Welcome to part five of my baby massage blog series where I am share – How baby massage can help with baby development and coordination.
As it brings together both loving touch and social interaction, baby massage is an ideal and enjoyable way to encourage both physical and mental development in your baby.
The skin is the primary sense organ in babies and physical touch encourages connections between neurons, promoting nervous system and brain development and stimulation of all your baby’s physiological systems.
Making eye contact and speaking to your baby increases their recognition of facial and emotional expressions, which supports the development of social skills and can assist with language development, memory and concentration.
Include the following during your massage sessions to benefit baby development:
While you massage, speak and even sing to your baby (they really don’t mind how good your singing voice is) and talk about the different parts of their body as you massage to encourage body awareness.
As I covered in part four of this baby massage series, include some back massage to encourage your baby to spend time on their tummy. This helps to strengthen the muscles in their back, arms and neck and develops the motor skills needed for the next stages of pushing up, rolling, sitting, crawling and pulling up to standing.
Include some gentle movements along with the massage to show your baby the range of motions they can make with their limbs and promote flexibility and coordination. Try gently bringing their knees up to their tummy, supporting behind their calves as you do so and make “bicycling” motions.
Massage in small circles on your babies jaw, using your index and middle fingers, to support the muscles needed for speech development.
In part six I share ……how baby massage can help with tummy issues.
To learn a full baby massage routine along with how to adapt the strokes as your baby grows visit IAIM to find a class near you.
Jayne Russell has over twenty years of experience as a pre’ and postnatal massage and nutritional therapist and is the founder of Nom Nom – award winning, certified organic pregnancy and baby skincare. Sign up for your free skincare guide “10 Steps to Super Healthy Baby Skin” at nomnomskincare.com