Eliza Parker, Infant Development Specialist
I view and respect babies as a complete “people.” My perspective seems radical to some. But I see that babies truly know what they need, are brilliant communicators, intensely motivated and fabulous natural learners, and are already equipped to develop and learn — in relation to our role of providing loving presence, response, support when needed, and an appropriate environment.
By truly treating babies as respectable people, through relationship, two-way communication, handling skills, and aware response to physical and emotional stresses, it is possible to have–and maintain throughout life–a radically amazing, wonderful, supportive, and empowered relationship with your child!
My trainings and certifications include:
- Infant Developmental Movement Educator
- Aware Parenting Instructor (Aletha Solter)
- Body-Mind Centering® Practitioner (Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen)
- Feldenkrais® Practitioner (Moshe Feldenkrais)
- Spiritual Counselor (Delphi Univ. of Spiritual Studies)
I’m also a Highly Sensitive Person. This is a trait; it runs in 15 to 20% of the population. It means that I’m especially sensitive to infants’ cues, innately aware of subtleties, and excellent at perceiving whether the outcome of how we treat children is what we intended!
I have years of experience as a professional infant nanny, putting what I teach into practice! Nannying with a specialty—daily care, plus educating parents and teaching skills—gave me a particular expertise in helping families make the approaches below part of their daily lives, not just another thing you must “do” as new parents.
Infant Developmental Movement Education
How can I support my baby’s development without pushing? What if my baby doesn’t like tummy time? What do I with him when he’s awake?! Why is she not rolling yet? These are questions I explore with you.
IDME is part of the Body-Mind Centering® Approach to Somatic Education, originated by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, OT. It’s about observing Baby’s intentions and following his curiosity and pace. And about learning nifty ways to hold and move your baby that promote safety, comfort, and optimal development, because how we handle them patterns them. It’s addressing certain movement situations, like turning-in feet, “low tone,” or skipping milestones. While Baby comes equipped with a full set of reflexes that will enable her to reach milestones on her own, there can also be stresses. A common assumption is that “Baby knows best.” In actuality, sometimes a little respectful and non-invasive facilitation can allow inhibited reflexes or movements to pop open. My intention is to do as little as possible, to follow Baby’s own motivations, and to provide a means for the baby to find the movement herself, rather than my doing it for her.
Even typically-progressing “well” babies often show signs of minor stresses that can develop into bigger movement or learning issues later. Addressing these early-on allows Baby more freedom of movement and expression and access to his full potential!
Why does my baby cry when all her needs are met? Why doesn’t my baby sleep well? Why is my toddler hitting and biting? Doesn’t he need to be taught how to be compassionate and how to “behave”?
These are questions I explore with you, offering life-changing understanding and respectful approach to crying, sleep, tantrums, and “difficult” behaviors in infants and toddlers. I offer a perspective on lifestyle: living and breathing this healing life work, not just specific useable one-time techniques!
Aware Parenting is a respectful approach to raising children developed by Aletha Solter, Ph.D. “It is based on research in the fields of attachment, child development, psychotherapy, cross-cultural studies, and the neurobiology of trauma.” It supports children in ways that facilitate their innate compassion, sense of worth, communication, and willingness to participate.
Babies obviously cry to communicate their immediate needs or stresses. But they also cry to release tensions, tell us their histories, and heal. As for “misbehavior”: all unpleasant behavior has underlying needs. Our children are communicating with us, not defying or manipulating us!
The Continuum Concept is the work Jean Liedloff brought forth, which I also utilize (along with keen clarification of emotional needs): high level of contact, responding to infants’ needs as they express them, non-judgmental responses, trusting that they are innately cooperative and social with strong self-preservation instincts, avoiding undermining their own highly skilled learning processes, and stimulation vs making them a part of your daily tasks.
A Thank You…
The wisdom of these folks, in particular, infiltrates my work. All of my views are not necessarily theirs, but their contributions are expressed at various times in my work. Thanks, y’all!
- Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen (BMC/IDME)
- Moshe Feldenkrais (Feldenkrais)
- Lenore Grubinger (BMC/IDME, rad reflexes, and baby brilliance!)
- Maryska Bigos (BMC/IDME and movement genius!)
- Sandra Jamrog (BMC/IDME and general Earth-mama wisdom and presence)
- Karin Spitfire (BMC and holding space for infant-self insights)
- Diana Razumny (Feldenkrais and the thrill and adventure of learning about self and movement)
- Delphi U & Spiritual Center folks (for the “other” side of things–the spiritual, energetic, intuitive, and crossing the barriers of time)
- Aletha Solter (Aware Parenting)
- Wendy Mann (Aware Parenting, radical honesty, and beyond)
- all my babies, babies, babies, and their grown ups!