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Mommy Thumb…or shoulders…or neck…or…

A Workshop on the Physics of Parenting

Do you have mommy-thumb?  How about chunkster-elbow, daddy-back or collicky-neck+shoulders?  (Very real problems that are equally deserving of a name!) The way you pick up and hold your baby contributes to your discomfort or pain, and Feldenkrais Method can help.

Join me Friday morning January 25 at 10am (with your pre-crawling baby is fine if you don’t have childcare), for a workshop in the physics of parenting for reducing strain on your body with specific ideas about your hands/thumbs. (But also very applicable to those with back, shoulder and neck strain from parenting a baby or young child.) I will share movement exercises based on the Feldenkrais Method for learning efficient, comfortable use of your hands, and ways to pick up, hold and feed your baby with less strain.  We will sing a few songs and play with the babies a bit throughout to make it fun for the little ones too.  

Friday Jan 25, 10am-12pm

Location: Brooklyn Feldenkrais, 480 6th Avenue, between 11th and 12th streets, Park Slope Brooklyn, 11215

Limited to just 6 parents maximum. $35 early-bird fee until Jan 15.

Join Today!

Confounding Baby Behavior!

 

© Oksana Kuzmina/fotolia

Have you found yourself wondering why your baby does certain confounding things?  Wouldn’t you love to know what your baby is thinking?  For instance, after you give your baby a break from tummy time, does your baby instantly roll right back to their tummy even though they are exhausted from that position?  A classic baby experiment may give you a new understanding about your baby’s thought process.

In the video linked below, a mom shows her 8m old baby a toy and hides it under one of two handkerchiefs.  The baby reaches for the correct handkerchief and finds his toy.  Next, the mom clearly shows him that she has moved the toy under the second handkerchief.  Even though the baby clearly sees this, he still reaches for where the toy was the first time!  Why would he do this even though he saw where it was moved to?

This experiment is referred to as the “A not B error.”  The baby reaches for handkerchief A even though he sees that the toy is under B.  It’s a phenomenon that only lasts a few months, around ages 8 – 9 months of age.  It seems like a strange error to make, since the baby clearly sees the toy moving.  Piaget, believed that this error was due to a lack of the concept of “object permanence.”  More recently, development researchers have new, and intriguing ideas of what might be happening here.

“In human development, every neural event, every reach, every smile and every social encounter sets the stage for the next and the real-time causal force behind change,” wrote the late Esther Thelen, Developmental Psychologist and Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner.  What we may very well be seeing is the interconnectedness of a baby’s body and mind.  While the baby’s visual sense takes in the view of the toy in a new location, he has just organized his body to reach successfully under the “A” handkerchief.  The motor planning of that previous reach is a neural event that “sets the stage for the next” movement.  In a few months this baby will be able to feel that readiness to reach to A, but be able to override that motor-planning history and reach for the correct handkerchief.  But for now, the previous act of having planned the reach to “A” is so powerful, that the baby reaches to the wrong place to find the toy.

Similarly the baby who has recently learned to roll over, seems drawn as if magnetically to roll over even when they are very tired of being on their tummy!   That new movement of rolling, becomes so “attractive” that they roll even when they seemingly don’t want to do it.  After a time, the baby will begin to find other movements or “attractor states” to use Dr. Thelen’s language, and the “magnetism” of rolling over will fade.

While we can never really know what your baby’s experience is, it can be helpful to understand that your baby’s thinking (and emotional life for that matter) is inseparable from his bodily sensations.  Because your touch is so much a part of his sensation of his body, it means that you too are an inseparable part of this equation.

See “Cogsci-mom” demonstrate A not B error with her baby – even with see-thru cups!

Fun baby tricks #1: A-not-B Error

fun baby tricks #2: A-not-B error… with transparent hiding places

 

 

“I learned many ways to engage with my baby”

Dan’s class was fun and educational!  Just as important, it got me out of the house during a vulnerable time when I was unsure of myself and inclined to stay home.  As a first-time mom, I had read a lot about pregnancy and childbirth but wasn’t sure how to interact with my baby during his early stages of development.  Dan’s classes energized me as I met and observed other new parents and learned many ways to engage with my baby through movement and songs that I really do enjoy singing.  Often my son was crabby, slept, or nursed during our scheduled class time, but I always brought the things I learned home for when he was awake and ready to play.  It was great for both of us! img_3108

“A great resource to help parents and caregivers feel more confident”

“Dan really has an uncanny ability to watch your child for only a moment and make spot-on suggestions of how you can best support your child’s physical development. I have recommended Dan to countless friends as a great resource to help parents and caregivers feel more confident while connecting with their babies.”screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-10-14-06-am

“I was actually pretty amazed by how secure it made me feel”

We took the pre-crawlers class with Micaiah when he was about 10 weeks old. It was really really excellent. I knew there were things I should be encouraging him to do, and also knew there was probably a type of way I should be encouraging him, but wanted to make sure it wasn’t stressing him out or moving him in ways that weren’t helpful (or, contrary to natural body movement).

The class is short (45 minutes) to sustain his attention (and mine), got to meet some other great moms, and it really helped build my confidence to encourage his natural movement (and know when he needed a push in a certain direction). I was actually pretty amazed by how secure it made me feel at the end in terms of where he was developmentally and where we were headed in the future.