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Beers and Babies: A how-to class for dads

Whether you’re a new parent, grandparent, nanny or other, anyone who has ever been around a baby knows one thing for sure: it’s a heck of a lot of hard work. But before you buy yet another how-to parenting book for yourself, your spouse, or your child, consider a new option that’s taking the Boston area by storm – and it includes beer! Beers and Babies is a traveling baby class aimed at new dads and is the brainchild of Ricky Visconte, himself a local father and Pediatric ICU RN at Boston Children’s Hospital. 

As an RN at one of the world’s premier hospitals (and that’s no exaggeration – Boston Children’s is quite literally #1 on U.S. News & World Report’s list of the Best Children’s Hospitals Honor Roll for 2019-20,) Visconte noticed he was often dispensing health and wellness advice to family and friends, especially about babies. While he didn’t mind sharing his knowledge, he felt he could do more and the idea of taking his extensive baby knowledge “on the road” was born. But rather than targeting moms, Visconte saw himself in a unique position to provide advice to dads.

Determined to reach fathers in an approachable and relaxed environment, Visconte decided to hold his classes at local breweries. Sessions are comprehensive crash courses in baby care, covering everything from how to change a diaper to tips and techniques for getting babies to sleep, the importance of a schedule, and the holy grail of baby knowledge: creating the perfect swaddle. Classes focus on care for babies “from newborn to six months” which not coincidentally is also “a time when parents might be feeling a lot of stress and anxiety” about the choices they’re making or less than confident about the level of care they’re providing” explains Visconte.

The vibe of the classes is casual and there’s always ample time for questions about anything and everything baby related. While the baby advice is invaluable (when to call the doctor, how to know why your baby is crying) a pleasant side effect has been the forming of new friendships and a shared feeling of “we’re in this together” from the dads in attendance. “Often times, new dads or dads to be get signed up for a class by their wives and might be attending somewhat begrudgingly” says Visconte. But once they settle into a session, the camaraderie and kinship that forms among dads (whether they’re first timers or seasoned dads getting a refresh) is something that makes this a baby class unlike any other. Beers and Babies doesn’t just throw advice at dads, it aims to help them become more confident and feel like the cool dad they’ve always known they could be. 

The next Beers and Babies class will be on August 1st at Night Shift Brewing in Everett from 6-9pm. The cost is $125 and includes beer and all of the baby advice you can handle. For more information on specific dates or to sign up for a class, follow Beers and Babies on Instagram @projectdadrn.