I often get asked if I offer taster sessions or drop-in classes. I don't and here is why.....
Baby massage is more than massaging babies...
When this dialogue and attunement between a parent and their baby is established the benefits of Baby Massage can really start flowing, including:
For your baby
The benefits from this attunement and nurturing touch with our babies won't stop there though, they can extend into calming, reducing cortisol levels, boosting immunity, promoting brain development, supporting language and learning, increasing social and emotional resilience as adults, and so much more... this really is a life-long parenting skill with life-long benefits!
A baby-led interaction built up slowly over five-weeks
During my Sunflower Baby Massage courses I facilitate a quiet and nurturing space so that this baby-led interaction, that is unique to each parent and their baby, can be built up slowly over the five-weeks to promote confidence, empowerment and attunement and all the benefits that come with these.... and this is why I do not offer taster sessions and drop-in classes ~ it would be so hard to give a true sense of what this practice is all about because we could never establish all of the above in one session and instead, this means the opposite may occur and parents could feel pressured to conform and therefore their babies may feel pressured to perform, (see my February blog: How to stop comparing and get back to basics with our babies). For example, if a baby is not in the right behavioural state for massage during a taster session / drop-in class the parent could feel disheartened and may feel their baby doesn't like massage or even to be touched by them skin to skin, and so the essence of what Baby Massage is all about as a touch communication and all the benefits that come from this could be missed out on, and instead this experience could potentially disempower the parent and impact the bonding process between that parent and their baby.
This is why I believe a baby-led approach both benefits our babies and empowers us as the experts of our children ~ my training with the International Association of Infant Massage taught me this and this is why IAIM Baby Massage sets a world class standard for not only it's teachings and training promoting nurturing touch and touch communication across the world, but also for its contribution into touch research for early parent-child relationships.
What I can offer....
Other than coming on a Sunflower Baby Massage course and experiencing all of this yourself with your baby, I am also available to offer talks on the benefits and essence of Baby Massage, the role of nurturing touch for easing our babies transition from womb-to-world, baby well-being and the Fourth Trimester ~ so if you would like to find out more about this beautiful practice then I would love to share all the wonders of nurturing touch with you, whether you're expecting, have a new baby in your arms or a professional working with new parents I'd love to hear from you.
On that note, I'll close this blog with a few words of wisdom from the IAIM founder, Vimala McClure:
"Infant massage is not a fad. It is an ancient art that connects you deeply with the person who is your baby and helps you to understand your baby's non-verbal language and respond with love and respectful listening.
It empowers you as a parent, for it gives you the means by which you become an expert on your own child and therefore can respond according to your baby's unique needs.
A child whose voice is heard, whose heart is full, and who is
enveloped in love, over flows with that love and naturally, unselfconsciously gives of himself to others.
The deep emotional bonds formed in infancy lay a foundation for a lifetime of compassion, trust, dependability and love.”
Sunflower Baby Massage
Certified Infant Massage Instructor
INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF INFANT MASSAGE