What is Baby Massage?
Baby massage has been around for many years and has become very popular in the UK since the 1990s. Like baby yoga, baby massage has several benefits for your baby, and you as a parent or carer to enjoy. It is highly recommended by many healthcare professionals and as a result, many health visitors are becoming trained instructors.
In the womb, babies are exposed to touch which is heightened throughout the pregnancy. Once your baby is born he or she is subjected to the unfamiliar senses of its surroundings whilst losing that comfort and security that the womb provided for so long. This is why massage and touch are so important as it gives your baby that reassurance and comfort through the loving hands of you, their parent. Touch has many benefits for both the body and mind.
Baby massage is a sequence of gentle relaxing strokes which is performed on each part of your baby’s body. It teaches your baby behavioural states and cues, aiding to respond better to their needs. There is nothing more nurturing than a massage given with the loving hands of a parent which helps enhance that parent-baby bond.
What a course involves?
Baby massage can be performed from birth until crawling but I advise parents to wait until your baby is 6 weeks old as this allows you to settle into the joy of parenthood, to get into some sort of routine (if possible), and time for mum and baby to have their 6-week medical check-up.
The course is held in a friendly informal atmosphere over a 4-week period. The class will last approximately 30-45 minutes and will run weekly. I will ask you to fill in a disclaimer form before starting the course to ensure that there is no medical reason hindering your baby’s participation. If there are any medical conditions, it is always best to seek medical advice before starting a course.
At the beginning of the course, you will receive a folder with all the weekly handouts demonstrating the movements and a small bottle of coconut carrier oil. Non-toxic, wipe clean mats are provided. A spare demonstration doll will be available in the event of a sleeping baby so you still can practice the strokes. Your baby will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the course. You are encouraged to practice the strokes at home between classes.
Each week we will cover strokes on a different body part whilst recapping from previous weeks.
Like yoga, baby massage is baby-led so it should only be performed on a happy and willing baby. NEVER perform massage on a sleeping baby or a crying unsettled baby. As your baby come first, if they need to be fed, changed, or walked around during the class please do so.