Human touch is one of the basic needs in life. Studies have clearly shown that infants who do not receive touch suffer in their development. Touch is vital to neurological as well as emotional development. When we receive touch as an infant, we feel safe, secure, and nurtured. Touch also stimulates sensory input as your baby's brain develops.
As a certified instructor of infant massage through the International Association of Infant Massage and through Liddle Kidz, my purpose is to not only teach caregivers infant massage strokes to help with colic, teething, and release of tension, but also to help facilitate the parent/child bond. The parent/child bond is one of the most fundamental and yet complicated relationships we have as a human being. What happens in our childhood clearly shapes who we become as adults. Infant massage is a powerful tool to create a lasting bond between parent and child. Through these classes, the caregivers will also learn how to tune into certain cues from your baby. Your baby is communicating with you from the time of birth.
Because babies can only absorb a limited amount of stimulation at one time, we often times schedule two individual sessions of about 1 hour each (includes discussion time and learning new strokes). Depending on the age of your child, we can determine if one class is sufficient or if we need to allow for two sessions. The sessions are also taught in your home so that your baby feels safe in his/her own environment. Cost for each private session is $50 and all proceeds are donated to helping less fortunate children in Peru (additional travel fees may apply). To read more about Peruvian program click here.
BENEFITS OF INFANT MASSAGE
FOR BABIES & CHILDREN
Bonding & Attachment
- Contributes to baby's awareness of being loved, accepted, and safe.
- Feels respected and listened to when he vocalizes or cries thus strengthening the initial bond between infant and caregiver.
- Provides individual, focused, nurturing time between parent and child.
Emotional & Social Development
- Enhances a child's body awareness and encourages positive feelings about his body.
- Encourages a child to feel "in charge" of his health as he grows and provides a healthy alternative to deal with stress.
- Helps improve regulation of behavioral states in newborns and babies who are hypersensitive.
- Enhances neurological development.
- Strengthens and regulates the digestive, respiratory, and circulatory systems.
- Increases oxygen and nutrient flow to cells and helps deepen respiration.
- Reduces muscle stiffness and normalizes fluctuating muscle tone.
- Helps baby increase his threshold for stimulation.
- Improves baby's sensory awareness.
- Stimulates baby's ability to gain weight, especially for premature babies.
- Helps improve the quality of baby's sleep; encourages baby to fall asleep sooner after a massage.
- Reduces fussiness.
- Helps baby to relax and reduce stress.
- Decreases pain response in newborns.
- Helps baby handle sensory input and respond to it with relaxation.
Physical Relief & Comfort
- Helps relieve the discomfort of colic/gas, teething, congestion, and emotional stress.
- Allows baby to experience positive, nurturing touch in areas of their body that may have been traumatized due to medical intervention or injury.
BENEFITS OF INFANT MASSAGE
FOR PARENTS AND CAREGIVERS
Bonding and Attachment
- Encourages communication between parent & infant. Builds parents' respect for and understanding of baby's unique cues and nonverbal communication.
- Provides intimacy and a special time for father and child.
- Provides an opportunity to connect, interact, and share quality time with a child at any age.
- Offers parent a time to relax and unwind from the busy pace of life.
- Helps ease the stress of a working parent who must be separated from their child during the day.
- Increases parents' ability to help their child relax in times of stress.
- Increases prolactin production in the parent - the "nurturing" hormone.
Encourages positive parenting skills
- Encourages empathy and appropriate developmental expectations.
- Helps parent feel more competent and confident in parent role.
- Provides a means for parent to learn how to touch and respond to their baby in nurturing ways.
- Helps families set up a regular routine of pleasurable, nurturing interaction, and fun.
Interesting fact: Did you know that the average human body, which has around five million nerve endings or touch receptors, contains - in a patch if skin 3/4-inch square on the back of our hand - nine feet of blood vessels, 600 pain sensors, 13 yards of nerves, 9,000 nerve endings, six cold sensors, 36 heat sensors, and 75 pressure sensors?*
When held, two-thirds of your infant's body surface is stimulated. Skin-to-skin is the most meaningful human contact.
*"The Vital Touch," by Sharon Heller, PhD, 1997.