27 Aug

Listening to Your Baby

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Have you noticed our new look? IM Solutions and the lovely Yvette Cioran made some changes and produced this fabulous, modern, up to date website.  I’m so thankful to her for her generosity and big heart!!!

Today’s blog is about “listening” to your baby.   Touch is a baby’s first language, body language.  A baby communicates through their body.

A baby is always talking to us,   (with their movements, sounds, expressions, kicking, etc) are we listening, truly listening, with our eyes, our ears and are hearts?   We need to listen to babies to understand this language that is beyond words.

Baby massage is not just about techniques, it is about  20% technique, and 80% heart and love!!    80%  is the interaction, the relationship, the deepening bond and connection that happens between parent and baby.

With this connection, a baby learns to relax and trust, and to develop self confidence and self esteem!

As a parent “listens” to their child and responds to that information, a baby feels heard, respected and loved.  A baby feels safe.  This is the basis, the foundation for all the relationships a baby will have in their life.  So, again, are you “listening” to your baby.

Any person receiving a massage knows if the person giving them a message is present with them, fully in the moment, or if their mind is wandering away to other things.  A baby is the same, so, don’t wander away — be here now for your baby.

Thanks for tuning in, see you next time,

Sharon

17 Jun

We Are Each Truly Unique

As I sit down to write update my blog, I ask myself, ”What really is a good blog?, What can make it informative, interesting, even compelling?  How will it be helpful to new parents?New parents who are making their way as best they can with this new little person in their lives, this breath of fresh life!  

One day last year, I had stopped in at Birth Source which was where I taught baby massage and the owner Tracey was there holding the most incredible thing in the world, ‘a newborn baby girl just 5 days old’. She had beautiful black hair and little ears that looked like perfect sea shells and a ‘kid you not’ little rosebud mouth.  Her eyes were closed the whole time I was there, but you just knew that she was aware of you and everything around her. Such a gift to be in her presence!!  

We are each truly unique.  We have a unique fingerprint, a unique smell (called a chemical signature,) a unique sound (our voice), and a unique touch.  Your baby can tell your touch from someone else’s.  In fact, there are cultures that believe a baby receives different qualities and benefits from a father’s touch than from a mother’s – touch is that unique!

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Always remember that your touch, your voice, your chemical signature, are all more comforting to your  baby than anyone else’s.  And until we are about 3 years old, we have a heightened sensitivity to touch, some call it a ‘skin hunger’  We need it as if it was ‘food through the skin’.  So remember, that your loving touch is a necessity to your baby, it is truly nourishment to them and nourishment to you as you attach and bond and get closer to your baby all the time.  Touch is the first bridge between you , and is your baby’s main form of communication for the first year of it’s life.  They say a picture is worth a ‘thousand words’ , well with  a baby, a touch is clearly worth a thousand works and probably a whole lot more.  Enjoy your little one, appreciate each moment and each loving touch.

17 Jun

The Language of Touch

I have  been teaching infant massage since 1993.  It has been quite a journey, a journey into the loving language of touch.  The language of touch is tender and beautiful.

“Touch” is a baby’s world – soft, warm, and comforting.  It is sometimes called the “mother” sense, the “first” sense.  It define’s a baby’s world.  It says, “I am safe and secure, growing and maturing, all intact.”  Touch connects a baby and mother, baby and father.  It unifies them, brings them together.  It is the baby’s first language!  A loving hand on a baby’s back or foot, is simple and sweet, and relays a message, a message of love and comfort.  Babies need this message to thrive, grow and develop, to become strong and sure of themselves.  They need to eventually grow up, and walk away and begin their own lives while still feeling the threads of connection to their parents.

Much research has been done on the “language of touch” with babies including: the work of well known anthropologist Ashley Montague, who authored Touching: The Human Significance of Skin and the International Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami’s Medical School.

Cultures around the world have massaged babies for comfort, for closeness, to help them sleep, to help deal with gas and digestion and the list goes on…

A baby massage class is a special place.  Sometimes quiet, often noisy with babies having all of their moods.  The first class is usually the most chaotic, like a symphony of baby noises that all seems to calm down by the end of the class.  When babies feel safe, they may fuss and let go of their inner distress. Loving, warm touch helps create a safe place.

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In a 4 week class, babies grow right before your eyes -grow , change, and develop.  Some babies take to having a massage right away, others are shyer, and need their parents to be patient and give them little bits of massage every day until they are ready to connect with this new experience, to fully relax into it, to come home to it.  Then, it falls into place and parent and baby are fully together, in the moment and enjoying the massage.  Before you begin you start with learning how to “ask your baby’s permission”, verbally or non-verbally.  After a few times, you may get a clear response like this delightful example of “little legs or arms” going straight up into the air.

In teaching an infant massage class, the instructor learns to be calm and assured in the midst of chaos and noisy babies.  This takes practice, and you learn that it will all work out, both babies and parents will calm down and relax.

You begin to trust the process and it is magical!  There is a popular saying that I love that describes this magic, “where there is great love, there are always miracles”.  It is an honor to teach this ancient world wide art, the art of lovingly massaging a baby.

16 Apr

The Power of Touch

Touch is critical to our well-being.  In fact, it is so important that all our other senses rely on the sense of touch for their growth and development.  Much is transmitted through a touch:  calm, comfort, and communication.  A touch  is worth a thousand words.  Touch nourishes babies like water nourishes a plant.  Touch is truly life giving.  Babies who are touched thrive; touch is their lifeline.  Touch  is literally our first language.

We are each truly unique.  We have a unique fingerprint, a unique smell (called a chemical signature), a unique sound (our voice), and a unique touch.  Your baby can tell your touch from someone else’s.  In fact, there are cultures that believe a baby receives different qualities and benefits from a father’s touch than from a mother’s -touch is that unique.

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Always remember that your touch, your voice, your chemical signature are all more comforting to your baby than anyone else’s.  Ashley Montague, the well – known anthropologist who wrote the ground breaking book “Touching”, states that the human baby is about 3 months short of the gestational development of all other mammals. However, if a human baby waited another 3 months, the head would be too large to go through the birth canal.  Not to mention that it would also be very hard on a human mom to be pregnant that long!

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This ‘gestational shortfall’ if your will, makes human babies the most helpless mammal at birth.  They are totally dependent on their parents for survival.  It’s why the first 3 month period is sometimes called the 4th trimester… and these months are crucial for development.  When you stroke your babies skin, messages are sent to their brain via the nervous system that tell the brain to release growth and development hormones.  Also released are the hormones for relaxation and well-being, to the message is- touch away!!!