Rocking With Your Baby – with Sandra MacKay

Hi baby massage enthusiasts. Welcome to my first attempt at what is called a blog. I’m a Gen X that has been reluctantly entering the 21st century for a number of years now. Thank goodness I have my undaunted colleague Sharon and two kids who are my technical and moral support. I am eager to share my passion for baby massage and infant development.

Today I want to share some surprising things I learned about the importance of rocking. According to Dr. Ashley Montague, rocking is the greatest of all comforts. There is no better sedative. He states if cradle rocking is habit forming, so is breast or bottle feeding. Children are weaned from the breast or bottle. Babies who have been rocked to sleep grow up to be adults who are able to fall asleep on their own without being rocked. Children outgrow the cradle as well as they do their baby clothes. The lesson here is there is no room for guilt when it comes to your parent instincts to hold and rock your baby as long as you want Rock on!

Did you know that when a baby is too warm, the rocking has a cooling effect, hastening evaporation from his skin? And when a baby is too cold the rocking helps to warm him? It’s true! Also, the warming has a hypnotic effect on the intestines and is soothing to his nervous system. The rocking motion produces gentle stimulation of almost every area of her skin, with consequential beneficial physiological effects of every kind.

This next fact about rocking is one of my outright favorites. Intestines are loosely attached by folds of peritoneum (membrane lining) to the back wall of the abdominal cavity. Rocking assists the movements of the intestine like a pendulum and thus serves to improve its tone. Also, the intestine always contains chyle (digestive enzyme) and gas. Rocking movement causes the chyle to move backward and forward coating the intestinal mucosa aiding digestion and absorption. Thus decreasing pain and discomfort caused by digestion. Basically, babies who are rocked have increased intestinal tone, are able to digest their meals more efficiently and have increased absorption of nutrients. Amazing!

To sum up: Rocking equals conmfort. Rocking helps tone intestines. Rocking helps baby digest more effectively. Rocking decreases gas pain. The baby that is rocked knows she is not alone. Rock On!!