babies, one year olds and two year olds.

At Y Beginnings, we’re your uptown home for new families. This is where your daughter might meet her first best buddy, your son might take his first steps and where your confidence as a new parent grows. All within a framework of local living at its best—no schlepping downtown to find activities or community.

The Y Beginnings Parenting Center debuted in 2014. We’re still growing and we’d love feedback on what you’d like to see offered at the Y. Let us know what appeals to your unique family, by TAKING OUR SURVEY or EMAILING ME.

As the Coordinator for Y Beginnings, I’m looking forward to meeting you and welcoming your family. By way of introduction, I’m a writer, a certified lactation counselor, a mom since 2008, and a local resident active in our neighborhood for more than a decade. I know firsthand what a wonderful community we’re building, together, here uptown.

We extend a warm welcome to families of all types and all backgrounds, while also offering special celebrations of Jewish culture throughout the year. Our programs are supported by a grant from the UJA-Federation of New York.

Whatever brings you to the Y, we hope you find a welcoming home here.


Connect with Mara on Facebook Connect with me on Facebook and visit our Y Beginnings blog!

Y Beginnings Programs

Moms Groups
Classes for Toddlers and Caregivers
Jewish Engagement
Samples of Previous Workshops and Classes



LABOR & DELIVERY WORKSHOP: Essentials for a More Easeful Birth
This couples workshop provides instruction on a wide range of simple techniques to achieve calmness, reduce discomfort, and facilitate the process of labor. Couples will have ample opportunity to explore and practice techniques while the supporting partner gains confidence in his/her ability to provide practical support and comfort during labor. This workshop covers material not typically provided in hospital-based classes. It is a great "stand-alone" workshop in preparation for labor and delivery, but is also a helpful supplement to childbirth education classes. Dress comfortably. For women in their 25th week of pregnancy and beyond, plus their partner (or labor support person). $100 per couple.
DATE: Sunday, June 25, 2017
TIME: 1 to 4 pm
TEACHER: Kelly Swails, RPYT, CCCE, M.A., a childbirth educator, certified prenatal/postnatal yoga teacher, doula and mom of three
click here

Moms Groups


Congratulations on your baby! As you find your way along this new mom journey, we invite you to join our supportive community of fellow moms and babies at the Y. Together we'll share stories, laugh, and learn from one another, all in a welcoming and inclusive environment that honors the path of each unique family.
DATE: Alternating Thursdays; January 12; February 2, 16; March 9, 23; April 6, 27; May 11, 25; continuing also during the summer
TIME: 12:30 to 1:30 pm, FREE for all moms and babies
LOCATION: Room 208

The Y's Breastfeeding Cafe is a gathering spot for nursing moms. Join us with your new baby, your breastfeeding questions, and your favorite nursing stories. Little ones play or snooze while moms chat and gain valuable support and community from each other and the group's facilitator. The Breastfeeding Cafe is open to all pregnant women and nursing moms. Group led by Mara Bragg, CLC (ALPP).
DATE: alternating Thursdays; January 5, 19; February 9; March 2, 16, 30; April 20; May 4, 18; continuing also during the summer
TIME: 12:30 to 1:30 pm, FREE for all moms and babies
LOCATION: Room 208

Classes for Toddlers and Caregivers

Are you a parent looking for activities and socializing for you and/or your child? The Y's Toddler and Parent Programs offer something for every stage to explore this pivotal time of life!

Children build a strong music foundation through singing, dancing and jamming to a mix of musical instruments. Class led by Carla Friend. 
NEW SESSION: Mondays, 9:30 to 10:15 am, May 1, 8, 15, 22, June 5, 12 (NOTE: cancellation on May 29 for Memorial day)
FEE: $150 for the 6-week session 
AGE RANGE: Babies through age two. All children attend class with a parent or caregiver. 
REGISTRATION: Click here for the registration form.

Children explore and discover through open play, art, music, and creative movement in our toddler classroom. Guided by an instructor, our Toddler Exploration program allows children to socialize with their peers while still attending class with their parent or caregiver present.
DATES:  Tuesdays and/or Thursdays (choose one or two days per week)
TIME: 9:30 to 10:45 am
FEE: $375 for one day/week or $625 (discounted) for two days/week
AGE RANGE: 1 year through 2 years 3 months (by 12/31/16)
SCHEDULE: FALL 2016: September 27 to January 19 (note holiday cancellations on October 4, November 24, December 27, December 29). SPRING 2017: January 31 to May 30 (note holiday cancellations on February 21 and 23; April 11, 13 and 18).
REGISTRATION: Spring 2017 Semester is now full! Email to be placed on a wait list. 

The Y is thrilled to partner with Super Soccer Stars to introduce the game of soccer to the youngest residents of Upper Manhattan. Sunday mornings experienced instructors lead two classes, one for 2 year olds and one for 12-24 months. Visit our Super Soccer Stars page to learn more or click here for the registration form. 
DATES:  Eight Sundays starting April 23, running through June 18. No class on May 28. 

Jewish Engagement

Join us on Friday mornings to welcome shabbat! We'll sing, read a story, say blessings, and enjoy challah together with our Y Beginnings community. Program features live ukulele music from the Y's own Rabbi Ezra Weinberg, plus Todah, our amazing Sloth (come meet him!). All families are welcome at Ukulele Shabbat, which is designed for babies through age three, with their parent or caregiver. Visit our Ukulele Shabbat page to learn more!
DATES: Fridays, from January 6 to May 26 (excepting cancellations on January 27, February 24, April 14)  

Want to see these previous workshops and classes offered again?

Let us know by sending an EMAIL.  




The Y Beginnings Parenting Center is a new initiative that focuses on families who are expecting and those with newborns, babies and toddlers, up to 2 years of age. This initiative is supported by a grant from the UJA-Federation of New York and offers fun, enriching, and educational opportunities for new and expectant parents and their children.

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