Infant Developmental Movement Education
A baby-led approach to critical early movement and brain development
Optimal development occurs when babies follow the progression of reflexes and movements nature takes them through automatically, without upright devices.
What many people don’t realize is that motor development is innate! Typically-developing babies will find sitting, standing, and walking completely on their own, without being taught.
This is essential for creating optimal foundations for body health, brain development, safety, reading skills, problem-solving skills, and self-confidence.
It can be very tempting to hold or prop babies upright. If you’ve already done so, it’s understandable and it’s okay–we can work with it! I want parents to have the information you need and to understand how this approach is different from common parenting advice. If propping is done habitually, it can hinder various aspects of development, even relational skills.
The magic lies in the transitions into and out of these positions. This is where they develop their strength, coordination, balance, joint-healthy movement mechanics, sequencing, and spatial awareness.
[The first year] is when the way one sees and the way one moves or acts in the world is established. This is the baseline for how you will be processing activity, either in receiving or expressing, throughout your life.
Infant Developmental Movement Education (IDME) can help you establish these foundations for your baby!
It’s for all babies, regardless of motor ability or timing. IDME comes from the Body-Mind Centering® Approach to Somatic Education, developed by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen.
It’s not only about movement skills. It’s based in connection and observation, with minimal non-invasive facilitation when needed. It also includes stellar tips for ways you can support inherent motor and learning abilities at any age or stage.
IDME also helps prevent common motor problems, such as skipping milestones. Addressing minor interruptions early can help prevent snowballing into bigger problems later.
With intention and awareness of the patterns you’re creating for your child as you hold, move, and interact, you can:
- Help your baby meet motor milestones without pushing ahead
- Address delay or concerns, such as skipping crawling
- Make tummy time easy and comfortable
- Reduce overstimulation and help your baby’s brain process sensory information
- Reduce startling and tension
- Help your baby be comfortable, relax, and self-regulate
This will help preserve the innate abilities for movement and learning that your baby was born with.
IDME was developed by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, movement artist, researcher, educator and therapist. Her background includes studies and certifications in Occupational Therapy, Neurodevelopmental Therapy (Bobath), Laban Movement Analysis, Kestenberg Movement Profiling, Action Profiling (Warren Lamb), dance, yoga, dance therapy, Katsugen Undo, Craniosacral Therapy, Zero Balancing, and Visceral Manipulation.
Through many years of working with adults who come to me with problems, what I see is that the problems get traced back to this period of early development. … [for example] problems in learning, in movement, in back problems, knee problems, psychological problems, attitudinal problems, self-evaluative problems.