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Touch Brain Development Course
Infant Massage Brain Development Course

Course overview: Touch and Early Brain Development


Touch influences almost all aspects of early brain development. In this course you will gain a detailed knowledge of the truly remarkable role of parents’ touch interaction on their baby’s brain development.

Babies experience their relationships through their senses, and in particular, touch. But, because this touch appears simple it is often taken for granted. But the most up-to-date research about touch and early human development reveals a much more complex picture. In this course we walk through this research, making sense of the impact of touch on human development. However, just understanding the research is not enough. This is because – in real life – touch between parents and babies is utterly unique to each relationship. Because of this, we will also explore some real-life examples and some of the factors which can shape the way that parents and babies use touch to interact together.

Learning methods

In this course, we will use research, social media, video lectures, and popular television media to explore and explain these ideas. In addition, we will introduce baby Cohen and his mother Elle. Videos of their interactions will help bring theory to life in a practical way. In turn, this will allow you to develop or enhance your skills in observing and understanding parent-baby interactions that impact on brain development.

Infant Massage Brain Development 2

Course content

Session 1: Module welcome and introduction 


Session 2: Foundations of early brain development 
  • Typical uses of touch;
  • The parent’s point of view;
  • Hammett’s rats; and
  • Affect regulation in brain development.
Session 3: Babies and social touch 
  • Differences in organisation;
  • Parent-baby interaction;
  • The baby’s social world; and
  • Touch in affect and brain development.
Session 4: The social context of touch promotion 
  • Touching is dangerous;
  • The problem with bodies; and
  • Navigating touch.
Baby In Mind International Association of Infant Massage Australia green logo

Learning outcomes

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

1 – notice and describe some of the features of normal, healthy social touch between parents and infants;

2 – describe some of the main themes in research about the role of touch in human development; and

3 – identify some of the cultural and social influences on parent-infant touch.

In addition, these learning outcomes contribute to the nationally (government) accredited qualification in Cue-Based Infant Massage and Parent-Infant Relationship Education.


This module Touch and Human Development is free.

Infant Massage Brain Development 3

This course in touch and brain development is suitable for

  • Health, community, early childhood, allied health and bodywork professionals.
  • Infant massage educators/ Certified Infant Massage Instructors (CIMIs).
  • Parents with an interest in research.
  • People intending to enrol in the  nationally accredited  course in Cue-Based Infant Massage and Parent-Infant Relationship Education.

Time commitment

This course takes most people 3-4 hours to complete. 

The course material is two hours in length. Then most people take another 1-2 hours to review material, take notes and complete the quiz questions.

After successfully completing the course, you will be able to download a certificate for 4 Continuing Professional Development hours .

You can take this course ‘on demand’. In other words, you can enroll any time and complete the course at your own pace.

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 each session.


After finishing each quiz, you will receive your results straight away. You can go then back and review any material, before progressing to the next topic.

Before receiving a certificate for this course you must complete all quiz questions with an 80% pass-mark. You can re-take the quizzes as many times as you like.

After you have passed all quizzes you will be:

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

Baby in Mind

Baby in Mind is an Australian health promotion charity and our goal is to promote infant mental health development. In order to do this we provide training in practical skills for supporting early parent-baby relationships. We have been providing this training in Australia since 1994, and are the only organisation in Australia to offer nationally accredited training in this field.

Course Instructor

The instructor for this course: is Alice Campbell who is also the CEO of Baby in Mind.

Alice started her career as a Registered Nurse over 25 years ago. She has worked with babies, young children and their families in hospitals, conflict zones, Australian Aboriginal communities, child protection services and early intervention. In addition, she holds a number of postgraduate qualifications, including in nursing, health education and promotion and psychological trauma/ disaster management and recovery.

Alice has over 12 years experience as an clinical and field educator with Nursing, Social Work, Community Services, and Health Education students. For the past 10 years she has also worked with Baby in Mind while at the same time maintaining a clinical practice and consulting role. In her Masters topic, she explored the vocational training needs of health and community workers in shifting from a surveillance-based approach to a safeguarding-based approach to child protection. Alice has also won several public service and private sector awards for her work in building community capacity to meet the relationship-needs of very young children and their families.

Links to other courses

This module Touch and Human Development  can be taken in a way that suits you. For example…

You can do this course as a stand-alone module:
  • for general interest.
  • to meet your continuing professional development requirements.
You can combine this course with other modules:

Course Content

Lessons Status

Principles of High Quality Infant Massage Education - Module 1: Touch and human development - Session 1: Welcome and introduction


Principles of High Quality Infant Massage Education - Module 1: Touch and human development - Session 2: Foundations of early development


Principles of High Quality Infant Massage Education - Module 1: Touch and human development - Session 3: Babies and social touch


Principles of High Quality Infant Massage Education - Module 1: Touch and human development - Session 4: The social context of touch promotion

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