Or is it the gift of sleep?
Before Christmas I decided to suggest to my followers on Instagram and Facebook that the gift of a massage would be the perfect gift. Several weeks later parents began contacting me asking to join my classes and it has been a joy to observe their progress.
Both parents are invited to the classes which are held weekly for four weeks. On the first day most parents are anxious and concerned that they will not remember the strokes or that their babies will cry and not enjoy the sessions. After a while they look around the room and realize that the other couples have similar concerns, everyone is in the same boat, however they soon realise that they are in a safe and supportive environment where there is no judgement just love and care.
Once introductions are over we begin talking about the benefits; the deepening parent baby bonds which develop, the improved sleep patterns, the settled tummies and the communication and awareness of body language. And that is just the beginning!
As the massage strokes are demonstrated on the doll which I use, the parents begin to massage their babies after asking permission, a fundamentally important part of the massage, slowly the strokes are taught. For some babies only a few strokes are tolerated so a cuddle break is offered, but by the end of the course these little ones will enjoy the full 20 minutes.
Lots of parenting tips are shared and discussed. Questions such as which oils? when is the best time?, do I always have to massage my baby on the floor? and so on are asked and answered.
As the weeks pass I see the growing in confidence, parents are beginning to read the body language, they are getting to know their babies, they are connecting. Each week another little light bulb moment occurs and is celebrated. So much more to learn about strokes and the benefits and some contraindications over the next sessions.
Over time the babies sleep more soundly, the parents are more relaxed and this wonderful life skill blooms.
Grateful I am for this wonderful job I have spending time with parents and their babies and sharing the gift of baby massage.