Our mental health is shaped by our earliest relationships in the first year of life.
Because of this, we believe building early relationships should not depend on ‘expert’ knowledge.
Instead, we believe supporting healthy human development is something we can all do.
Get involved and be a part of our work:
Train with us!
Our cue-based infant massage courses certify you to teach the First Touch Program to support social and emotional connections between parents and babies. Once completing this infant massage course, you’ll be qualified to provide evidence-based programs in cue-based infant massage. and to support these early foundations infant mental health development.
This is the only nationally accredited and industry-endorsed infant massage training available in Australia.
Support our work:
Our work is based on one simple fact:
Many significant risk factors for human suffering, illness and pain are preventable if we begin early enough. In infancy.
But we can’t do it alone.
The First Touch Program is based on the most recent research about social development. Read more about our infant massage courses and the science of infant mental health.
Find a Certified Educator in your area!
Infant massage courses and baby massage classes for parents and health services
Find Infant Massage Educators who have completed nationally accredited, evidence-based infant massage training. All educators are also certified to deliver the First Touch Program.
Educators offer community-based and public infant massage courses and private groups (e.g. for mothers groups). Many offer contract sessions for health and community services as well.
This infant massage course and qualifications are recognised as fundamental professional development within all our child and parenting programs.
These include programs with a mental health focus, parenting skills, family support, therapeutic services to families within homelessness and domestic violence services. This short course is, to my knowledge the only accredited training available with a focus on infants and parents relationships, is cheap, and cost effective to run. The course is excellent.Deb LockwoodManager, Children's Services Relationships Australia SA
I just love the connections that come for parents attending the First Touch Program. Parents coming together to share time with their babies and each other. As a result they become so much more aware of how much babies communicate right from birth. Seeing a mother and baby interacting in this way is so beautiful!Jill HembryPaediatric Physiotherapist
I trained with Baby in Mind to continue my journey to help parents recognise their baby's cues, reflexes and behaviours. It has now developed further, to empower families to build relationships and to also respect the infant. I feel rewarded and relaxed each time i facilitate a first touch infant massage course- it is not all one way! Some mums have not had a nurturing and respectful childhood or adulthood. But some have physical and mental health issues. Seeing the group 'bond' and feel comfortable enough to share and have fun is so rewarding.Sue SaundersMidwife, IBCLC
I was working in Neonatal Intensive Care. I realised that the babies had a lot of problems with touch. Because of this, the change in parent-infant bonding can profound. I thebe through supporting parents to be with their babies using touch. I then became interested in touch communication. I did the First Touch Program training with Baby in Mind. Using the skills I learned to support parents, is as if the baby becomes fully switched on and present. And the parent becomes aware of that presence. A whole different relationship starts to develop.Julie McNallNeonatal Intensive Care Nurse
The whole ethos of Baby in Mind and the First Touch Program, is about supporting parents to understand their babies cues, to slow down and observe their babies, to connect with their babies that is so rewarding and means so much more long term for that baby's well-being.Caroline HeckendorfPeer Educator
About three years ago, here are Baby in Mind, we were involved in a research project conducted by Angela Freeman, from University of Canberra. Working at the Canberra-based perinatal depression…
A report released by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has recognised and included cue-based Infant Massage as an intervention that may potentially help promote some factors…
The Body Keeps The Score (Bessel van der Kolk) The Body Keeps the Score will surely be considered a classic among the texts on human trauma, and human nature more generally. Although…
Subscribe for FREE to our magazines (we deliver them via website or mobile app – leaving your email in-box clear!)
The Hippo is our magazine of professional development, training and education opportunities. It is specially for people working with parents and babies.
Keeping the Baby in Mind is our official magazine. Check all the latest infant mental health news and trending topics, whenever you need.
Parent Support Matters is our magazine for medical, health, welfare and early childhood professionals working in parent education. Topics include industry updates, sector news, private practice and business resources, and self-care.
Based on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, around 320,000 children start school each year. However, an estimated 20% of all these children show signs of mental health vulnerability. In other words, around 64,000 kindy kids have signs of difficulties, delays, challenges or risk in relation to their mental health. Mental illness costs the Australian community around $190billion each year. But half this mental illness is thought to be preventable in childhood…and particularly if we start during infancy. Therefore, prevention of mental illness is both possible and important for us all.
There are two very effective ways to prevent mental illness and other mental health issues. The first is to support social-emotional development during infancy (before pre-school) because these developmental processes also wire the brain for mental health. The second is to support the development of parent-baby relationships and, particularly, nurturing parenting relationships. Our First Touch Program works on both of these fronts.