The first year of a baby's life is known to be foundational, and so we have created a range of sessions to help your baby develop both their sensory and motor systems which have such an impact on their future as both child and adult.
At Encounter Baby we:
Nurture babies development from birth to standing upright and walking
Stimulate and integrate sensorimotor systems
Develop social and emotional skills
Support visual and auditory development
Aid healthy digestion and sleep
Help with tummy time
Sessions are fun, sociable and interactive, and are run by an experienced Occupational Therapist with expertise in neuro-development, and informed by the very latest research into this area. We will guide you to follow your own good instincts concerning your baby and provide evidence based information on the sensory and motor development of your child, offering support at a time when there is often masses of seemingly conflicting information. We will look at a variety of playful activities with your baby, each designed to support the development of different sensory and motor systems.
During the sessions you will be taught about typical infant developmental stages that unfold during the first year of life, and will be introduced to activities to support their healthy development - creating a strong foundation for your child.
There are three different groups, each focusing on different stages of baby development. Each group runs for four consecutive weeks at the same time every week. All areas of development are covered in the four weeks, but the format is not rigid and there is time for you to ask questions and for your baby to receive some individual attention.
Encounter Baby - Development Stages
"Babies brains develop in direct relationship to their sensory and motor experiences" (Zachary, 2014)
Stage One - two months (post 1st immunisation) to rolling over
Stage one classes will give your your child the best start in life in terms of their future health, wellbeing and learning, we will cover all the essential early movement patterns including tummy time techniques, exploring weight and balance in close connection with the caregiver, and primitive reflex integration (article). A key focus will be around establishing a healthy spine - as the basis for all other developmental patterns and movements. Research has shown that children who miss out on these early movements are more likely to struggle at school and be less able to reach their full potential both academically, socially and physically. (link to articles)
From a sensory perspective - play activities will cover the external senses: sound, smell, touch and sight and we will also work with the lesser know somatosensory systems of sensations that come from our own bodies - including tactile, vestibular and proprioception sensations. The sensory systems form the basis for your child engaging well with others and the world around them, helping their bodies and minds adjust and regulate all the incoming information from both their internal and external environments.
Stage Two - early independent movements, pushing back on the tummy, creeping, crawling, sitting
Stage two classes build on the foundation established at level one but you can join without having attending the previous session if you baby is already sitting or making some of the movements mentioned above. We will continue with the themes of exploring balance but by introducing more challenging movements and providing more stimulation now the nervous system is ready to be activated in this way. We will introduce some baby yoga poses to increases spine flexibility and activate balance systems. Getting ready for walking with a steady gait and great balance.
More complex sensory activities will be introduced which have been designed to specifically support the development of your baby's sensory processing and integration, processes that are essential for future learning and life skills.
Stage Three - upright babies: standing, supported steps, moving between the furniture and just walking
Stage three classes work towards establishing independent walking. We will work more with balance and body position, continuing working with developmental movement patterns and identifying any gaps in body awareness. We will look at falling well and increasing body and spatial awareness.
There will be more time for child led sensory exploration and the children can socialise more with each other and establish more independence from their care givers. There will also be group games and activities designed to encourage cognition, executive function, timing and more.
To get the most out of the sessions, please ensure that you choose the group type that matches your child's stage of development. £70 is the total for all four sessions. If you are booking for more than one child, please adjust the quantity below.