How can I help my baby meet her milestones? Help, my baby doesn’t like tummy time! What do I with him when he’s awake? Is crawling really that important? I’m concerned she’ll skip it.
These are questions Infant Developmental Movement Education (IDME) answers, always respectfully and centered around relationship.
IDME comes from the Body-Mind Centering® Approach to Somatic Education, originated by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, OT.
It’s about first observing Baby’s intentions and following his curiosity and pace. And then learning nifty ways to hold and move your baby that reduce overstimulation and promote comfort, sensory integration, and optimal development; and providing minimal, respectful support when Baby communicates a signal for help.
Because how we physically handle them sets them up for habits. From the beginning and throughout the entire first year, there are things you can do to promote self-regulation (versus an inability to settle and focus) and a lifelong healthier back and hip joints (versus weaknesses that can arise from being sat, stood, or walked too early).
“I think one of the best things about what you do for infants is to give them the opportunity to fully and naturally explore their bodies, to become fully present and completely comfortable in their new skin.
I think it makes their bodies their sanctuary, their safe place in the world. It allows them to approach the world from a place of strength and confidence. I cannot think of anything more valuable than that.” – “Grampa” in Northampton, MA
“Baby knows best” is a common assumption. In actuality, a stuck spot is not a conscious decision on the baby’s part. So sometimes a little bit of respectful and non-invasive facilitation can allow those stuck spots to open up. My intention is to do as little as necessary, to follow Baby’s own motivations and tap into his own internal wisdom, and to provide means for him to find the movement himself, rather than my doing it for him.
IDME is also preventative. I read signs of minor stresses that indicate the potential development of problems later in motor or learning skills. Addressing these signals early-on allows Baby greater access to his full abilities of movement, self confidence, personal expression, and–it’s totally true–his full potential!
For more information, see:
Infant Developmental Movement Education (Body-Mind Centering® website)
Developmental Movement Patterns (Body-Mind Centering Association website)
What Children Teach Us (short documentary made by colleagues)