Baby Massage & Baby Yoga – A Way to Nurture our Babies’ Brains
My name is Julie and I own The Blossoming Birth Company. I have been a midwife all my working life until 3 years ago when my husband and I became Special Guardians to our newborn Grandson, our lives changed forever. I had an overwhelming feeling of protection towards our Grandson and I wanted to ensure he felt safe, secure and loved and so I enrolled in a local massage class for new parents and carers. The class was not an environment where I felt comfortable and I came away feeling passionate about the need for inclusive, welcoming and baby-centred courses, a place for everyone to feel comfortable and safe and so The Blossoming Birth Company was born.
It’s the simplest things in life that are very often the most powerful, and nurturing touch is one of those simple but powerful things. Our children’s first 1001 days of life are critical, their experiences in these first days, weeks and months will shape their brains and will in turn shape their lives, and we are in a position to make the difference for them and their future. Touch is one of the first senses our babies develop and they will use touch to help soothe themselves and relax in new environments. What we know is nurturing touch strengthens neural connections, which supports brain development and is vital in supporting attachment.
You can’t hold them too much, love them too much, hug them too much, play with them too much, kiss them too much……. every touch, smile and kiss are having an everlasting impact on the way their brains develop.
Baby Massage and Baby Yoga are based on parents and carers touching, stroking and holding their babies. Both are a wonderful bonding experience, both help our babies feel safe, secure and loved, both allow us to connect with our babies and them with us, and both will support both verbal and non-verbal communication skills.
Baby Massage is a skill that can be carried through our children’s lives, it will stimulate our baby’s nervous system, it can bring relief to discomfort caused by colic, teething and wind and it is known to support deep and relaxed sleep for our babies. As they grow it can be a wonderful way to settle them when they feel overwhelmed and need to feel safe and it instils calm. Courses will take you through a variety of strokes, covering all parts of your baby’s body so that you can either give your baby a full body massage or an area specific massage, such as feet and legs or chest and arms. It is truly a fabulous skill to have in your ‘parent tool-box.’
Baby Yoga has a much more energetic vibe, it has a developmental approach, focusing on strength, balance and coordination, along with key skills such as rolling, crawling and sitting unaided. Yoga poses can aid your baby’s gross and fine motor skills and some of the stretches we use aid digestion and relieve constipation, wind and colic. Along with all of these benefits yoga can also improve sleeping patterns both in duration and frequency. The other area of support baby yoga will bring is the development of the vestibular system, our internal balance system. The classes are fun and a wonderful way to promote communication and connection.
And it’s not just fab for our babies, it’s great for us too! Both baby yoga and baby massage bring confidence, increases self-esteem and can alleviate symptoms of post-natal depression. Both courses encourage the building of a close and trusting relationship between us and our baby and improves communication between us and our children. Oxytocin, which is the hormone of love, will be present by the bucket load for both us and our babies the moment we lay our hands on our children and gaze into their eyes. So, if you’re about to welcome or you have recently welcomed a new baby into your family find a local course and enrol, it really is an investment in both yours and your baby’s future.