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Archive for March, 2011

Massage, massage, massage.  Doesn’t just reading it three times make you relax just a little?  “Who doesn’t love a massage?” I always say, but how early can we start giving massages to our babies?  Someone recently said that she had heard that newborns were too little to be massaged…so I thought it would be a good thing to explore and discuss with our infant massage instructor and with YOU!

Touch is one of the ways that we communicate with each other as humans.  It feels good to be touched (isn’t that how babies are made in the first place!?).  Touch soothes our babies and “skin-on-skin” (also known as Kangaroo Care) is one of the very best things you and your partner can do for your baby.  Skin-on-skin not only increases bonds, it helps a baby and its parents adjust to each other.  It also helps stimulate breastmilk production in lactating mothers!).  Having a baby’s skin touch his or her parent’s skin stimulates a baby while at the same time soothes the baby because the baby hears the parent’s heartbeat, voice and breathing.  Babies’ breathing patterns and even their temperatures are helped by the parent, when babies are skin-on-skin.  Did you know that a mother’s breast will change temperature to heat or cool her baby?  Amazing, isn’t it?   To read more about the amazing facts of skin-on-skin, see the Kangaroo Mother Care website.

Infant massage is a loving way that a parent or caregiver can also bond with a baby, soothe the baby and help with baby’s sleep and digestion, too.   So, yes, it’s a good thing to massage a baby, but how about a newborn (within the first month)?  I asked our certified infant massage instructor, Laura (who is also the mother of two and an occupational therapist), the question, “it is okay to massage a newborn?”

Here’s what she said:

Yes, it is definitely beneficial to a newborn baby to be touched and massaged. Taking the class earlier vs. later is beneficial in that the family will have more “infant time” to massage their baby before baby starts to crawl and move about.

Also, the earlier it starts, the more the massage becomes part of the family’s routine and the baby receives all of the many benefits of being massaged earlier in life.
It helps with the development of so many developmental skills.

When to take a group class depends on the family and their child and their comfort level in taking a very new newborn to a group setting.

In the very early days, it does depend of the health of the newborn, if the newborn baby was born early or “on time”, and how much sensory (touch, auditory, visual) stimulli the newborn can tolerate. The room can be noisy if the class is very big.

The youngest baby I have seen so far in my classes is 3 weeks.  For this family, most of the time was spent nursing and cuddling their newborn while observing the strokes. This is perfectly ok and is recommended.  Newborns often only tolerate up to 10 minutes of massage at a time.

The class is designed to respect the needs of the babies during class and babies are only massaged when they are in “quiet alert”.  We discuss what this means in the class and parents observe their infants throughout class to see when baby is ready.  Babies are fed, changed, cuddled, and held by their parents throughout the class while strokes are being demonstrated on a doll by the instructor. Babies are massaged by their parents throughout the class when each baby is ready.

Sometimes, 2 adults come with the youngest of the babies so that one person can hold and take care of baby and the other person can practice the strokes on one of my dolls.  As baby gets older week by week, baby will tolerate more and more massage time.

Handouts are provided in class to help remember the strokes at home.

Most of the babies who have attended a group class lately have been 2 -4 months, but starting massage earlier is beneficial.  Expectations for the amount of time baby will be an “active participant ” at the time of the class are just lessened if baby is only a few weeks old.

Thanks, Laura!

If you’d like to bring your baby to one of our Infant Massage classes, see our website for more information and a link to find a class.

Oh, and don’t forget that YOU need a massage once-in-a-while, too!  If you’d like a referral to a masage therapist for grown-ups, just let me know at jeanette@mothersandcompany.com!

Have you been using infant massage with your baby?  Share your experience with it with comments to this article.  Thanks!


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WOW! Thank you all so much for entering the our giveaway! We had 15 wonderful comments!

And the winner is:

COLLEEN DOWD

“Double stroller me please!”

*Colleen please contact hollieiv(AT)yahoo(dot)com for info on joining us this AM.

If you didn’t win not to worry! You can still attend the sale all weekend long! Here are the times:

Consign My Closet – Spring/Summer Event
March 18th – 20th, 2011
Boxboro Holiday Inn, Boxboro, MA

Shopping hours
Friday 12 pm – 8 pm Open to the public
Saturday 9 am – 5 pm
Sunday 9 am – 12 pm (many items 50% off)

 

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Good Evening!!!

We just came from Boxboro where the Consign My Closet crew is hard at work putting the finishing touches on the weekend’s event.

The organizers have graciously given us ONE highly coveted VIP Ticket to their special 9-12 sale tomorrow morning! These tickets are very hard to come by and offer the chance for you to beat the crowds of the weekend and attend the VIP Presale.

The sale is stocked with awesome toys, clothes, shoes, gear Books, DVDs, CDs, Easels, and small furniture.

Here’s a little preview…

To enter the giveaway please comment below:

If you were to attend the pre-sale what item are you specifically looking for. Is it a double stroller because you are expecting twins? A cute sundress or suit for the spring holidays? Maybe a highchair for little Johnny as he’s starting solids this weekend?

We will pick ONE winner tomorrow at 6AM to join us for the 9-12AM  presale tomorrow!

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