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Where to learn infant massage on Long Island

Mark Caperna, 40, of Blue Point, massages the

Mark Caperna, 40, of Blue Point, massages the head of his seven month old son, Joseph, during a class on infant massage therapy at the Patchogue-Medford Public Library in Patchogue. (June 15, 2012) Credit: Daniel Brennan

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:

CLASSES

Dolan Family Health Center of Huntington Hospital

WHEN Next session begins in August

WHERE 284 Pulaski Rd., Greenlawn

INFO 631-351-2362; hunthosp.org

COST $40

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

WHERE 1000 Montauk Hwy., West Islip

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.

ChiroMom

WHEN Classes formed according to demand, noon on Saturday

WHERE 2874 Merrick Rd., Bellmore

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

WHERE Suffolk or Nassau counties (additional travel fee for Nassau)

INFO 631-291-5234; frisalitz366@gmail.com

COST $100

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.

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