SCHWETZINGEN, Germany -- Child care experts from U.S. Army garrisons across Europe converged April 26-29 at the Installation Management Command Europe Training and Development Center to receive training and certification in infant massage.

Employees from New Parent Support Programs; Child, Youth, and School Services; and Women, Infants, and Children received certification so they can return to their home garrisons and offer the training to mothers and fathers.

"Infant Massage Certification Training gives the trainees the unique opportunity to help parents and caregivers to bond with their babies through the use of an age-old tradition, infant massage," said Brandi Stauber, Installation Management Command Europe, Family Advocacy Program manager. "Teaching infant massage provides a rewarding opportunity to promote well being and enhance bonding and attachment between infants and their caregivers."

Infant massage teachers will enhance their communities by helping families have positive experiences that will impact both the infant and the family for a lifetime, said Stauber.

"Infant massage uses touch to enhance the expression of love, caring and respect to aid in the bonding process," said Stauber, " contributes to development, helps babies sleep better, and improves communication between parents and their babies,"

IMCOM Europe's Army Community Service offered the training as part of Child Abuse Prevention Month. The training emphasized the campaign's overarching theme that "Child Abuse Prevention Requires Safe Communities and Responsive Families.

The Family Advocacy Program is dedicated to the prevention, education, prompt reporting, investigation, intervention and treatment of spouse and child abuse. The program provides a variety of services to Soldiers and families to enhance their relationship skills and improve their quality of life. This mission is accomplished through a variety of groups, seminars, workshops and counseling and intervention services.

For more information about infant massage training in your community, call your local Army Community Services.