Infant Massage – Loving Touch Techniques for Parents & Babies
Massage is a great way to connect to your baby. Studies have shown infant massage can help babies sleep better, gain weight, reduce fussiness, improve health and relax.
Massage has been show to support physical and sensory development infants.Parents who massage their babies often experience increased closeness to and understanding of their infants, reduced stress and post-natal depression, and simply enjoy a wonderful experience with their child.
Breathing Space offers live group classes OR self-paced online course options.
Infant Massage Classes – Live, Group Instruction
Classes through Breathing Space teach parents massage techniques in a progressive sequence over several weeks – focusing on different parts of the body each week, which provides opportunity to practice strokes at home between lessons. The curriculum is progressive, so drop-ins are not allowed.
Besides teaching the time-tested massage techniques, valuable parenting tips will be shared and topics on child development will be covered. Our instructors are experienced parents and early childhood educators. Class discussions are also designed to enable parents to learn from each other.
Please note: Fussing and crying is expected; Your baby’s voice is welcome. Please join us.
While massage is appropriate for babies almost immediately, ideal time to start a group class is when your baby is 2-6 months old, but younger and older babies are welcome. The emphasis in class is on following baby’s cues and learning the techniques to incorporate into your home routine. Upon learning the massage skill, infant massage can be done on children all the way to adolescent. As the child grows, techniques and strokes are changed accordingly to accommodate for change in size.
Bring your baby and your partner, if available. This is a great class for fathers! Pack a towel or baby blanket you do not mind getting oil on, and a change of diapers and clothes. Class sizes are kept small to ensure lots of personal attention.
Self-Paced Online Infant Massage Course
Our unique baby massage course format combines self-paced recorded lessons and individual live instruction. Start anytime and schedule your personal lesson when you are ready.
Frequently Asked Questions About Infant Massage
Our classes are generally offered in multi-week series with students committing to multiple consecutive classes. There are lots of benefits to committing to a weekly class but we understand that modern life is busy and sometimes unpredictable. If you must miss a class, you have several options to make it up:
- Any family member may take any other appropriate weekly class during the same semester, even in advance – this means the same class on an alternate day or something different; Use our makeup scheduler. Email if you have any questions.
- If there is space in your class, you may bring a friend as your make-up class (instead of option 1). Guests need to create an account in our registration system to provide contact information and accept terms and conditions (includes our liability waiver and photo release). This is not allowed in trapeze yoga. Please confirm space availability with your instructor.
- If scheduling a makeup doesn’t work for you, you are also welcome to view selections from our video library and practice at home. You’ll find recordings in the Parent Portal of our registration site.
- Finally, continuing students may carry one class over into a subsequent session by taking a registration discount on your next series. See below.
Additional Makeup Policies by Class Type
Weekly In-Person Class Makeups (non-trapeze)
Continuing students may carry one class over into a subsequent session by taking a registration discount on your next series. Use discount code “seriesmakeup” when registering to take your credit. This works even if you are changing class type.
Note: If you are registering multiple family members who need to take the makeup credit, each student registration will need to be its own transaction.
Prenatal, Postnatal, and Baby Yoga class carry-over exception: Due to constraints of due dates and return-to-work scheduling, we allow students in these classes to take their one class carry-over in person without registering for the next series. That class must be attended within 4 weeks of the original series (or 4 weeks of classes resuming if there is a scheduled break in classes). The makeup scheduler will not work for this, just email to let us know which class you will attend.
Trapeze Yoga In-Person Makeups
Space is limited in trapeze yoga by number of rigs, however, we have two ceiling attachments that are not included in our class capacity count, so there is usually space for makeups in those spots.
Continuing students may carry one class over into a subsequent session by taking a registration discount on your next series. Use discount code “trapseriesmakeup” when registering to take your credit. (If you are switching to a mat-based class in a subsequent semester, use the “seriesmakeup” code instead.)
Infant Massage In-Person Makeups
Because instruction is progressive and space is limited, only students enrolled in infant massage may makeup in infant massage. Because the content is always covered in the same order, infant massage students who miss may make up that same class in a subsequent series – if you miss class #2, attend the next class #2. Just email to let us know.
Which class can I take as a makeup?
Anything class that is appropriate for the family member doing the makeup class. You can even send different adult family members to do the makeup class. Students may make up in any location.
For example, if you miss a baby yoga class and there isn’t another that suits your schedule, you may bring your toddler to Little Family Yoga as a make up (baby can even tag along). If you and your child miss Little Family Yoga, you and an older child may attend family yoga, you and a younger child may attend Baby Yoga & Play, or you may attend an adult class for yourself. Anytime we have a “Pop-Up” class on the schedule, that can be a makeup (pop ups must be reserved in advance).
The only multi-week classes that are restricted from makeups are trapeze classes and infant massage series. You must be enrolled in one of those classes to make up in one of them.
How do I reserve a makeup class?
Our registration system has make up reservations. Log in to the system and look for makeups in the drop down menu under classes (this option only appears for registered students). See instructions here.
I really am only able to attend a couple classes, can I drop-in?
Making Up in a Pop Up ClassOccasionally we offer “Pop Up” classes not associated with a series. Advanced reservation is required. Pop ups with insufficient registration 3 days in advance may be cancelled.
Breathing Space does not allow single class drop-ins for family classes. Why?
Semester Commitment is Best for Both Students and the Program
We’ve written before about the benefits of committing to a weekly yoga class. Children, even more than adults, benefit from the consistency and progressive teaching enabled by full registration.
We understand that may be different from what you are used to with yoga classes. Kids yoga operates in an unusual context. While adult yoga classes are very often drop-in based, you cannot just occasionally show up to any other kind of teacher-directed children’s class. There’s no drop-in ballet, gymnastics, music, art, karate, etc. All of these programs require registration in a series of classes or monthly membership. This creates a stable class and allows lessons to build upon on each other.
Session Commitment Encourages Consistent Attendance
As a parent, there are tons of demands on my time and regularly attending a class requires commitment. Paying ahead of time gives me that sense of obligation to actually go every week. This is true for me with my own classes and it’s doubly true for me to motivate my child out of the house, even for activities she (or we both) adore.
Session Commitment Enhances the Student Experience
As a children’s instructor, I find:
- Drop-in classes are not in the best interest of the child. It often takes 3 or 4 classes for a child, especially a toddler, to feel comfortable with a new place, new people, and a new routine. Children benefit from repetition and structure. Since drop-in students tend to only show up once or twice a semester, they miss out on the full benefits of the experience.
- Drop-ins detract from the experience of the students who have committed to a full session of classes because my attention is drawn to the new student – on everything from taking payment and filling in the parent on policies, facilities, and expectations, to making the new child feel comfortable.
But . . .
There are two major objections that I hear from parents to registering for an entire session:
- That they aren’t sure if class will be right for their child. We get that. It can be hard to even imagine a toddler or preschooler yoga class if you’ve never attended one.
That’s why we offer a No Risk Refund Policy – Not sure if class will be right for you or your child? Register and come to the first class. If you notify us in writing within 24 hours of class that you will not be able to continue the session, you will pay only $20 for the class you attended. (See refund policies for more information.)
- That they have travel or other schedule obligations that prevent full attendance. We understand schedules can be tricky. We intentionally skip holiday weekends and other high-travel times and offer a very generous make-up policy. To make up a missed class:
- Any family member may take any other appropriate class during the same session – this means a similar kids class or parents can take an adult class;
- If there is space in your class, you may bring a friend as your make-up class. Please confirm space availability with your instructor.
A common hesitation to signing up for a weekly class is that parents aren’t sure it will be the right fit for their child. We get that. It can be hard to even imagine a toddler or preschooler yoga or sign language class if you’ve never attended one.
That’s why we offer a No Risk Refund Policy – Register and come (or log-in) to the first class. If you notify us in writing within 24 hours of class that you will not be able to continue the session, you will pay only for the class you attended plus a $5 admin fee. (See refund policies for more information.)
Thank you for taking the plunge into online yoga with us!
Setup for Virtual Family or Prenatal Yoga
You don’t need any special equipment. A yoga mat is great, but you can skip it or use a towel or blanket. Your teacher may email class-specific supplies you may want to gather in advance, but will always suggest alternatives you are likely to have on hand. Scarves, for instance, can be literal scarves, cloth napkins, pillowcases, facial tissues, or even a t-shirt.
When you log in, please change your Zoom screen name to be the first name of the class participants: parent and child, or child alone.
You will want to set up your space so that you can see the video screen and, ideally, your teacher can see you (and your little one in Baby Yoga & Play).
Class specific set up tips:
- Baby Yoga & Play: See the videos here for additional set up tips for Baby Yoga & Play.
- Prenatal Yoga: See set up tips and recommended supplies here.
- Toddler Classes: Many of our studio class students enjoy bubbles at the end of class. This is entirely optional at home, but you may want to have some bubble solution or a wand on hand.
Behavior Expectations and Tips For Enjoying Zoom Yoga
1. Just like our studio classes, expect your child to behave like a child. There will be highly variable levels of engagement across the group for each activity. Know that your child will participate exactly the way they need to. They may simply sit and watch the screen. Or they may wander off. It’s all good.
2. The best thing you can do to facilitate your child’s experience is to be near the screen, modeling the poses for your child. Because we know children will not be as engaged by a computer screen as they would by an in-person class, we’ll add in a little more yoga for the grown-ups so that you can continue participating if your child disengages. Just like in a studio class, the more yoga you do, the more yoga your child will do.
3. When you enter the Zoom meeting, your microphone will be muted. Feel free to unmute for introductions or if you need to say something to the teacher, but in general, keep yourself muted. Background noise from individual students becomes extremely distracting very quickly.
4. Expect this to be a practice in authenticity. Life is messy right now, and sometimes, so are these yoga classes. We promise – no one is paying attention to your hair, your house, or your children’s behavior. Your children will climb all over you. They will jump on the sofa. There will be toys or laundry scattered around your living room. Your teacher’s children may decide to guest-star in the video. The yoga is important, but so is community, so let’s all take a collective breath, give ourselves grace, and decide to let each class experience just be what it is.
Note about privacy: Zoom has a setting to record only the instructor for our replays, but each teacher must enable that on their recording every time they start class. If they forget, it is possible that snippets of your living room will appear in the replay video during introductions or other times when you unmute your audio.
Additionally, we are taking steps to ensure that our Zoom participants are only our enrolled students/members and that we do not experience the spamming problems you may have heard about on publicly accessible Zoom events. In addition to circulating the link ONLY to enrolled participants and taking attendance in classes, we have enabled passwords on all our events. We can change those at anytime. We have also disabled participant screen sharing and file sharing. Currently participants can engage in private chats with each other and the instructor and we feel this is appropriate given our other precautions. Please let us know if you have concerns.
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