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Published: Thursday 05 November 2020

Although we've had lots of international students studiyng with To Baby and Beyond, we're pleased to have our first overseas Student Spotlight star - Helen Thompson - and she couldn't be much further away from us!

Helen has just studied with us on our Tummy Time Instructor course and you'll not be surprised to hear that it's available as an online distance learning course. Perfect for everyone wherever you're located!

Name: Helen Thompson
Lives: Burnie, Tasmania
What do you teach? I teach Baby Massage and I incorporate tummy time into my classes
How long have you been an instructor? I qualified in Baby Massage in 2010, Tummy Time in October 2020 and became a Nursery Nurse in 1988
What made you want to become an instructor? I have worked with children in the child care industry for many years and so many parent asked me questions like 'what can I do assist my baby if they have colic?', 'how can I strengthen their head muscle and their hand eye coordination?', 'I want to encourage my children to crawl?'. Although my child care knowledge was very beneficial I wanted something more and I wanted to be able to help first time mothers with babies between 4 weeks and 10 month old. So I initially trained as a baby massage instructor and then I did further study in October this year (2020).
Have you always been an instructor? I have always been involved with educating children, having been in the child care industry for many years. I have always encouraged parents to have more quality time with their children.
Why did you choose To Baby and Beyond for your training? I choose to study the Tummy Time Instructor course with To Baby and Beyond as I wanted to learn more about how it could help parents deal with issues such as head control and I found them to be warm and friendly and responsive. I also wanted to study at my own pace and they were able to accommodate that.
What did you like best about the training with To Baby and Beyond? I liked the fact that I could do the course online and interact with my fellow colleagues through the world wide web. I was also able to contact my tutor at any time and found the course content very informative and very easy to follow with lots of video demonstrations.
What’s your favourite part of your job? My favourite part of being an instructor is that I can work with parents and babies one on one or in small groups. I love it that Dads can be involved as well. I also like the idea that I am my own boss and can provide quality care to my clients and teach in a relaxed atmosphere.
How do you keep your skills up to date? I regularly update my first aid training and upgrade my skills with regular training.
Do you have any favourite websites that you use? I like any that look at the natural approach to parenthood. I love looking at Montessori sites and sites that are about natural health for children.
What qualities do you think are important in a baby massage instructor? The qualities I feel are important for a baby massage instructor are to be patient, calm, understanding, friendly and professional and not be judgemental and respect the parents' opinions.
What benefits do you derive from baby massage and tummy time? I find that it aids and supports development, builds and strengthens the baby shoulder muscles and develops a strong neck, core, arm and leg muscles. I find it can alleviate trapped wind and soothe colic and may alleviate constipation.
Have you learnt anything surprising about baby massage or tummy time? As I was studying the tummy time course I learnt about how important it is for your baby to learn to move their neck muscles and ways to teach parents how they can help their babies to do that. One of the most fascinating things I learnt was that babies sometimes develop a flattened head if they spend too much time on their backs.
What’s your top tip for baby massage or tummy time? Introduce singing and communicate when you massage your baby or when they are on their tummy; it is so beneficial to them and it helps them to develop language skills and speech development through repetition of sounds.
Have you had an amusing experiences in your work as an instructor? One time when I was doing some colic moves half of the babies let off gas or had a bowel movement and we had to open some windows and take a break so the mothers could attend to their babies.
Who would you most like to teach on one of your courses? I would like to teach first time mums who have a baby between 4 weeks and 10 month and are looking for ways to assist their babies with issues such as colic and reflux and constipation.. I guess my ideal person would be a new mum who is a qualified professional, who is open minded and they enjoy blogs and podcasts about natural therapies that tell them about ways they can benefit their baby's development and discover ways they can assist they can with ailments such as teething and constipation.

Such great responses from a very experienced childcare professional. Thanks Helen! If you'd like to check out Helen's presence on the web you can find her website at and on Facebook.

Helen is also starting a podcast which will be advertised on her Facebook page when they are launched. The first one is on teething and the second one will be on Bowen therapy for babies. She plans to have at least five episodes before launch so there will be plenty to get your teeth into! Check out Helen's Facebook page to find out more.

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