Long before babies are able to speak, they begin to engage with the world around them using their sense of touch. By the age of three, 85% of a baby’s brain has developed, and every experience in this time really counts as one that will shape how your baby sees the world.
As they start to feel their way around their environment, they also appreciate skin to skin contact and bonding with family members that they share it with. Massage helps to aid your baby’s communication through the gentle, rhythmic stroking of their body with your hands. As part of your routine, you can gently manipulate your baby’s ankles, wrists and fingers as you talk, hum or sing to your baby to make it more reassuring for them.
You may find that giving your baby a massage lifts your own mood and helps you to feel more empowered as a parent. The time you set can be your special time together, strengthening the bond between parent and child. As you massage your baby, it comes naturally to chat and share plenty of eye contact with them, which is one reason in particular why massage can help mums with postnatal depression, or who are at risk of depression, to interact with their babies.
Baby massage can also help you become more confident in handling your child and recognising their needs. Your baby’s muscles relax, and breathing becomes deeper as massage raises levels of the ‘feel-good’ hormone in both you and your baby. This helps you both feel calmer and relaxed, and can also help with breastfeeding.
Skills learnt in our sessions are also something that you can take away and use at home. Choose a time when your baby is content and alert, not tired or hungry, and try sitting on the floor, bed or sofa, with your child safely on a towel in front of you. It can be a nice idea to introduce a massage after bath and before bed as part of a bedtime routine. Your baby will feel relaxed and help their development of body awareness and co-ordination. For more information on our baby massage courses, visit: http://www.tranquilityevents.co.uk/baby-massage-classes.