Even when 9-month-old Cadence Goldstein was in her mother's womb, she seemed an incredibly active baby. "We have issues with calming down," mom April Goldstein says. So when Goldstein learned a two-part, free infant massage class was being offered at the Patchogue-Medford Library, she and Cadence signed up, hoping that would encourage relaxation.
"We're in a fast-paced society. It's really hard to take a deep breath," certified infant massage therapist Lisa Fritz tells Goldstein and the six other parent-child pairs at the second class of the series. During the first session, Fritz covers leg and body massage; during the second she focuses on massaging babies' faces, which she explains helps with teething and colds.
Check with your local library for free classes; here are some other venues that offer infant massage classes for a fee. With more babies born in July, August and September than any other time of the year, classes are sure to be popular:
Dolan Family Health Center of Huntington Hospital
WHEN Next session begins in August
WHERE 284 Pulaski Rd., Greenlawn
INFO 631-351-2362; hunthosp.org
This one-hour-a-week, four-week group course is taught by Patricia Manzo, a registered nurse and certified infant massage therapist teaching for 18 years. It is for babies 3 weeks to crawling; both parents -- and even grandparents -- can come along. Classes are at 10 a.m.; day to be determined.
Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center
WHEN Next session begins 11 a.m. Saturday
INFO 631-376-4159; good-samaritan-hospital.org; preregistration required
COST $50 for one parent, $70 for a couple
Four 90-minute-per-week group classes cover strokes, techniques and benefits. It is taught by Suzanne Reese, a pediatric physical therapist and certified infant massage instructor.
WHEN Classes formed according to demand, noon on Saturday
INFO 516-221-1212; mychiromom.com
COST $75 for one person; $100 per couple
One-time, 90-minute class includes booklet to take home. If you take class before baby's birth, ChiroMom provides doll prop.
PRIVATE LESSON IN YOUR HOME
WHO Lisa Fritz, certified infant massage therapist, Sayville
WHEN By request
INFO 631-291-5234; email@example.com
This is a 90-minute class for a flat fee, no matter the number of participants. You can get your mommy and daddy friends together and split the charge.
WHO Lisamarie Curley, certified infant massage therapist, Plainview
WHEN By request
WHERE Nassau and western Suffolk
INFO 516-522-0337; simplymotherhood.com
COST $130 for private; semiprivate two families $100 each; three families $80 each; four or more $60 each
One 90-minute course covers massage techniques with individualized attention.
ESPECIALLY FOR DAD
Massage therapist Nancy Barravecchio of East Meadow, who does private in-home lessons for $25 a session in a four- to six-session curriculum, says infant massage is especially great for fathers to learn. Moms typically spend more time with newborns; Barravecchio encourages dads to come home from work and use massage to interact with baby. Call Barravecchio at 516-297-9749.