A self-proclaimed ‘baby whisperer’ from Iceland has claimed to be able to teach babies as young as three months old to achieve basic milestones well ahead of their peers.
One feat he’s particularly proficient at is getting little ones to stand upright – and a video of him doing just that has gone viral on social media.
Development therapist Snorri Magnusson runs a 12-week course that promises to have infants standing by the end of it – a full six months ahead of their average British contemporaries (the NHS mark around 9 months old at the point that babies start to be able to stand, using a parent or object for support).
Snorri’s classes take place in a swimming pool, where infants are less likely to hurt themselves, but he insists he is not interested in teaching babies how to swim. Instead he focuses on developmental progression, including reaching milestones like smiling and talking, and gives the families ‘homework’ outside of their twice-weekly sessions.
‘I am not here teaching babies how to swim. I am working with their motor development, working with their balance,’ he told Newshub. ‘That is the foundation of my work. I am not teaching them how to swim.’
‘The parents are always very surprised, really surprised by what their babies are able to do. But it all starts with straightening training. Because when there is strength in the spine and the upper body you can do whatever.’
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Snorrie’s methods have had such success that he claims by the end of his course, 11 out 12 babies are standing independently for 15 seconds. He’s been teaching his classes for 30 years, and has inspired similar classes across Iceland.
He’s even attracted the attention of the Icelandic scientific community who are interested in how Snorri is encouraging babies’ neural connections to form earlier than usual.
Icelandic professor of neuropsychology, Hermundur Sigmundsson, told a local news outlet: ‘Forming neural connections at an earlier age babies can do things earlier than we previously thought.’