So, I bet you’re thinking what on earth is baby massage? And how is it beneficial to my baby?
Well, baby massage is gentle stroking and caressing of your baby’s body. Baby massage is a lovely parent and baby bonding experience. It can aid digestive issues, improve sleep patterns and benefits your baby’s mental, social and physical development.
Myself and India started attending baby massage classes when she was 8 weeks old. It was a free 5 week course held by my local children’s centre. Being a new mum, I saw this as a great opportunity to socialise with other mums, and spend time with my baby in a outside of the house. At our first session of baby massage, me and India were warmly welcomed by the massage instructor and the other mums. It was a very calm and open environment, with subdued lighting, prefect for young babies.
The session began with the origin of baby massage oriented from, the benefit our baby and how baby massage can be integrated as part of our daily routines. We all introduced ourselves and our babies using sing-song. Then we were instructed to strip our babies down to their nappies (or even less if you was brave enough), pop them down onto the changing mats provided, which can be covered with your own towel or muslin blanket if you wish. The massage instructor provided us with a small bottle of Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil (you can use a different oil if you prefer) and demonstrated how she would like us to massage our babies. We were encouraged to speak to our baby’s using a soothing voice, and ask for their permission each time we would like to massage them. They will soon associate these specific words and actions with with the prediction that massage is coming. We used massage techniques such a Indian Milking and Swedish Milking of the legs and arm. Each week we focused on a different section of the body such as the torso, hips, hand and feet. On the last session we combined everything we learnt into complete a full body massage.
Although india was fairly young it was probably the best age to take her as she wasn’t mobile yet and I didn’t have to wrestle with her to stay still like some of the other mums. India laid there cooing, gurgling and smiling to herself as well all the other mums in the room. At the end of each massage she would peacefully fall asleep, which was brilliant, because this was something I later wanted to introduce into her bedtime routine. At the end of the each session we all took part little discussion, following a new topic each week. We shared our experiences on adjusting to motherhood and how our babies have amazed us over the last few weeks.
I really enjoyed the baby massage class and I believe India did too. When at home I like to massage her for about 5 minutes after he has her bath, when I can. She finds it quite funny now and will laugh and smile at he whilst I do it it to her. I would definitely recommend baby massage for anyone who has recently had a baby and as it is best to do when your baby is pre crawling age.
What baby groups did your little ones like to most? Let me know in the comments!