Baby massage classes are still a bit of new thing in New Zealand, so here are the answers to some of the questions parents often have. . .
What’s baby massage all about? Baby massage provides an opportunity for special time to communicate with your baby, so that he or she feels loved, valued and respected. Other benefits include increased relaxation for your baby and you, relief from wind, colic and constipation (for baby!) and the development of the baby’s body awareness and coordination. Read more about the benefits of massage.
In addition, parents who come on a six-week course learn much more than just a massage routine. For example, the Blossom Baby Massage curriculum from the International Association of Infant Massage also allows you to understand more about how babies communicate, including their cries and cues. You will learn in a small group with other parents and their babies.
Can’t I just learn the strokes off Youtube? Of course, anyone can learn baby massage from a variety of sources. . . but the advantages of coming to a six-week course are:
- It’s easier to learn, as you build up the massage strokes each week and get plenty of practice
- You get guidance and one-on-one help
- You’ll learn about the benefits of the strokes, as well as how to fit massage into your family life
- You can meet other parents (and get out of the house!) in a relaxed environment
- You can share ideas and support on issues like sleep, feeding and dealing with crying
- The IAIM programme is internationally-recognised and constantly reviewed and updated.
Will it just be me massaging my baby? Yes – because baby massage is a form of nurturing touch that enhances bonding between parent and child, only parents will massage their baby. The instructor will always demonstrate the strokes on a doll and detailed massage stroke handouts will be available.
What if my baby is unsettled/crying/hungry/asleep during class? Classes are completely baby-led, so don’t be concerned about the class coinciding with sleeping, feeding or crying! Spare dolls are usually available to practice on if your baby is sleeping. As our classes are all about communication, it really is fine if your baby cries as this is naturally one of the ways they express their needs. The instructor will encourage you to respond sensitively to your baby’s cries, as this is acknowledged to be a way of supporting the bonding process.
Can my partner come along? Absolutely – it’s great if both parents can learn baby massage. Some families find that fathers, especially, relish the chance to give a nurturing massage to their baby as this becomes their special time together.
If you have any questions about baby massage not answered above – please send them to email@example.com.