Jody Phillipson, joint business owner of Pitter Patter held a baby massage class at Daisykins nursery. She explained to the group what baby massage is and the benefits it can offer to both parents and babies.
Baby massage is a great way to strengthen the bond between parent and baby through interaction. In turn this can help support babies communication and social skills and help to make them feel securely attached, loved and respected.
Babies can find the massage strokes relaxing which may help with sleep issues and calming. Some of the strokes can be quite stimulating too which can be beneficial in helping the babies internal systems to function well. For example the massage strokes used on the stomach can stimulate the digestive system to do it’s job and may help to relieve tummy issues such as wind, constipation and colic.
Jody explained the different oils available and the advantages and disadvantages of these to enable parents to make an informed decision about the best oil for their baby. Pitter Patter use cold pressed organic sunflower oil as it hasn’t been exposed to any harsh chemical processes and is easily absorbed by the skin. Advice was also given on positioning and how to create a nest for your baby during massage to help them feel more secure.
Massage can be done from birth however all babies are individual. Some parents may find their babies are more receptive to massage once they are happy to be undressed. As your baby grows massage strokes can be adapted to suit their growing bodies and needs. Pitter Patter give helpful hints and tips on how you can adapt massage for your growing child within their courses.
One of the key recommendations is not to massage your baby whilst they are asleep or crying. Courses are baby-led enabling the babies to choose what they want, so if they need a feed or nappy change parents are encouraged to meet their need. If a baby falls asleep during class, parents can observe and use the handouts provided to massage their baby at home at a time more suitable for the child. There are plenty of opportunities to recap on the massage strokes during class so that by the end of the course parents feel confident how to massage the whole body.
There is much more to baby massage than just the massage strokes themselves. It is about the importance of communication, bonding, positive touch, interaction and quality one to one time with your child. To ensure you and your baby get the most from baby massage it is advisable to join a course so you can be taught how to correctly massage your baby and reap the many wonderful benefits it brings. For more information on Pitter Patter Baby Massage Courses: www.babymassagerugby.co.uk