Why should parent’s choose to do a Baby Massage Course?
The First 1001 days.
Pregnancy, birth and the first 24 months can be tough for every mother and father, and some parents may find it hard to provide the care and attention their baby needs. But it can also be a chance to affect great change, as pregnancy and the birth of a baby is a critical ‘window of opportunity’ when parents are especially receptive to offers of advice and support.
The evidence shows that:
*Ensuring that the brain achieves its optimum development and nurturing during this peak period of growth is vitally important, as the foundations of the babies’ mind are being put in place.
* From birth to age 18 months, it has been calculated that connections in the brain are created at a rate of a million per second! The earliest experiences shape a baby’s brain development, and have a lifelong impact on that baby’s mental and emotional health.
* A pregnant mother suffering from stress can sometimes pass on the message to the unborn baby that the world will be dangerous, so that as a child he or she will struggle with many social and emotional problems. The child’s response to experiences of fear or tension have been set to danger and high alert. This will also occur at anytime during the first 1001 days whenever a baby is exposed to overwhelming stress from any cause within the family, such as parental mental illness, maltreatment or exposure to domestic violence.
*There is longstanding evidence that a baby’s social and emotional development is affected by their attachment to their parents.
*At least one loving, sensitive and responsive relationship with an adult caregiver teaches the baby to believe that the world is a good place and reduces the risk of them facing disruptive issues in later life.
[An excerpt from “The 1001 Critical Days, The Importance of the conception to age two period” Durkan et al (2013)]
This is amazing and insightful research we have which takes us back to basics in terms of bonding and attachment. Attending a Baby Massage course can create a bond with your baby which, in turn, allows baby to make secure attachments to parents/caregivers. This creates positive connections in the brain which can build emotional resilience that takes us through life. Creating these secure attachments within those critical 1001 days can impact on how healthy our relationships are as adults and how we interact with the world around us.
We also feel more confident and relaxed as parents having learned these techniques in a course that can enable you to use the ‘power of touch’ throughout the childhood years.
Every time you use this power of touch with your baby and children it is releasing oxytocin, the ‘love’ hormone which connects us and creates those secure attachments, builds trust and develops and enhances emotional resilience. As the parent oxytocin is also present when these close connections are taking place, not only making you feel connected, feeling love but also reducing stress levels and making you feel more relaxed and in tune with your baby.
If we take away this idea that baby massage is another ‘chore’ we have to do as parents and really come into a sense of connection and relaxation it can be the most enriching experience we can have with our babies. It can help you come into a state of mindfulness and connection.
- Baby Massage is not another ‘chore’ you have to add to the list, it can be a treasured time for both parent and baby.
- Little and often – My courses are always baby led and young baby’s may not be able to tolerate a full body massage everyday, short sequences throughout the day can be easier and it can become more natural for parents. Are you sitting in a waiting room? A little hand massage is great! Have they just had their immunisations? Do a little reflexology for settling and improving sleep.
- Never feel like baby has to lie down on their back for a massage, they may not settle like this. In my courses we learn different ways baby may like to be positioned for massage.
- Before doing a massage take a take a deep breath (or a few!) and create a ‘love bubble’ around you and baby and only focus on them for those few minutes…this may also mean putting your phone away so we don’t burst the bubble.
- Make sure you are comfortable and settled. The more settled you are the more baby will be. Grab a cushion, a cup of tea, put on relaxing music, wear your comfy pj’s!
- Talk, smile and sing to baby….we can be creating those amazing baby conversations from such a young age which enhances speech and language development.
- Enjoy it!! They grow up so fast…..treasure your ‘Love Bubble’
Baby Massage courses are available in Dumfries, Moffat and online, click below for more details.