Our aim is to provide a unique mobile hydrotherapy and milestone massage development concept to the South African market.Helping moms and dads develop a deeper understanding and bond with their newborn infants and babies. Developmental baby massage is highly therapeutic, preventative and...Read More
Benefits of infant massage
You may find that giving your baby a massage lifts your mood and helps you to feel more empowered as a parent. The time you set aside for a massage can be your special time together. As you massage , it comes naturally to chat and have plenty of eye contact with with your baby.
This is one reason why massage can help moms with postnatal depression, or who are at risk of depression, to interact with their babies.
Baby massage can be great for dads, too. Some dads may miss out on a lot of the hands-on care of their babies, especially if they are at work and their baby is breastfed.
A regular massage with dad can become a routine, perhaps at bedtime, that helps to bring your baby and partner closer together. It can also help your partner if he is feeling stressed.
Massage may be particularly good for premature babies in special care, resulting in:
- Improved weight gain, particularly if oils are used. Massage stimulates a key nerve, called the vagus nerve, which connects the brain with important parts of the body, including the stomach. Stimulating this nerve can improve digestion and bowel movement, helping your baby to gain weight.
- A more stable heart rate. Massage improves the parts of the nervous system that regulate our organs. So massage can help to keep your premature baby's heart rate steady.
- Calmer response to stress and pain.
- More stable brain activity. Premature babies who are massaged tend to have brain activity that develops at a normal level. Premature babies who are not massaged have shown a decrease in brain activity development.
Benefits of Infant Hydrotherapy
When your baby isn’t old enough to walk, it may seem silly to take them to the pool. But there can be so many benefits to splashing around and wiggling through the water.
Being in the water engages your baby’s body in a completely unique way, creating billions of new neurons as your baby kicks, wiggles, and smacks at the water.
Children who don’t get their feet wet until later tend to be more fearful and negative about swimming. Younger children are also usually less resistant to floating on their backs, a skill that even some babies can learn!
Here’s the lowdown on the potential benefits of infant swim time.
1. Swimming improves cognitive functioning
Bilateral cross-patterning movements, which use both sides of the body to carry out an action, help your baby’s brain grow.
Cross-patterning movements build neurons throughout the brain, but especially in the corpus callosum. This facilitates communication, feedback, and modulation from one side of the brain to another. Down the road, this may improve:
- reading skills
- language development
- academic learning
- spatial awareness
When swimming, your baby moves their arms while kicking their legs. And they’re doing these actions in water, which means their brain is registering the tactile sensation of water plus its resistance.
A four-year study of more than 7,000 children by the Griffith University in Australiasuggested children who swim have advances in physical and mental development when compared to their peers who don’t swim. those who swam were 11 months ahead of the normal population in verbal skills, six months ahead in math skills, and two months ahead in literacy skills. They were also 17 months ahead in story recall and 20 months ahead in understanding directions.
2. Improves confidence
Most infant classes include elements like water play, and songs with parents or caregivers. These elements, plus the fun of learning a new skill, may boost your baby’s self-esteem.
3. Builds Muscle
Swim time helps promote important muscle development and control in babies at a young age. Little ones will need to develop the muscles needed to hold their heads up, move their arms and legs, and work their core in coordination with the rest of their body. Not only does swim time for babies improve their muscle strength and ability on the outside, but the exercise provides internal benefits as well by getting those joints moving.
Swimming is also great for cardiovascular health and will help strengthen your little one’s heart, lungs, brain, and blood vessels.
4. Improves coordination and balance
Along with building muscle, time in the water can help your baby improve their coordination and balance. It’s not easy learning to move those little arms and legs together. Even small coordinated movements represent big leaps in your baby’s development.
5. Improves sleep
Hydrotherapy takes a lot of energy for babies. They’re in a new environment and using their bodies in completely new ways.
All of that extra activity uses up a lot of energy, so you may notice that your little one is sleepier after a Hydrotherapy session. You may have to schedule in time for a nap after or move up bedtimes on the days that swim time is in your routine.
6. Improves appetite
There’s nothing like a good splash in the water to make you hungry, and babies are no different. All of that physical exertion in the water, as well as the energy it takes their little bodies to stay warm, burns a lot of calories. You’ll probably notice an increase in your baby’s appetite after regular swimming time.