Babies come in as whole people, not as blank slates.
A baby’s experience is real and valid, though it might not be comprehensible to us. We can offer comfort without denying their experience, or our own.
A baby’s learning arises from a sense of comfort and curiosity, and trust in their environment.
Self-regulation is key to a baby’s sense of agency and curiosity – and develops in relationship to their caregivers.
We are the baby’s environment. By being present and meeting their needs, we encourage their agency and ability to self-regulate.
We aim to facilitate a healthy interdependence where babies can learn responsiveness, trust and confidence from our presence and responsiveness.
Process is more important than milestones.
Movement skills develop from experiencing pathways, rather than being put into positions. (This means not putting them into upright sitting or standing positions that they cannot get themselves into and out of.)
Development happens in overlapping layers of skills and experience. While there might be an ‘ideal’ progression, there are an infinite number of ways to do it successfully – and babies will each find their own way.
The IDME’s role:
Be with the baby, as a witness and in relationship to what the baby is doing.
Support the baby’s comfort, so they can follow their curiosity and learn through their own agency.
Appreciate and start from where the baby is, and focus on the process rather than meeting developmental timelines.
Facilitate pathways and movement choices that are appropriate for the developmental stage the baby is exploring, in order to support what is already present.
Follow the baby’s rhythms of attention as it moves from outer exploration to inner processing.
Support a balance between flexion and extension, and offer different experiences of “baby ball” as a resource for recuperation and self-regulation at all ages.
Show possibilities for handling and moving the baby that encourage their spatial awareness and support movement pathways.
What our Babies! sessions offer:
Opportunities to observe how much is already happening with a baby. Space to ask questions about a baby’s process, and how to support them.
A chance to be supported in making choices that value the many different ways that development can unfold, and that value the relationships between caregivers and infants.
Time to be with a baby where there are no expectations about performance or behavior.
These ideas are based on the Body-Mind Centering® approach to infant developmental movement, originally developed by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen.
© 2016-2017 Amy Matthews & Sarah Barnaby