If you feel like you’re on a never-ending treadmill of diaper changes and naptime battles, getting out of the house and commiserating with fellow parents can be a sanity-saver. Now, more than ever, is the time to find your tribe, glean essential parenting tips, and bemoan about how our bundles of joy aren’t always so joyous (but how we love them anyway!). Read on for a rundown of our favorite parent groups in LA that you can join—you may even find a new best friend for yourself and your kid in the process.
Best LA Parent Group: South Bay Mommy & Me
Who They Are: A parenting "village" founded by state-recognized infant-family and early childhood mental health specialist Bryana Kappa. South Bay Mommy & Me has a variety of classes—both virtual and in-person—to help nurture mothers as they raise their babies and toddlers. There are groups for infants, toddlers and second-time moms, as well as twin groups, pregnancy and postpartum support.
What They Do: Mothers and babies meet weekly for 75 minutes, where they can ask questions and ruminate on the struggles and triumphs of baby and toddlerhood. Topics are timed according to the child’s developmental stage, with age-appropriate activities that allow tiny tots plenty of time for rolling, crawling, cruising, walking and more. Once moms "graduate" from the program, they get an invitation to join Kappa's Conscious Mommy Circle, which teaches mothers mindfulness techniques to enhance their awareness of parenting and motherhood.
Where They Meet: Redondo Beach & online via Zoom.
What It Costs: $325 per 8-week session.
Best LA Parent Group: The Pump Station & Nurtury
Who They Are: A Westside staple for new and expecting moms, this Santa Monica boutique offers a slew of classes and workshops to tackle all the stages of pregnancy and early childhood (plus a super-stocked store where you can buy all the things you never knew you needed for your baby). Moms can get all their questions answered about postpartum care, nursing, sleep, finger foods, milestones and more. There are also certified lactation consultants and doulas to help with various needs.
What They Do: In addition to Mommy & Me support groups that guide new mothers through all of the ups and downs of raising a baby or toddler, the Pump Station also offers a multitude of specialty classes, including Intro to Breastfeeding, Returning to Work and Coping with Preschool Panic. There's even an online class for new grandparents to keep them up to date with all of the latest trends in baby-raising.
Where They Meet: Virtual as well as in-person meet-ups at the Pump Station & Nurtury (2727 Main St. Suite F, 2nd Floor)—as well as at Early Childhood Development Associates (6411 Melrose Ave., in Los Angeles) and Healing Through Action Studio (1201 S. Victory Blvd., Suite 104, in Burbank).
What It Costs: Mommy & Me groups (1st & 2nd/3rd time moms), $320 for a virtual 8-week session and $420 for an in-person 8-week session; Parents & Me (both parents) classes cost $380 for an 8-week virtual session and $480 for an 8-week in-person session; individual workshop prices vary.
Best LA Parent Group: MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers)
Who They Are: Anyone who's ever had a "threenager" can tell you: New baby moms aren't the only ones in need of support. MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) is a Christian-based organization that offers support groups and meetups for moms of kids who are past the diapers and formula stage. With more than 100,000 members in 67 countries, there's likely a MOPS group near you, wherever you are.
What They Do: Weekly meetups to talk about child development, share stories and offer support to moms of young children. Whether you're fighting bedtime battles, epic tantrums or school anxiety, you are not alone. Note: While MOPS welcomes moms of all denominations, there is a strong Christian leaning to the group, with its mission statement being to help moms "realize their potential as mothers, women and leaders, in relationship with Jesus, and in partnership with the local church."
Where They Meet: Churches throughout Los Angeles (see the "Find a Group" section of the website) as well as virtually via Zoom.
What it Costs: Membership fees start at $32 per year.
Best LA Parent Group: Wright Mommy & Me
Who They Are: Mommy & Me and Mommy, Daddy & Me classes are led by a team of licensed psychotherapists, founded by parenting pro Julie Wright, MFT, co-author of The Happy Sleeper and Now Say This: The Right Words to Solve Every Parenting Dilemma. Classes for new parents start when your baby is one-three months and continue through the first year.
What They Do: Weekly 90 minute classes help you adjust to parenthood (it is an adjustment!) and learn what to expect during your baby’s first year. Find your tribe as you laugh, sing, have fun and ask questions. Topics follow the babies’ development and include guidance for improving sleep, introducing solid foods and many more.
Where They Meet: Santa Monica & Sherman Oaks.
What It Costs: $340/session for one parent and $420/session for a couple (each session includes eight 90-minute classes).
Best LA Parent Group: Wevolve
Who they are: Formally known as Babytalk LA, Wevolve "provides a supportive and fun environment where parents explore current parenting approaches and also build life-long friendships with other parents who have children close to the same age." From expectant parent groups and sensory play groups to parent support groups for elementary school aged kids, Wevolve is a safe place for parents to share, learn and grow. There is also a group for parents who are going through separation or divorce.
What they do: Fans of the parent-and-me class compare it to group therapy in a good way. The environment is open, non-judgmental and supportive. In addition to giving parents the chance to connect, experts are also occasionally brought in to offer insight on topics including sleep, first foods, sign language and child safety. Of course, your little one will also have the opportunity to "mingle" (i.e. crawl, roll and wiggle around) as you sing songs, learn about baby massage, sensory play and other activities for you and child.
Where they meet: Outdoor spaces, parks and private residences in Beverly Hills & Westwood—as well as virtual via Zoom.
What it costs: $495 for 10 week session.
Best LA Parent Group: MOMS Club
Who They Are: The “Moms Offering Moms Support” acronym says it all. It's a place to meet other mothers and build support systems. Of course, the added bonus is your little one gets to have similarly aged kids to play with.
What They Do: Each chapter has their own meeting schedules and planned activities, including things like playgroups, moms night out, parenting speakers, craft and cooking activities, book clubs, and plenty of ways to help those in need with charitable activities and fundraising events. Visit the national MOMS Club website to find the nearest local chapter in your area. There are dozens and dozens in the LA area so you’re sure to find a great fit for both you and your brood.
Where They Meet: With chapters all across LA (including throughout the Westside, Valley and South Bay), you shouldn't have trouble finding a group close to you.
What It Costs: An annual membership fee anywhere between $35-$45 depending on the chapter. Events and activities are generally free.
Best LA Parent Group: West LA Parents Of Multiples
Who They Are: It should come as no surprise that moms (and dads) of multiples need all the extra help they can get. This group offers an extensive support system for LA parents (and even those expecting) of twins, triplets, quadruplets or more. With events and resources both on and offline, there are tons of ways to get involved, meet other parents of multiples and get much-needed encouragement both before birth and after.
What They Do: West LA Parents of Multiples offers seminars and informational meetings on parenting topics, playgroups with similar aged kids, an online forum, and even a collection of preemie clothes members can borrow. Support systems are also in place to provide meals for families with newborns and a helping hand to moms on bedrest or families in the NICU. As if all of this unconditional support wasn’t enough, WLAPOM taps into its philanthropic side by donating essential supplies and baby gear to needy parents of multiples through the Multiple Helpings program.
Where They meet: Across Los Angeles as well as via Zoom.
What It Costs: Families are charged an annual membership fee of $55.
Best LA Parent Group: LA Dads Group
Who They Are: Dads need support squads too, and that’s exactly why the LA Dads Group was formed. Whether you're the lone dad at the playground, the only guy in your kid’s playgroup, or simply a father who wants to take an active role in your little one’s life while meeting other dads, this group is for you.
What They Do: The group hosts playdates, parenting workshops, social events like beach outings or movie screenings, and even dads-night-out. They also organize volunteer activities from time to time to do their part in paying it forward for those less fortunate.
What It Costs: The group is free to join.
Where They Meet: Various locations.
Who They Are: Can’t go anywhere without your beloved baby carrier? Feel naked when you’re not strapped to your little nugget? Then this is the group for you. Whether you’re new to babywearing (or you’ve just mastered wearing two kids at once), you’ll find a whole lot of support here. A certified nonprofit organization, Babywearing LA believes that babies are designed to be carried and that doing so (with the right information and tools) can be mutually beneficial for both you and your little joey. In addition to monthly meetings, Babywearing LA also offers an online community via Facebook where you can ask questions and meet other moms.
What They Do: Monthly events all across the LA area include play dates and meetings with other babywearing parents, workouts while babywearing, and classes on the basics of babywearing. Meeting hosts will bring along a variety of different carriers for new parents to try out, and parents are welcome to bring their own carriers if they need help putting them on or a "fit check" to make sure they're wearing it right.
Where They Meets on the Westside and Eastside, alternating every month. Times and locations are listed on the website or on Babywearing LA's Instagram page.
What It Costs: There is no fee to join the group and general meetings and playdates are free (and you don't need to RSVP—just show up!).
Best LA Parent Group: La Leche League
Who They Are: Breastfeeding (especially for the first time) can be enough to make any new parent think those all too familiar “what did I get myself into?” thoughts. Luckily you are not alone. A local chapter of La Leche League, a national organization dedicated to supporting women who are breastfeeding, is the perfect place to meet other nursing moms, ask questions and get help. There are several local chapters in the LA area, but the largest and most active is La Leche League Los Angeles Westside.
What They Do: Local groups meet monthly and any mom is welcome to join. Meetings are generally casual and offer a moms safe space to talk about issues, share solutions and support fellow moms and babies through the triumphs and trials of breastfeeding. The meetings are led by volunteer League Leaders, breastfeeding moms who have been trained and accredited by La Leche League. Leaders are also available to contact by phone for support outside of the meetings.
What It Costs: There's no fee to join.
Where They Meet: Various locations plus virtual meetings. Check the website to find your nearest chapter.
Best LA Parent Group: Fit4Mom
Who They Are: Build your village while getting rid of some unwanted baby weight in the process? Yes please! This program offers a variety of kick-butt exercise classes, such as Stroller Strides and Stroller Barre programs, that will get you and your small fry out of the house and get your heart pumping at the same time (win/win!).
What They Do: Unlike some of the traditional support groups, Fit4Mom is a bit more of an expense offering many different types of fee-based exercise packages to choose from once you sign up to be a member. But they also offer playgroups, crafts, and mothers-nights-out for free to anyone who wants to attend, member or not!
Where They Meet: Fit4Mom Franchises are located all over LA County: Westside, South Bay LA, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Torrance, San Fernando Valley, Palos Verdes, and San Pedro and Long Beach.
What It Cost: Cost varies by plan but your first class is always free to try.
You May Also Like: Momleta (formerly known as Baby Boot Camp)
Best LA Parent Group: Online Meet-Ups
Sometimes getting out of the house just isn't an option. Thanks to the invention of the good old internet, you can still make friends, seek help and support or just share some much-needed memes in the middle of the night. Here are some of our favorites:
Peachhead: Before Facebook groups were even a thing, the OG parenting forum in Los Angeles was Peachhead. Founded in 1997 by Venice mom Linda Perry, the group now has over 10,000 members and continues to be a go-to place to gab, swap baby gear, and ask every parenting question under the sun.
LA Mommies: With the long-reaching influence of social media, there are literally hundreds of Facebook groups dedicated to moms, parents, and parents to be. One of these biggest networks in our part of the planet is LA Mommies. It’s a private group (so no one outside of it will see you post about having a mommy meltdown at 2 a.m.) but with over 50,000 members, be prepared to have your posts read (and potentially commented on) by thousands of people. Posts are anything and everything mom-related from pregnancy and parenting advice to the best spots for birthday parties or date nights.
Southbay LA Mommies: If you're in the South Bay with kids, you'll want to sign onto this Facebook group to get all the deets about local goings-on, free stuff for pickup, nanny recommendations and more. Looking for a kid-friendly restaurant by the beach? Need a good playgroup in Torrance for your 1-year-old? With more than 12,000 members, you can ask a question and it will usually be answered within minutes.
Westside Moms: Another local Facebook group, this is a group "with high hopes for creating real friendships among moms and our kiddos." Must live in Brentwood, Santa Monica or Pacific Palisades to join.
Moms Helping Moms: Need a new nursing chair? Want to unload you baby clothes? This group is for strictly for moms to donate to other moms (not an online forum for advice).
Solo Parent Society: Parenting is hard; parenting without a partner can be even harder. The Solo Parent Society connects you with other single moms and dads to share advice and offer support. Each week will cover a topic in the "52 topics related to Solo Parent Life."
—Jenifer Scott & Melissa Heckscher