Developmental support

Following his lead

I was referred to Catherine by another practitioner.  She listened and interacted sensitively and perceptively to my concerns and observations about my son.  I had a gut feeling that we were “almost there but something was still missing” in addressing his needs, and she has been able to take him to a new level of wellness.

When my son first saw Catherine, he was 10 months old.  I wondered what treatment might look like for one so young and active.  He certainly wasn’t going to lie still on a table!  But, her treatment room was set up for kids to play with many developmentally appropriate toys. 

I was so impressed to see how she followed my son around as he played and worked with his body as he moved. I have even brought my other kids along to play in the room alongside us while Catherine has her appointment with my son.

Catherine is not only a wonderful practitioner, but also a great teacher.  She is very skilled at explaining how the body works, what she is doing and why.  I so appreciate the way she always sends me home with suggestions and new skills for furthering my child’s wellness on my own… be it exercises, massage techniques, or ways of adapting my home to make a more developmentally appropriate space. – Mary 

I can help your baby fulfill his natural development, so he can reap lifelong body-mind benefits of ease in learning, a secure sense of self, as well as strength and grace.

Developmental movements

Developmental movements, along with relationship and touch, are nature’s design for your baby to develop every aspect of  herself. These simple, holistic activities form your child’s emotional and social intelligence, her attention and cognitive capacities, and use of her body. As a child grows into toddlerhood, preschool years and school age, her movements become more complex, and support more complex functions of the mind for math, writing and creative problem solving.

Babies naturally do early developmental movements, including reflexes, that provide sensory integration and sensory-motor integration in their brains. Your baby starts moving in utero, uses reflex to birth, breastfeed, do tummy time and onward. When your baby does these natural activities, she develops emotional balance, her emerging sense of self and other, and initiates her earliest mastery learning.

Because developmental movements shape the core organization of the mind and the body, you want to provide your baby with movement opportunities for each of these essential activities as she grows. If your child is unable to easily fulfill these, or had conditions that interrupted these movements, you can get help for him to regain these mastery skills, at any age and stage.

If your child skipped any of these movements, or experienced trauma or injury, he may show developmental delay or behaviors that concern you now. Other children may appear to be just a little off, and down the road hit tantrums as toddlers or, later, blocks in reading, writing, math, and other academic demands.

Foster emotional & social intelligence

Simple developmental movements, along with your loving touch and relationship, develop your child’s ability to modulate between her states of excitement and calm. Newborns are born into our arms, needing our care to meet their physical and emotional needs. Your newborn is not able to control his emotional states. She calls on you to care for her. When your baby cries and you hold her, you buoy her up physiologically in many ways. Your heart beat stabilizes her heart rhythm. Your breathing stabilizes her breathing rhythm. Your body warms and stabilizes her temperature. Your calm presence stabilizes her nervous system rhythm and states.

Development of emotional balance is not about controlling oneself. Instead, emotional self-modulation emerges through responsive relationship and movement activities that provide a child with consistent experiences of how to transition or move from a state of excitement to a state of calm. Babies learn to marshal energy from sleepy states to come up to alert attention.

Emotional self-modulation is a maturation process that takes place over years. Since life continues to throw us curve balls and uncertainty, every one of us is a work in progress in learning how to appropriately respond and to modulate our own states of mind.

Developmental movement therapy uses engaged play, touch and movement activities to help mature her nervous system and ability to modulate states. These same activities help your child form a secure sense of self and of others.

Create secure sense of self

Developmental movement activities provide your baby with his earliest opportunities for mastery learning. Through specific, natural movement activities and interaction, your baby develops her emerging sense of self and other. Young children sequence through stages of bonding and individuation in small steps. Developmental activities form deeply integrating connections, both within herself and with you, that engage all your baby’s senses and her mind. A child who has experienced birth trauma or injury may not be able to attach well, in spite of the loving care a parent may offer. I can help your child at any age and stage.

Provide early learning and sensory integration

Developmental movement activities and play organize a child’s brain, eyes and ears for attention and her earliest learning. These developmental activities activate primary processing networks in a chi

ld’s brain for attention, vision and hearing.

Babies are born with many immature systems that require movement and relationship to mature. These systems include visual, auditory, attention, vestibular and proprioceptive systems.

Working with a home program parents can help your babies and young children create attention asset, instead of attention deficit.

A child’s first creative problem solving is through movement – how to reach your face or a toy. Her repeated attempts to reach and satisfy her desire provides continuous learning through movement. These creative problem solving process via movement is her first cognitive intelligence.

Developmental movements, including reflexes provide a child with the fundamental ABCs of learning readiness (Goddard). These body-mind ABCs are the basis for school readiness:

  • Attention
  • Balance
  • Coordination

Somatic developmental activities form the fundamental ABCs of pre-academic skills; attention, balance and coordination. Children rely on these first skills to be ready to later tackle academic learning, including basics of reading, writing and math.

Movement shapes physical development

Developmental movement activities enable a baby to develop strength and coordination. These same activities provide a child with a lifelong postural integrity by organizing her spine in proper alignment. Children with very uneven tone, either tense high tone or floppy low tone, benefit from movements and massage activities that balance tone and response.

Address developmental delay

I provide hands-on support in person and create a home program tailored for a child who has developmental delay, from simple to profound conditions.

Somatic therapies and education

I help nurture your child’s natural intelligence and emerging sense of self from newborn days through early childhood. I provide holistic developmental support for babies, weaving together current brain research with infant developmental movement education, developmental somatic therapy and craniosacral therapy.

I facilitate your baby’s integrated body-mind development through hands-on therapy and education. I also will teach you development movements and massage for a home program tailored to your child. With articles you can help your baby with body-mind integration from the beginning.

What to expect in a session for your baby


 Essential wellness for mother and child

Body-mind integration from the beginning

Balancing act

Ebony helps her daughter become more adept in early balancing to ready her for crawling.

Looking at our faces more

We have had developmental concerns about our son Joren for nearly a year . We were referred to Mamabebe a few months ago and have felt encouraged, empowered and educated through our partnership with Catherine. We have seen huge gains since we began working with her!

little trike

Joren tends to be more interested in objects than in people. Now he is looking at our faces consistently when we use toys to draw his attention to our facial features. Previously when working with Joren on his social skills, we had removing all toys from the room to get him to be more interactive with us. Catherine taught us techniques to use toys to help Joren engage our faces. It’s working better to start with his interest and draw him to us.

Although just starting to pull up, Joren had started going up stairs, but wouldn’t safely go down. Catherine gave us many ideas of how to position and move slowly down. Now Joren is having fun at the playground going on slides with confidence! We are so grateful for the practical steps the home program has offered us! – Nicole