Q: What’s the story of the Babies Project?
A: Sarah Barnaby and Amy Matthews created Babies Project in 2015. Read more about our story here.
Q: Why are you a non-profit?
A: Our plan is to support our programming through a combination of income earned through our classes and workshops, and generous donations. We believe developmental movement should be available to everybody, from babies to adults. We look forward to building awareness of the value of developmental movement through education, outreach and fundraising.
We’ll continue to offer our weekly drop-in Babies sessions on a by-donation basis, and we will add fee-based classes, workshops and private sessions. We also plan to offer developmental movement education to underserved communities through outreach programs.
Q: Do you need volunteers? How can I help out?
A: Yes, we need and welcome volunteers. Please take a look at our Volunteer page to find out more about our immediate needs.
Q: What’s membership about? Why should I become a member?
A: By becoming a BP Member, you help support our non-profit mission. You also receive membership benefits, including discounts on classes and workshops and free admission to our members events. Click here to read more and to join us as a member.
Q: Do you take donations? Are they tax-deductible?
A: Yes, we gladly and gratefully accept donations of any amount! Babies Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization, and your gift is tax deductible as a charitable contribution.
Q: What is Body-Mind Centering®?
A: Body-Mind Centering is an approach to developmental movement and embodied anatomy that places value on the experience of each individual – read more here.
Q: What is developmental movement?
A: The term “developmental movement” describes the process we go through to learn to move: everything from lifting our heads to rolling over to crawling and sitting and kneeling and walking.
Developmental movement includes the study of embryological processes, reflexive responses, the integration of our senses, and movement patterns that we use to coordinate our spine and limbs (homologous, homolateral, and contralateral, for example).
Q: Why do you think movement is so important?
A: We believe that our earliest experiences of touch and movement have a profound impact on how we learn, and how we develop a sense of self in relationship to other people and the environment.
We continue to ‘learn to learn’ our whole life, and these early experiences can create patterns that influence our later strategies about meeting new experiences, changing habits and having a sense of agency, comfort and curiosity.
Q: What do you mean by self-regulation? Is that the same as “crying it out”?
A: When we talk about self-regulating, we’re not talking about “crying it out.” Our idea is that infants learn to process and integrate their experiences in relationship to their caregivers. So when a caregiver is responsive to their requests for attention, they learn something about how it feels to have their needs met – and that experience is fundamentally different than learning to tolerate discomfort (which is what “crying it out” might lead to).
We do believe that sometimes infants (like all of us) cry because they have something to process, beyond their immediate physical needs – and it’s important that we be present and listen to what and how they share.
So we don’t try to stop crying when it happens, but instead do our best to make sure the little one’s physical needs are met, and then settle in to be with, be a witness, and be in relationship.
Q: What kind of training do you have for working with infants and caregivers? How can I become an Infant Developmental Movement Educator?
A: We are trained and certified as Infant Developmental Movement Educators through licensed programs of the School of Body-Mind Centering (SBMC). This training is 4 core courses and two application courses for over 500 hours of course work, observation sessions and practice sessions.
To become an IDME, the first step is to take the four core developmental courses from a licensed program – more information is here on the SBMC website.
Classes, Sessions, Workshops
Q: When do babies start coming? How young can they be?
A: Babies can come as early as their caregivers are comfortable bringing them. We’ve had babies start coming at two weeks old, though most often we meet babies when they are five or six weeks old. We love meeting them at any age, and have ideas about how to support them from the moment they are born.
Q: How old are the babies who come? When do they finish?
A: We feel we have something to offer babies all the way up to when they are comfortably walking – once they are comfortably walking, they might enjoy coming to Toddlers more.
Q: What are the free Babies! or Toddlers sessions like?
A: The free (by-donation) Babies! sessions are times when you and your baby can spend time together, check in with an IDME (Infant Developmental Movement Educator) and practice your touch and handling skills. There isn’t a specific beginning and ending, so you can come whenever it works for you, within the time period of the class.
We encourage parents and caregivers to get down on the floor with the babies, so it would be great if you wear clothes comfortable for moving around.
We also suggest (but do not require) that for these movement sessions, the babies switch their diapers for cloth underwear – it allows for more movement in the pelvis, hips and legs. We provide the underwear, and are fully prepared to clean up lots of pee (and launder the tiny undies each week) – there’s a chance that their clothes (or yours) will get peed on, so a spare set of clothing could be a good idea, if you’re interested in having your baby explore being diaper free with us.
Babies of all ages are together in the room, and there are sometimes more than 15 babies and caregivers there participating!
Q: What’s the difference between the free Babies! sessions and the Developmental Age Group classes that I pay for?
A: The Developmental Age Group classes are limited to 6 babies and their caregivers, and are focused around three different ‘developmental ages’ – birth to rolling, rolling to crawling and crawling to walking. So in these 45 minute classes all the babies will be exploring the same range of skills, and there’ll be more time and attention from the IDMEs.
Q: What if I can’t afford a class or workshop?
A: Please let us know if you can’t afford a class or workshop, and we’ll work with you on a solution. It’s important to us that everyone who wants to come finds a way!
Q: Are your classes just for babies and toddlers?
A: No, we have classes and workshops for adults, too, click here to learn more.
Q: How do we sign up for free sessions?
A: Before you begin coming to free Babies! sessions, we ask you to take a Be With Your Baby: Intro & Orientation class. It’s an hour long, and $25 to sign up. This one-hour Intro & Orientation class is the first step in registering with your baby for our by-donation Babies! and Toddlers sessions. In the Intro class, we spend time meeting new caregivers (and their babies) and orienting caregivers to our key principles and handling suggestions. Once you come to the Intro class, you’re welcome to come to Babies! and Toddlers as often as you like — we just ask that you write to say you are coming.
Q: If Babies! is by-donation, why do I have to pay for the Be With Your Baby: Intro & Orientation class?
A: We ask people to pay for Be With Your Baby so that we can offer a smaller group setting to meet you and your baby the first time. We feel it’s important to take time to talk about your questions and our principles outside of the joyful chaos that sometimes happens in Babies! sessions.
If the cost is a hardship, please let us know and we’ll work with you on a solution.
Q: Can I come observe a Babies! session, even if I don’t have a baby?
A: Yes, you are welcome to come and observe Babies! sessions – there’s no charge, but limited spaces. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org in advance to see if space is available the days you’d like to come.
Q: Does the same caregiver have to come every time with the baby?
A: No, the same caregiver does not have to come to each session. We’ve had babies come with one parent, both parents, their nanny or babysitter, a grandparent and their aunt or uncle. Multiple caregivers are welcome. Because much of our work involves talking to and educating the caregivers, we do ask that all caregivers who bring a baby read about our principles and guidelines for caregivers.
Q: How many babies have you worked with?
A: Since 2008, we’ve worked with over 500 babies (and their caregivers). Some babies and caregivers have come to our Babies! sessions once or twice; others have come every week for months at a time. Read what our caregivers have to say about their experience of coming to Babies!.
Q: Do you work privately with infants? With adults?
A: Yes, we offer private sessions to people interested in exploring developmental movement on a one-on-one basis. Contact us for more information and to inquire about scheduling sessions.
Q: What happened to The Breathing Project?
A: The Breathing Project ended its programming in July 2017. (See the announcement.) Leslie Kaminoff will continue to operate TBP as an educational non-profit. His plan is to offer occasional workshops and seminars as presentations of The Breathing Project. The Breathing Project is also available to serve as a non-profit financial sponsor for small community-based programs. For more information, contact Leslie.