Our mission is promote nurturing touch and communication through training, education and research. With that in mind, we work to empower parents and promote nurturing through parent-baby communication and responsiveness in addition to infant massage education.
Research has shown many benefits of infant massage and parent education programs as well as the positive impact of nurturing touch and communication on bonding, attachment and development.
With nearly 4 million babies born in the US each year, the potential influence on society is easy to see.
When we talk about the benefits of infant massage we see 4 main categories - Stimulation, Relaxation, Relief and Interaction. Below we look at a few of the most commonly referenced benefits of infant massage along with how our program supports them. Learn more about benefits and research here.
Supporting Infant/Child Development
Infants who experience regular massage often see reduced stress, nervous system improvements, improved self-regulation and body-awareness.
In relevant studies, parents have reported improvements in many developmental aspects like muscle tone, joint mobility, gastrointestinal issues and response to forms of therapy (such as physiotherapy). It is especially helpful for children who require extra support, including babies born premature, babies born addicted, and HIV+ babies.
Our classes teach parents/caregivers how to incorporate nurturing touch safely into their lives and with the individualized attention their baby deserves.
Supporting Bonding & Attachment
Research supports that infant massage and infant massage parent education programs can increase parent confidence and attachment, result in greater success in adapting to and developing strategies to cope with parenthood and can benefit mothers with postpartum depression by helping them to relate to their baby and inducing the release of oxytocin.
Our classes are cue-based and baby-driven. Parents/Caregivers are encouraged to respond to the individual needs of their babies. The classes are warm and relaxing, allowing individual baby’s needs to be considered and the small class sizes (or individual support) and structured once-a-week format allows the time and space to learn from each others’ knowledge and experiences.
Improving Sleep Quality
Bedtime routines including infant massage, have shown to improve multiple aspects of the sleep cycle for both the child and the parent/caregiver.
In our classes, parents/caregivers learn quiet activities (massage, nurturing touch, lullabies etc.) and spend time recognizing their child’s ways of communicating, which are ideal for bedtime routines and can make nights less stressful for everyone.
Reducing Violence and Abuse
The CDC identifies nurturing parenting skills as one of the most important protective factors for lessening child abuse and neglect, with approaches that enhance parent skills and promote healthy child development having a demonstrated effect on prevention.
Our classes ensure parents/caregivers are educated on nurturing touch, bonding techniques, communication and behavioral states as well as broader developmental benefits.
Infant Massage USA has reached over 20,000 families since 2005
After attending the 4 Day Training, Students are required to complete additional certification requirements. To earn their certification, Students must teach and record their experience working with 5 families (in a group or individually) and complete a written assignment.
Based on our Students working only with 5 families, Infant Massage USA has reached over 20,000 families since 2005, and we estimate the number is much higher since our Educators continue their work after completing the certification requirements.
Through these 4 Day Trainings, over 700 students are trained each year with the Infant Massage USA curriculum.
The training curriculum was created to be comprehensive, evidence-based, interactive, and personal. It is based on the 15-point curriculum developed by Vimala McClure, author of Infant Massage: A Handbook for Loving Parents and offers three opportunities to participate in supervised parent-baby infant massage education classes. Our training presents protocols, adaptations and techniques to work with families and their babies born prematurely and/or with special needs and involves both practical and theoretical work.
In line with the Infant Massage USA curriculum, Sensational Baby classes are a series of five weekly classes taught by a Certified Educator of Infant Massage (CEIM) who has received extensive training from Infant Massage USA and utilize our branded materials to allow consistency and deeper parent/caregiver understanding and connection throughout parent/caregiver + baby classes across the country.
After earning their certification, Educators may hold classes with materials they have developed based on their training or utilize the Sensational Baby materials that Infant Massage USA has developed specifically for our Members. Sensational Baby classes offer a consistent and Infant Massage USA approved class curriculum for all Educators.
These classes bring research into practice combining parent education with nurturing infant massage techniques. They provide a forum for parents and caregivers to see the benefits first hand, discuss related topics, ask questions, share experiences and get support.
Sensational Baby materials are available to all CEIM Members of Infant Massage USA on our Member Portal and we aim to utilize the materials in future projects to further research surrounding the benefits of infant massage, attachment and nurturing touch programs.
View our Educator Directory to find a Sensational Baby Provider near you.