Infant Massage

                                                            5 Week First Touch Infant Massage Program 2020

Courses starting on the following dates:

Tues 18 February 10-11.30am     ||     Fri 21 February 10-11.30am

Tues 21 April 10-11.30am     ||     Fri 24 April 10-11.30am

     Course Info & Online Booking 

A crying, unsettled or windy baby is the angst of every new mum. Mountains of nappies, night time feeds that never seem to end, and a witching-hour that can run all day; it’s exhausting.  Rarely is motherhood straight forward or easy, and during this time it can be difficult to really get to know your baby, and in turn let them get to know you.

Relationship based Infant Massage offers both mums and bubs the time and space to bond, connect and explore communication through touch.  It gives mums the confidence to read baby’s cues and respond before over-tiredness sets in and before wind builds to a point of unnerving distress.

Catherine runs courses for mums (and dads too!) who see the value in bonding and communicating with their baby through infant massage. They understand that there are enormous benefits in enhancing the bonding process, and also that these benefits extend well beyond infancy.


Why Parents Book this Class

There’s good reason to be interested in infant massage.  Researchers and health professionals widely agree  that healthy touch, stroking and skin-to-skin contact is crucial for a baby’s early brain, social and emotional development.  Based on all of this research, a lot of claims as to the “benefits” of infant massage are often pushed in front of parents.  But there are many and varied types of infant massage courses and techniques, and not all the information given to parents about infant massage actually reflects the research.

This program is backed by 25 years of research and is the only nationally accredited (instructor) training program in Australia.  As a member of the International Association of Infant Massage, Catherine maintains her professional education and ethical standards that should be expected from an infant massage instructor.


Trust in the Research

The First Touch Program is the most researched infant massage course, and here’s what researchers have to say:

  • has been shown in research to reduce crying, help improve settling and soothing, and to gently support your baby’s development and well-being (Underdown, et al., 2006)
  • has been shown in research to help protect and promote your baby’s mental health, if you are recovering from Postnatal Depression (Onozawa, et al. 2001).
  • has been shown in research to help babiesbond with their dads, in turn improving baby’s social and physical development (Scholz & Samuels, 1992).
  • is recognised by health and child development experts as the highest quality program of its kind (Underdown & Barlow, 2011).
  • ensures you & your baby are treated with the utmost respect with very small group numbers and using “best practices” in course structure (Bakermans, et al, 2003).
  • uses techniques and approaches that have been fully researched and properly trialled.
  • is delivered by Instructors who have completed the most comprehensive, and ONLY nationally accredited, instructor training in Australia.


What to expect when you come to class

Class Format

Group: The course runs over a series of 5 weekly classes. Each class is 1.5 hours. There’s a time for cuppa & a bit of chat before class. This allows mums to unpack, feed bub after the car trip, and catch up with each other since last week’s class.

One-On-One: This covers the exact same course material found in the group course, the only difference being that it is delivered in the comfort of your own home. The One-On-One course remains a series of 5 x 1 hour weekly classes, giving you the opportunity to choose a class time that best suits you and your baby. Some may wonder why the One-On-One course hours are not condensed down to say 2 or 3 hours, since there is only one mother and baby participating in the classes. The reason is this: To learn a new skill takes time and practise. Based on the research that is supporting this program 5 x 1 hour weekly sessions is the optimum period of time to support learning outcomes, build confidence and form practise habits. You will be surprised how quickly the time passes even with just one participant.

Dad-To-Be Infant Massage Classes

This course is a new and unique course especially for Dads as they eagerly await the arrival of baby and prepare for their new role.

We invite dad to attend this course before birth; sometime in the third trimester.  The classes are scheduled for a weekday evening to make it easy to come along on the way home from work.  We want to help keep your weekends for relaxation and family time!

The course format is the same 5 week First Touch Infant Massage Program but participants will learn to massage on our demonstration dolls instead of their baby.  We aim to give dads the skills to confidently and safely massage their new born baby to assist in building and enhancing their bond and attachment right from the start.  This also gives dads a chance to connect with other dads-to-be and discover some tools that may help soothe wind, support baby’s development, and give mum a little break at the same time.

We understand that in the first few weeks after birth there is a heavy focus on mum and baby, establishing breastfeeding and learning how to care for a new baby.  And at times dads can feel a bit helpless and maybe a little left out of the loop.  We know this is not intentional.  It’s just the chaos, excitement and challenges of finding your way as a newly formed family and learning about your new roles as parents and caregivers.

We appreciate that massaging a doll is different to massaging an actual baby.  After all, The First Touch Program is focused on communicating with your baby through behavioural cues while enhancing bond and attachment.  This is why we have  built in provision for mum (and dad if available) to attend a group course with baby when they are ready and able.  This is also a great way for mum to socialise and meet other like-minded mums who are at a similar stage in career, motherhood and life. 

What we often hear from our mums who attend our group infant massage courses, is that they wish they had these skills earlier on.  Majority of the babies in our regular group courses are 3-5 months, and mums often express that it was prior this time that they really needed the skills but weren’t ready or able to get out to attend the course any earlier.

Yes, we could invite mums-to-be to attend an infant massage course prior to birth, but to be honest mums-to-be in third trimester are often nesting, very tired, uncomfortable and focused on birth and what it’s going to take to care for a new born and herself.  That is why we thought this was a great opportunity for dads to step in and do something very practical and supportive to assist their new little family in finding their feet in those early weeks and months.

What to bring to class

For safety, we always massage bub on the floor. It’s a good idea to wear comfortable clothes yourself.

What to bring:

  • a standard bed pillow, European size pillow or triangle pillow (sometimes referred to as a banana pillow or right angled pillow)
  • a bath towel
  • a swaddle cloth, if baby is continuing to enjoy being wrapped
  • a baby blanket

Organic massage oil especially for baby’s sensitive skin is included in each infant massage package. Please advise of any know allergies or irritations (mother or baby).

What not to worry about

Something you need not worry about is baby crying or disturbing the class. Each baby is sure to express themselves via a cry at some stage during the 5 week course, it’s just what babies do. Babies also require nappy changes, feeding and comforting, so there is no need to feel uncomfortable about taking care of your baby’s needs or your know needs throughout the class.

If your baby is napping or just isn’t up for massage during class time, I have extra demonstration dolls which will enable you to practise the new massage strokes within the class. Then you are prepared to apply the massage strokes at home when baby is more receptive to massage


Parents Value This Program

Over the years I have found that parents who have attended my classes can best explain why they love it.  Here’s a snippet of what they have to say:

“Catherine was excellent at delivering the material and relating to us (mums and babies). I learned how to stimulate my baby’s body, particularly the digestive systems and lymphatic system Catherine is very knowledgeable and made us feel very relaxed.”   ~New mum, baby 5 weeks

“Very happy with this course. I have already raved about it to other mums and expecting mums! It was better and more informative than I imagined it would have been.” ~Mum, with baby 7 weeks old

“Really great course. I learned a lot, not just for my baby, but also for my toddler.”  ~Mum of 2, baby 4 months + toddler aged 2

And 12 months+ on this is what mums have said:

” I’m still LOVING the skills we learnt in our one-on-one classes when my daughter (now 15months) was just brand new! 2 days of hardcore teething yet she became SO relaxed during a massage she’s fallen fast asleep just like when she did in classes at 4 weeks old! No medicine required! Love it! Just goes to show, the benefits of baby massage carry on long after classes finish! Thanks again, the work you do is pretty special and I’m sure we aren’t the only family that feels this way.” ~Monica Q 

“Since attending the baby massage course a year ago, my baby boy has become very at ease with allowing me to massage him. If I stop massaging his tired little feet after running around all day- he puts his foot up, as if to say “Keep going mummy”. Learning techniques to relieve his belly pain in the early months was the greatest aspect that I had learnt out of this course. I can’t thank you enough for this experience. ” ~ Kayla B

” I took my baby to massage classes with Catherine at 4 months of age. It was such a special time for me and him. It really is a bonding experience and I look back on it fondly. Catherine was incredibly organised and flexible with all of us, catering for baby naps, feeds, sickness and also giving bubs cuddles for mummy bathroom breaks too! The massage skills have come in handy all along the way of my baby’s first year, from settling to distracting to wind pain. The take home notes are so so useful. It couldn’t have been easier and I would do it all over again with hesitation. Thanks Catherine for such a great service. ~ Anne-Marie R