When you have just had a baby and are ready to come out of your baby cave and start getting out into the real world again, it can be daunting to know where to go first! A trip to the shops, a walk around the park, a coffee in the local cafe, these are all essential first outings and can get you used to the fine art of simply leaving the house and remembering everything you need to take with you now you are plus 1!
However, it is also really important that you find a place to go where you can meet other new parents and be relaxed – where it doesn’t matter if your baby (or you!) cries, a place you feel comfortable feeding (when actual feeding may not be that comfortable yet) and somewhere that just “gets” your life with a new baby!
This is where baby classes come in! And once you have found a few options of local baby classes, how do you decide which one to go to?? Depending on where you live, there can be so many to choose from!
Baby massage is a lovely first class. Baby massage can help to soothe any tummy pains your baby be suffering from including wind, colic or reflux, which can be common complaints your baby may have in the first few weeks and months (their tummies are so immature when they are born!) and baby massage can help to relax your baby to help improve their sleep. But again, there can be so many different types of baby massage classes out there! How do you decide which class to go for??
The International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM) is the founder of infant massage. All Certified Infant Massage Instructors (or CIMIs for short!) trained with the IAIM have received the highest standard of training in the world in the art of infant/baby massage. IAIM classes, which are delivered in over 50 countries worldwide, are the gold standard of baby massage classes.
The founder of the IAIM, Vimala McClure, brought the ancient art of infant massage back to the West after she had witnessed its immense benefits whilst volunteering in an orphanage in India. Vimala’s original infant massage programme is the same programme which is delivered in every 5 week course delivered by all CIMIs all over the world. The programme has not changed in over 30 years, because it works!
As well as learning strokes to massage each part of your baby’s body, over the 5 week course you also learn how to read your baby’s cues, effective methods on how to soothe your baby when they are crying, information about your baby’s behavioural states and all about the many benefits of baby massage. You learn which oils to use when massaging your baby and when to massage your baby. As well as much more! An IAIM 5 week course is much more than a “baby massage” class!
Over the years, since the IAIM was formed, many other classes and organisations have tried to replicate parts of the IAIM programme into their baby classes. This can cause problems as these instructors are not fully trained in every aspect of infant massage. The result may be that they may teach massage strokes incorrectly or they may advise parents incorrectly about which oils to use etc. The instructors will not have the back up support and ongoing Continued Personal Development offered to all CIMIs by the IAIM.
Therefore, if you are looking for an infant massage class I strongly advise that you choose an IAIM class! This way you will be sure to receive instruction in learning this wonderful and special skill to support your baby’s growth and development.