Infant Developmental Movement Education
Learn how to nurture your baby’s learning process through gentle handling techniques, touch, and play. Infants’ movement development is intricately linked to their perceptual, intellectual, and social development. This work supports normal development and is also great for premature infants or those with minor challenges. If your baby hates tummy-time, this class is for you! Some of the specifics addressed are general comfort, digestion, soothing techniques, side preferences/asymmetry. Come with your questions and curiosities. Class is aimed at infants from birth to walking. Expecting parents are also welcome to join. **Currently I am not offering group infant sessions, but I can offer online consultations, and I'm taking a limited amount of in-person private clients.
What is IDME?
I am certified in IDME through the School for Body-Mind Centering®.
Infant Developmental Movement Educators create a fun, enriching, developmentally appropriate, and infant-lead play environment for babies to explore and teach themselves. IDMEs also help parents find supportive ways to hold and be with their children and to think with a baby’s perspective in mind. IDME is an approach that is more about how than what: milestones are recognized but are a side effect of an unfolding process of development.
Understanding developmental principles can help babies:
* learn to enjoy play in tummy time and side-lying
* find general emotional and physical comfort
* easier digestion
* find balanced movement on both sides of the body
* maximizes their movement options
* supports self-confidence, independence
* movement development is directly related to our nervous system and brain development
* tips on handling newborns
* understanding the mind of your baby
* how to create developmentally appropriate play activities
* the difference between reflexive and intentional movements
* milestones of development
* appreciation that learning process is as important as hitting milestones
IDME is aimed at children in their first year of life until they walk, and it is appropriate for normal, healthy babies as well as those who might be contending with some kind of setback.
Body-Mind Centering® is a registered service mark and BMC℠ is a service mark of Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, used with permission.
Understanding IDME: Basic Principles
1. Babies don’t need us to teach them. Our role as parents and educators is to give the infant space to explore and express himself, to observe with the attitude of letting the baby teach us, and to nurture his curiosities and needs.
2. Propping a baby (don't do it) in positions that she cannot get to yet herself may be fun in the short term, but over time it leads to a frustrated and more dependant baby, as her expectations and perception level exceed her current abilities. She is deprived of the learning that comes with discovering positions herself, and she may skip steps in the developmental process.
3. A big part of facilitation is helping babies experience all of their surfaces and dimensions to find balanced postural and nervous system tone:
Tummy time and spinal flexion tone the belly. The front of the body houses the major organs. A big part of comfort in the first year is about digestion. Movements that tone the front of the body and encourage spinal flexion are helpful for moving the food through, and they are also very calming— sparking the “rest and digest” aspect of the nervous system.
Lying on the back and spinal extension tone the back. The back of the body houses the central nervous system and helps us move into the world. The world is very stimulating, and babies are usually naturals at going into extension: they can become easily over-stimulated.
While both flexion and extension are important, a lot of the IDME work focuses on encouraging flexion to modulate extension. Side-lying also helps infants find balance between front and back body.
4. Reflexes are the basic alphabet of movement— they are the “hard wiring” of our nervous system. We cannot move volitionally until we have moved that way reflexively. Eventually, we integrate our reflexes so that we have choices in our movement. An IDME stimulates infant reflexes to help them to find their movement possibilities.
5. The steps we skip can be discovered later. It's never too late to start. An important part of the IDME work is recognizing an individual’s potential to repattern and grow throughout life.