Pediatric Interactions is an LLC partner. This post is part of their partnership with Little Lake County. Written by Lindsey Fry, MA, CCC-SLP/L and co-founder of WeeBits; all thoughts and opinions belong to her.
Infant Massage: What’s the Rub?
Congrats! You now have a tiny bundle of joy (that eats, poop, sleeps and cries)…. Now what? Wouldn’t it be nice if your new baby had come with an instruction manual? Figuring out how to keep your baby happy all while bonding and feeling connected to your new baby can be a struggle for many new parents. Infant massage is one way you can help to promote bonding and attachment with your infant. This can be especially important for second (third, forth…) babies, for dads or with babies that are “difficult.”
I have been teaching infant massage classes in Lake County for the past four years and have seen firsthand the benefits using it with my son when he was a new born. I often have parents ask me about infant massage, so I have compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help others learn more:
Who benefits from learning infant massage?
- Honestly, almost ANYONE can benefit from infant massage- moms, dads, grandparents, single parents, foster parents, adoptive parents, working parents and other caregivers. Infant massage is one way you can help to promote bonding and attachment with your infant. This can be especially important for second (third, forth…) babies, for caregivers other than mom that have a harder time getting that “special time” with the baby or with babies that are “difficult.”
- It can help promote bonding and attachment, love, respect, communication, nurturing touch and quality one-on-one time with your baby.
What are the benefits of infant massage?
- It helps to stimulate all the vital systems (e.g., circulatory, digestive, immune, nervous, etc.), speech and language development, sensory regulation, growth, improved learning ability and awareness of the body in space.
- It helps to promote overall relaxation, which can improve sleep patterns (I mean who doesn’t want their baby to sleep better?!?), reducing stress in both the caregiver and infant, improve the baby’s ability to self-calm and normalize muscle tone.
- It helps to relieve gas, colic and constipation. It can also help to relieve teething discomfort, tension, excess mucous, growing pains and disorganization of the nervous system.
How old should my baby be?
- Infant massage is ideal to use with babies that are 2 months or older. Prior to this time the baby is learning how to eat and function outside of the womb and may not be ready for this extra input. These strategies can be adapted to meet the needs of your growing and moving child as he/she gets older. I have also had expectant parents take classes I have taught in the past so that they learned the information (using dolls) before their baby arrived so they were ready to use it on their own baby when he/she was ready.
Are there any risks?
- Generally no; however, in some situations parents should discuss it with their pediatrician if there are concerns about a specific medical condition prior to attending the session(s) or massaging the baby.
How do I learn more about infant massage?
- See our website for more information or to register for the upcoming FREE class (space is limited)
Saturdays, October 1 – October 22, 2016
9:30 a.m.-10:15 a.m.
CrossLife Evangelical Free Church
431 W. Austin Avenue
Libertyville, IL 60048
Pediatric Interactions and WeeBits invite families to these upcoming events:
Downs Syndrome Developmental Council Monthly Playgroup
Meets the Third Tuesday evening of the month at Pediatric Interactions.
Led by developmental therapists all family members are invited for an interactive group play therapy session. This is a FREE event and Spanish interpreters are available. RSVP to Kathy Murray 847-630-4991.
Show Me Playgroup
Meets the 1st & 3rd Friday of the month from 8:00 – 9:00 a.m. at Pediatric Interactions.
Show Me is a drop in playgroup for children aged 1-5 years of age. The playgroup is led by developmental therapists and they will teach you what your child should be doing at their age and what you can do at home to help them improve more. The cost is $5 per Family (Cash or Check Only). It is FREE for returning families that bring a friend. Registration is not required, but you can fill out consent form on website to save time if you like. If you have any questions please email Sarah Rosten at email@example.com or call 847-223-7433.
Meets Tuesdays & Thursdays from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. at Pediatric Interactions
The Monkey Group is designed to be a preschool alternative providing social interactions to young children and a supportive environment for a child s first time away from parents. It is designed for children 2-3 years of age and without a parent. The program is led by developmental therapists and speech pathologists. Registration is required. Contact Jill White at firstname.lastname@example.org or Kricia Doescher, office manager 847-223-7433 with any questions you may have.
Baby Led Weaning Parent Workshop
Tuesday, September 27 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
State Bank of the Lakes, 50 Commerce Drive , Grayslake
Pediatric Speech Pathologist and Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Jill Rabin will be hosting a presentation that examines the transition from breast and/or bottle feeding to solid foods and how the use of the Baby-Led Weaning approach can impact overall health, oral structural development and overall developmental abilities in at-risk and typically developing babies. Registration Required, event is free.
Pediatric Interactions is a Speech and Language Clinic located in Grayslake and McHenry that supports independence and self-esteem using creative therapy approaches. Pediatric Interventions provides FREE developmental screenings, individual and group therapy, classes, workshops and other resources to help children better communicate.
WeeBits is a non-profit organization bringing awareness and guidance to those families with infants/toddlers who fall outside the boundaries of existing child developmental programs.