As I look forward to the first session of Rock and Roll Dads in 2016, here’s an update of the December session at Totnes Children’s Centre.


In the big clear space, we had the chance to stretch out, take up some space, to move and to rest. With bare feet, we were able to see all the movement and exploring babies were doing – Getting to grips with reaching, pushing, feeling the air, and finding their toes and edges. We took lots of time to simply be where our babies are, not worrying about the next stage, but tuning in to what was unfolding before us. The small and gentle being valuable.

Rock and Roll Dads


We took a little time to talk about the challenges that are faced as a Dad. Again, I find it so heart-warming to hear the experience of fathers. Their love of their children, and the challenges of full lives, and managing the pulls and demands of family, home, relationship and work life. It is so touching to create a space where some of this experience is spoken and given time to. And it is a delight to share and enjoy the unique journeys the children are on, as they find their way through.

Many thanks to Robin, for leading the group is some singing. The deep and resonant voices of men – great for getting little ones off to sleep, calming and de-stressing all our nervous systems.

So today we spoke about:

  • how tummy time, and crawling, sets up the foundations for hip rotation, and the integration of the push of the foot.
  • how tummy time can be a struggle – for babies in doing their ‘work’ of developing the neck and back strength and control, and for adults to witness and be alongside, when we want to scoop our babies up away from any grizzles or distress.
  • how babies initial job is to bond and attach, saying yes to the world and those who love and care for them, as they snuggle in. And then, finding their way to push and begin to separate, to feel themselves. As they find the energy from frustration, and push through to feeling their own sense of self, they move into the ‘no’, as they feel who they are as separate individuals.
  • how babies will find their way, up to walking in their own time. The uniqueness of each child’s body and movement, as they respond to weight, and gravity, and what draws them to explore in the world. With some children having individual physical challenges, from early surgery and medical interventions.
  • In Rock & Roll Dads it is great to be able to explore the sensory, tactile movement play that can be so nourishing and rewarding.


Tummy TimeIn the November session I talked about the significance of touch for a baby’s developing nervous system. And in our last session in December I talked about the rock and the roll – in how babies movement, as they move and are moved, stimulates the vestibular system – our sense of balance. This aspect of our nervous system helps us become orientated in space and the upright, vertical direction, as we respond to gravity. Our vestibular system is linked with our visual development, as we control the fine muscles of our eyes to read and track what we see as we move. It’s linked with our auditory development, our hearing, as we detect where we are in space. And going on from this, can support our later speech and language development. Our vestibular system helps us process our moving body, it’s direction and speed. Plus, just as a gentle rocking of a baby can settle and calm indicates, it is linked with our emotional balance too.


So, in Rock and Roll Dads, as a young baby turns their head as they lie on their back, or is rocked on their Dad’s belly, all this movement and sensory integration is going on. Many elements that are the foundation for later learning, are being put in place.

And this is why this group is all about s l o w i n g   d o w n, to linger and wallow in these brief and precious months.


Looking forward to more in January (9th) and throughout 2016.