‘Baby massage offers a wonderful experience and a special time to communicate both verbally and non-verbally with your baby’
Baby massage courses teach parents how to massage their babies. The IAIM (International Association of Infant Massage) techniques used are drawn
from both Indian and Swedish massage traditions, as well as principles taken from yoga and reflexology.
There are numerous benefits of baby massage, which can
- Enhance your understanding of your baby’s development
- Boost self-esteem and confidence in parenting
- Relax both parent and baby
- Encourage a deeper sleep for your baby
- Relieve wind, colic and constipation
- Reduce crying
The four main benefits are:
Interaction – baby massage can strengthen the parent- baby bond, which helps your baby to feel securely attached – this is really important for their long-term emotional health. Develop the communication between you and your baby, include recognition of facial and emotional expressions which supports development of social skills.
Relaxation & Calming
- Helps with sleep issues and encourages a deeper and longer sleep
- Increased levels of relaxation for your baby
- Parent feels the relaxing effects of giving their baby a massage
- Reduces stress hormones and increases levels of relaxation hormones
- Reduce crying and emotional distress
- Providing an enjoyable opportunity for parent/carer to spend
one-to-one time with their baby
Relief – from wind, colic and constipation, this is probably the main reason parents come to baby massage classes. It can also help with some skin conditions, such as eczema, and provide relief from teething discomfort.
Stimulation – baby massage can stimulate the baby’s circulation, digestive, nervous and lymphatic systems. We also use ‘gentle movements’ in the course to help with co-ordination and flexibility.
Post natal depression – There is now substantial evidence that the IAIM program appears to significantly improve the relationship and interactions between parents who are postnatally depressed, and their babies (Underdown, Barlow, & Stewart-Brown: 2010).
Effectively, learning and using infant massage appears to provide a “buffering” effect for both parents and babies and is one way in which a healthy relationship can be supported whilst the parent is receiving individual treatment.
What to expect from a baby massage course?
Parents are often concerned about what to expect from a baby massage course, and worry about it being the ‘right’ time for their baby. What if it doesn’t coincide with sleep or feed time or what if they cry? My courses are very relaxed and informal and the classes are about communication, so it is fine if your baby cries, since this is one of the ways they express their needs! As a baby massage teacher I love seeing the increase in confidence as parents gain a deeper understanding of their baby’s behavior, crying and body language. It is lovely to provide this supportive environment where parents can spend one-to-one time with their baby.
Classes include baby massage, then refreshments and discussion with other parents which provides an opportunity for parents to relax, network and socialise.