I’m happy to welcome you to our RIE Parent-Infant Guidance Class. The foundation of Magda Gerber’s Educaring Approach is respect. In our class, we will demonstrate respect for babies in our small daily actions, such as being slow, letting our baby know before picking him up, and waiting for the baby’s response before acting. We will observe, be curious and learn from our baby.
1. Walk in slowly – take your time
Young children’s processing time is slower than for grown-ups and everything is new for them. Babies will really appreciate your effort to slow down.
Walking in is a transition: you walk from outside into the building, the door is closed and makes noise, there are other parents, they are talking, maybe they are moving. Oh, and there are also babies, they are moving, making noises, and possibly crying.
I tell my parents “you are never late to RIE class.” Yes, of course, I would love for you to enjoy all 90 minutes of class, but if your child slept longer than you expected or something else got in your way – please, don’t feel stressed – you are welcome to class.
Take your shoes off slowly, wash or disinfect your hands, and place your bag against the shelves on the other side of the play area. Slowly walk into the class and choose a comfortable spot – you can use a yoga chair if you wish.
2. Pick a spot
Try to keep the same spot every class, this way once your baby is mobile he will know where to find you. *It doesn’t mean you can’t move around the class – it is a flexible environment.
3. Stay with your baby for as long as your baby and you need
When you walk into class, you might see other babies on the cover playing and exploring. You don’t have to put your baby down just yet. Stay together for a few minutes, give him time to look around and see if he is ready.
4. Put your baby on his back
We always start with the back position. This is the position from which a child can decide to turn on his tummy or turn sideways and get into a sitting position. Natural development is important. Babies always do what they are ready for. Your child might be more active at home and seem like he does more at home. It could be because he is observing, taking it all in, and getting comfortable.
It doesn’t mean we don’t believe in tummy time (a common myth about RIE); it means we believe in baby-led tummy time.
“I wish doctors had enough time to be able to observe how a baby is moving naturally, to share these observations with parents, and to point out to the parents how competent a baby is at any stage of development. This might help the parents to observe and appreciate what the child is capable of doing and to stop worrying and pushing toward the next milestone, for which the baby may not yet be ready.” – Magda Gerber
Observe what your child decides to do, and how he feels on the cover. It could be tempting to bring toys to the baby, especially when he is not quite mobile. Children are rarely upset about being under-stimulated, yet they are very often upset when they are overstimulated.
“Frequently young babies are subject to too much stimulation. Often adults do not recognize an infant’s need for peace and quiet.” — Magda Gerber
You observe that your baby pushed or kicked away all the toys around him. Here are a few ideas of how you can respond: https://ourparentingplace.com/to-rescue-or-not/
Sensitive observation is the best part of the class. When we are quiet and watch our babies with “soft eyes” we can learn so much about them. It is a great opportunity to connect with your child. Also your child receives a great message from you — what he does and how he plays is interesting and important to you.
Feel free to ask questions and bring topics to the conversation.
Our goal in class is to help children to be authentic, confident, focused, and cooperative. They find inner direction, self-initiation, and intrinsic motivation. I hope this experience will be meaningful, rewarding, and helpful to your family, giving you the opportunity to see your baby with new eyes.
Email me or call for more information about RIE® Parent-Infant Guidance™ Classes.
Wishing you all the best in the difficult yet exciting journey of parenting!