We have our classes on the floor, sitting in a circle to allow for free discussion and to be able to see the massage demonstration. Some of our classroom settings have cushions to sit on but I always recommend that parents bring anything they need to be comfortable on the floor. This is where knowing your baby is important. I know my son was never a big fan of lying on his back for a long period of time, but he liked being propped up on a Boppy or in his bouncy seat. Parents usually bring a blanket for baby, but some have also brought along an activity mat if that's what makes baby happy. If baby has a favorite lovey, feel free to bring that as well.
I start to the class with some introductions and a question of the day. This helps parents relax a little and get to know the other families in class. Most of the time, the babies are around the same age, so it's nice to have a place to meet other parents who may be experiencing a lot of what you are, especially during the first few months of parenthood.
We move to discussion about the benefits of infant massage, some tips for performing massage, or another topic for the day. I'm pretty flexible and like the free-flow of information, so I welcome questions or input from everyone at any time. I don't want the class to feel like a lecture, rather, I encourage an open discussion.
After we do a relaxation exercise and ask baby for permission to massage, I demonstrate how to massage one area of the body while parents follow along, practicing on their baby. I have a baby doll for me to demonstrate the techniques, but I always bring extra so parents can practice on the dolls if their baby is sleeping or maybe a little fussy and doesn't want to participate at that time.
Once we complete the massage portion of the class, we can include a variety of other activities for the remainder of the class. I demonstrate special routines to address common infant discomforts including digestive and congestion issues. We sometimes sing a song or read a story while applying massage techniques. My goal is to give you simple tools to take home and include in your daily routine without stress. I show you how it is possible to incorporate loving touch to help your baby through speed bumps and to strengthen your bond and attachment. I provide the oil and all handouts for you to take home and continue your practice.
Some things to keep in mind:
- Some babies may fuss during class. This is 100% OK! There is no need to be embarrassed. We have all been there at one time or another.
- Please tend to your baby at any time. This includes feeding, changing, walking, bouncing, or whatever else baby needs. I only ask that you stay in the room so you can still hear and see the instruction.
- If you or your baby are sick at all, please stay home. Baby's immune system is still very new. We don't want to spread germs to others if we can avoid it. Make-up classes are available for illness.
- Take your handouts home and practice whenever you can. Even a 20-second massage has been shown to be beneficial to you and baby. Don't worry about trying to dedicate a huge block of time to massage. Incorporate what you can throughout your day and add more strokes and areas of the body a little at a time.
I'm always available for questions, before or after class. Email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. I want you to be confident in providing massage for your baby, so I am happy to do anything I can to help you get there.
I hope to see you in a class soon!