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Preparing for Caring: touch and handling practices for professional caregivers

A 3-Hour Workshop for Caregivers
with Sarah Barnaby & Amy Matthews

Come learn about how you can support your baby’s movement and perceptual development before you meet them. Our approach is based on principles of Body-Mind Centering®, including valuing process over milestones and respecting each child’s timing as their whole self develops.

  • Would you like to have more confidence about handling and interacting with a small baby?
  • Would you like to practice handling skills (picking up, setting down, transferring)?
  • Would you like to know the positions that help a baby feel oriented and secure, and the positions that help them learn to move?
  • Would you like to learn about a philosophy and principles that can guide you as you develop your own relationship with your baby?

How we handle a baby affects all aspects of development: their patterns of perception, their problem solving abilities, their emotional well-being, cognitive functioning, and their sense of agency in the world. A child’s early experiences of movement and touch influence their ability to self-soothe and self-regulate, and to relate to themselves and others throughout their life.

Your habits and choices about how you pick up your baby, set them down and hand them to others can facilitate (or inadvertently impede) their later movement choices. Before your baby arrives, come learn about how you can support their movement and perceptual development.

This workshop has been developed by Sarah Barnaby and Amy Matthews, who are certified Infant Developmental Movement Educators. Their approach is based on principles of Body-Mind Centering® that include valuing process over milestones and respecting each child’s timing. Each offering of the workshop will be taught by Sarah or Amy.

Through a combination of discussion, demonstration and practice (with dolls), we’ll explore these themes and topics:

Gravity and the “fourth trimester”: supporting your baby’s arrival after birth: safety, comfort and bonding; the relational aspects of listening to, interpreting, responding to and supporting your baby’s rhythms and timing.

Touch and handling: touch and handling principles and techniques around picking them up and setting them down; side-lying and tummy time as positions for orienting and relating to gravity; supporting your baby’s cyclical movements of flexion and extension through “baby ball”

Developmental movement: overview of development: the movement patterns and progressions that babies go through as they make their way to walking

Self-regulation, adaptability and resilience: supporting your baby’s rhythms and cycles: rest and activity, internal and external attention, timing, flexion and extension; “baby ball”

Crying: supporting your baby’s crying, processing and expression

Preparatory self-care for caregivers: adult developmental movement: pathways that support getting down to and up from the floor with a baby

Class size is limited. This workshop is appropriate for anybody who holds and handles (or plans to handle) babies, including parents, doulas, nannies, grandparents, babysitters and other caregivers.