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Course overview

Promoting nurturing parenting through infant massage.

This is a self-paced, free online course. The aim of the course is to provide students with knowledge to assist in critically examining and evaluating the quality of different approaches to infant massage education. This course outlines specific research which identifies various features of infant massage education which, in particular, appear to result in improved parent-infant relationship outcomes. The course takes most people 5 hours to complete. You can do the course in your own time, and at a pace that suits you.

The course is also one module from the nationally (government) accredited qualification in Cue-based infant massage and parent-infant relationship education

Infant massage education is widely used in health and community services to promote early parent-infant relationships. Likewise, there is a broader and growing interest in the promotion of nurturing parenting behaviour across a wide range of settings. However, one of the most significant and persistent myths in infant massage and other forms of touch-based education is that it lacks the potency of more high-tech interventions and, therefore, attention to quality is not particularly important.

As a result, most infant massage information used in health and community services is not held to the same evidence-based standards as other types of interventions. However, the available research does, in fact, suggest that infant massage and touch education is both potent (effective) and poses some foreseeable risks. In this module we will explore the available research that introduces findings about the characteristics of high-quality educational approaches to promoting nurturing touch, compared with interventions that are less effective and present some potential risks. These characteristics shape the basis of the First Touch Program.

This course is free, but you will need to log-in to the website to access the material. If you are not a member, you can create a free account here.

Course content

Session 1: Module welcome and introduction 

Session 2: Infant massage research: a general overview

  • The Cochrane Reviews in infant massage

Session 3: Translating research into practice 

  • Comparing different approaches to infant massage education
  • Underdown and Barlow: Recognising and evaluating different approaches
  • Mechanisms of infant massage that support nurturing parenting.
Baby In Mind International Association of Infant Massage Australia green logo

Learning outcomes

By completion of this module, you will be able to:

1 – Describe some of the ways in which different researchers have approached evaluation and trials of infant massage education;

2 – Describe some of the key characteristics (mechanisms) of high-quality infant massage education;

3 – Review different infant massage resources for  evidence-based strengths and weaknesses; and

4 – Discuss some of the risks that may be associated with programs that do not demonstrate these characteristics.


This module Promoting nurturing parenting through infant massage is free.

Who this course is suitable for

This course is designed for:

  • health, early childhood, allied health and bodywork therapists with no formal or accredited infant massage education qualifications.
  • health, early childhood, allied health and bodywork therapists who are curious about the research basis of (high-quality) infant massage, but who do not want to teach infant massage themselves.
  • anyone who has completed a non-accredited course in infant massage education (i.e. with Infant Massage Information Service, Infant Massage Australia or Liddle Kidz) and wishes to add some additional depth to their knowledge.
  • anyone enrolled in, or intending to enroll in the nationally accredited  course in Cue-Based Infant Massage and Parent-Infant Relationship Education.
  • Infant massage educators who completed nationally accredited training prior to Nov. 2016, and wish to update or extend their knowledge.

Time commitment

This course takes most people 5 hours to complete. 

A certificate for 5 Continuing Professional Development hours is issued on successful completion.

The course material is two hours and 40 minutes in length. Most people take another 1.5 -2.5 hours to review material, take notes and complete the quiz questions.

You can take this course ‘on demand’, which means you can enroll any time and complete at your own pace.

You may need to allow additional time if you:

  • are very new to the topics in this course;
  • are new to using online learning;
  • want to review the material in greater depth; or
  • want to undertake further reading/ extension activities.

Course assessment

Assessment for this course consists of three short quizzes to check your understanding of the core concepts. These quizzes are located at the ends of:

  • Session 3: 6 quiz questions

After completing each quiz, you will receive your results straight away. You can go back and review any material as you you need.

To receive the certificate, you must complete all quiz questions and achieve an 80% pass-mark. You can re-take the quizzes as many times as you like.

Once you have completed the quiz questions successfully you will be:

  • issued with a Certificate of Completion for your CPD portfolio, which you can download straight away; and
  • able to use this course toward enrolment in the nationally accredited course in Cue-Based Infant Massage and Parent-Infant Relationship Education.

Course Instructor

Baby in Mind is an Australian health promotion charity, supporting infant mental health development in communities and organisations. Our primary activity is providing nationally accredited training to health, community and education professionals, as well as community members, in cue-based infant massage education. Baby in Mind has been providing this training in Australia since 1994, and is the only organisation in Australia to offer nationally accredited training in this field.

The instructor for this course: Promoting nurturing parenting through infant massage is Glenda Chapman. Glenda holds the role of Senior Trainer for Baby in Mind, and has delivered infant massage training to more than 1,500 educators and health professionals over  20 years. Glenda comes from a bodywork background specialising in the relationship between movement and emotional trauma. She has both worked with families and trained other professionals to deliver touch education in private practice, neonatal intensive care, and hospital-based settings. She has been a pioneer and at the forefront of most infant massage initiatives in Australia, including being a founding member of the International Association of Infant Massage Australia, and a lead contributor to the development of the first ever national competency standards in the delivery of infant massage education in 2012. She has completed extensive postgraduate education and training in a wide range of areas, including in infant mental health related education.

Links to other courses

This module Promoting Nurturing Parenting Through Infant Massage  can be taken either:

  • as a stand-alone module for general interest or professional development purposes or
  • combined with two other online modules: Touch and human development and Infant massage in Australia to be used toward a Certificate of Completion in Principles of High Quality Infant Massage Education.

From 1 July 2017, successful completion of this module will also form part of the Nationally Accredited Course in Cue-Based Infant Massage and Parent-Infant Relationship Education. Students enrolled in this course, or intending to enrol, should complete this module before attendance at the face-to-face training component of their training.

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