Archive | Baby massage

Health Benefits of Yoga in Children

Exercise is very much important in a person’s life no matter how old he may be. That is why even as a child, practicing an exercise routine is encouraged for the health benefits it gives. Starting healthy habits early on in life helps prevent diseases from hitting the body. And engaging your child to exercise will serve as one of the greatest teachings you have imparted as a parent.

One of the best forms of exercise that a lot of people have been engaged to is yoga. Yoga is a form of both physical and mental exercise that originally came from India. Because of the undeniable benefits it gives the body, yoga has been practiced to most countries in the world including the West.

Recognizing the advantages that yoga gives the health, many parents want their children to be practicing that form of exercise too. Just like adults, children get a lot of gains from doing yoga. Here are some of the health benefits of yoga in children:

  • Children practicing yoga helps children maintain a healthy weight. Now a day’s childhood obesity is very rampant and it makes children at risk to develop diseases early on. Diseases like diabetes mellitus that normally affects adults are now affecting children because of obesity. Exercising like yoga will help prevent your child from being obese and acquiring those diseases during their childhood.
  • Yoga teaches children the value of balance. It helps child decipher when he is already full so it helps promote healthier eating habits.
  • Yoga is good for children who are suffering from asthma because it helps strengthen the entire body including the lungs.
  • Yoga can be a great outlet for children to be relieved from the different stresses that they are in. School can be very tiring for children especially when there are so many pressures that get on the way. Practicing yoga will help your child handle these stresses well so that he can have a more relaxed state of mind needed for him to function well in school and his other social activities.
  • Because of the value of balance that it teaches. Yoga is very good in helping children to battle from depression. Many children are depressed at an early age because of parents failed marriage and peer pressure that is very common in school. Yoga will teach your child to become well rounded individuals as his mental health is developed.
  • Children who are diagnosed to have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder are encouraged to do yoga because the inner balance that it teaches help the child to become behaved, concentrate on activities, and have improved physical health.
  • Yoga will help the child be healthy as it promotes proper blood circulation to all parts of the body.

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Massage Therapy Benefits Infants and Children

For adults these days, one way of indulging the sense is to ask someone for a massage. A massage, most of the time, will need a great amount of time from 45 to 90 minutes as well as money. However, if massage therapy is employed in our children and babies, it does not need to be costly or time-consuming. Thankfully, parents as well as caregivers can easily train themselves in massaging even the most fragile parts of a baby. The benefits reaped are really amazing; thus, even doctors and nurses are recommending the procedure.

Foremost, massage exemplifies the use of the sense of touch; the reason why it is also dubbed as touch therapy. As recognized by many, touch conveys one’s love and affection. It also communicates warmth; therefore, apart from foods and sleep, massage brings about an assurance, a sense of safety and security. The therapy may also serve as a bonding moment between the child and the parents and since it is scientifically proven, parents do not have to worry about any untoward incidents associated with the massage. Over time, the bond will certainly become stronger.

One of the prime advantages of massage suggests that premature babies and those that are exposed to cocaine gain a relative amount of weight. Additionally these babies also benefit from an enhanced motor and sensory development. Less anxiety is displayed and interestingly, Cortisol, a stress more hormone is significantly lower. In turn, the decreased levels of Cortisol results in fewer outbursts and fidgeting. Sleeplessness is therefore, less of a problem.

Through the use of stroking and kneading in specific areas of the body like the face and upper trunk, the extremities and the lower trunk; experts agree that the breathing of babies and children are also improved. This particularly applies to those suffering from asthma. Through the studies, experts as recognized by the American Academy of Pediatrics are convinced that children who are massaged are able to have better facilitated breathing as compared to those who were not massaged.

Touch therapy is also an enjoyable activity where the baby or the child can be very receptive of the carer’s touch. It is said that even the immune system, as this part is still immature amongst children and babies, is also functioning better for those who experience massaging. During the course of the therapy, blood sugar and insulin levels are also greatly controlled. Accordingly, food compliance and regulation is more effective.

Another striking effect derived from massage is that it also drives away skin disorders specifically eczema. Bear in mind that the skin of our precious children are more sensitive so any non-invasive and simple procedure will surely be worth the try.

Ultimately, with massage therapy, the child-parent interaction is greatly enhanced. The carer becomes more sensible to the feelings of the child. This will prove to be a long term benefit because as the child grows and when he is ready to explore his own world, the caring touch given to him will surely be reflected in the caring ways he will share to the rest of the world.

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5 Ways to Comfort a Fussy Baby

Not all babies are the same. Some sleep most of the time and make minimal noise while some babies cry and become fussy all throughout the day. Some parents can be frustrated especially if they are not able to stop their babies cry. Others, especially first time parents are scared because they are clueless on what to do on how to make their babies stop fussing. Oftentimes parents feel frustrated when they are unable to calm their babies.

Comforting a fussy baby may seem like a big challenge, but once you know how to handle your baby’s fussiness, everything will be easy. Below are 5 ways to help comfort a fussy baby. These are suggestions you can use to ease your crying baby.

  • Babies fuss and cry as it is their way of expressing what they need. They cry when they feel hungry, they have wet diapers, feel warm or cold, and even when they want to be held. Once you know why your baby is crying, you can give them what they need.
  • Let the baby feel your presence. Babies need love and security from their primary caregivers. When they cry, carry them and swing them gently. It can help the baby stay calm knowing that you are there.Gently massaging the baby also helps them to relax which can console them. Some babies stop being fussy once they smell the scent of their primary caregivers.
  • Sing to your baby and let them listen to soothing music. Babies love to hear lullabies especially if you are the one singing. When the baby is crying sing those lullabies or nursery rhymes.For parents who are not that musically inclined, you can also play classical music, nursery rhymes, and other calming tunes. Music therapy also works in fussy babies.
  • Find ways to distract your baby. When your baby cries nonstop and you cannot pacify them, divert their attention. Most parents turn on their electrical appliances like the vacuum cleaner when the baby is already very irritable. When the baby is distracted, he or she stops crying and focus on something else.
  • Decrease disturbances in the environment. Babies are very sensitive to sound, light, and heat or cold. Make sure that it is not too hot or too cold for them to sleep and rest comfortably. Babies should not be in a room where there is too much noise. Extreme noise can cause stress to the baby making them fussy. Make sure that the room is well lit. During sleep, do not turn all the lights off as the baby can wake up anytime. They can be afraid of the dark causing them to cry.

Comforting your baby when they fuss is not spoiling. It simply means that you love and care for your baby that you want them to be comfortable and feel loved as much as possible.

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Baby Basics: A Guide for First Time Parents

After delivering your child into the world the task of taking care of your newborn begins. There is really no formal teaching in caring for a baby but there is helpful resource information both online and in print that can help you in providing the basic needed care for your baby.

After birth you will feel very exhausted and weak that is why it is best to have some help in the house, preferably a family member to help you take care of the baby. Your mom will be the best caretaker at this time as she has already took care of you when you were a baby. She could help you until you regain your strength and you can begin caring for your child hands on.

In handling a baby follow some of these helpful advices to ensure its safety and well being.

  • Make sure your hands are clean and sanitized to avoid introducing harmful pathogen to your delicate baby. The baby’s immune system is still underdeveloped and bacteria and other microorganisms can easily be transferred to the baby.
  • Support the baby’s head and neck as it cannot support itself with its weak muscles.
  • Do not shake the baby vigorously. This may cause delicate organs to bleed and may promote risk of SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
  • Make sure you have a car seat, stroller and carrier that are sturdy and safe to use for the baby.
  • Be gentle in handling the baby, it is not ready for rough play yet. You’ll have to wait for a couple more years

Now that you have the baby at your side this is a great time for you to begin bonding with the baby. Provide gentle relaxing massaging strokes to the baby’s arms and legs to facilitate muscle strengthening and development. Physical contact with a newborn promotes trust and confidence between mother and child. Touch therapy is a way of communicating with your newborn and it helps build emotional growth and physical growth as well. While feeding the baby in your arms you can sing to it and gently rock the baby as he falls asleep. The baby will be familiar with the sound of your voice and the smell and feel of your skin which can strengthen the child’s emotional attachment.

As the baby grows you will see the physical developmental changes happening. Your baby begins to babble, coo and even sing. Encourage communication skills by talking to your baby. Exposing him to different sounds can be helpful to his cognitive and speech development.

For the baby’s hygiene it is advisable to give your baby a sponge bath until the umbilical cord falls off. At around 4 weeks that baby is ready for a water bath. Make sure you use room temperature water that is not too cold and not too warm for the baby. Have a towel blanket near you to wrap up your baby immediately after bathing to prevent chills. Use a non irritating soap and shampoo that will not irritate your baby’s eyes. Change your baby’s diaper every time it gets soaked, make sure the baby’s skin is dry when changing diapers to avoid diaper rash.

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“I Love You” Infant Massage

Every new parent loves to bond with their newborn babies. Infant massage is a great way to bond that also helps your baby to develop and grow better.

A lot of other cultures highly value infant massage to help their babies grow. In some eastern cultures, mothers can be reprimanded if they do not give their babies daily massage.

The cranial nerve X, also known as the vagus nerve, has quite a few interesting functions including increasing peristalsis. Peristalsis are wave like contractions of the stomach and intestines that move the food materials along the digestive tract. This means that infant massage stimulates and aids in digestion. The cranial nerve X’s sensory fibers also supply the lungs. Infant massage, along with breast-feeding, is a very fulfilling form of nurturing your child. An advantage of infant massage is that Dad can perform this nurturing act. It aids in digestion, eases tension, relieves colic and spurs growth.

To help the baby’s bowels move, you can try the I Love You technique. With I L U in mind, start at the bottom right hand side of the babies abdomen. Using small, gentle circular motions, gently rub towards the top right forming the letter I. Make sure to stop when you feel the rib cage. Repeat this action then move across the abdomen, but this time immediately above the belly button towards the left hand side, forming the letter L. Repeat this action then go down to the bottom left to form the letter U. Repeat the I Love You massage between 5 and 10 times.

Many hospitals and birthing centers run courses on infant massage that you can attend during your stay. Here are a few tips on the basics of infant massage that will help you get started.

  • Make sure the room is warm and that the baby is not near a draft
  • Only perform the massage if you feel relaxed and your baby is settled, unless you are giving the massage to relieve pain
  • Make sure the baby is on a sturdy surface when performing the massage
  • Start with the legs and move up the body
  • Use long firm strokes when massaging
  • Make sure you don’t put any pressure on the babies abdomen
  • You can use cold pressed almond oil. This helps the babies skin and is easily absorbed

If you have any questions about infant massage, check with your family doctor, public health nurse, or natural health practitioner for more information.

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Baby Massage Preperation

Choose a moment in which you and your child are relaxed and calm. A half hour after the baby has eaten is recommended.

Be sure that the room temperature is warm (78 degrees Fahrenheit). Undress the baby completely, if the weather is cold or humid cover the areas of the baby’s body that are not being massaged.

Put the baby on a soft surface so your baby will feel comfortable and secure. Keep some little pillows handy.

Basically the massage flows from the head to the toes. With soft and gentle touches you will work on the head, face, shoulders, arms, chest, stomach and legs.

While you massage your baby look tenderly at him/her. Doing this you stimulate all the senses of the baby and establish a more intense visual and tactile communication. Feel free to speak to your baby, do not inhibit yourself.

Remember that your touches should be tender do not make mechanic motions. Try to be flexible by not keeping a rigid routine.

If the baby wants to change position let them do so. Do not force your baby to keep a position; you can go back to these areas later on.

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Technique for Baby Massage

Pressure to use:
Close your eyes and press your eyelids. The pressure you should use is the same as pressing your eyelids without any discomfort.
In the small areas use your fingertips. In bigger areas use the palm of your hand. “Little strokes” mean to touch your baby’s skin gently and “massage” is to softly move the muscles under the skin.

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The head

Baby head massageTouch the forehead, temples and the base of the cranium
Eyebrows and eyelids
Nose
Cheeks
The area around the mouth
Ears and surrounding area

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