Guest Blog by vegan and mummy blogger Jada also known as Precious Vegan
Their first experience of baby massage with a rolling baby
In February 2019 we put on a free Baby Massage class in order to get some photos of a real class in action. We invited Precious vegan and her son down to the class. Here is what she thought [This blog was written by Precious Vegan for Sensory Land and has been taken from the Precious Vegan website] she has chosen to keep the name of her son private and refers to him as Lion and King.
When I was pregnant I fantasised about all the groups I would take my young King to, to help encourage his development. I remember being quite obsessed with Baby Massage as all the reviews I had heard were pretty amazing.
I was over the moon when I was gifted a Baby Massage Group Class with Sensory Land. Within the 60 minutes I learnt a series of massage movements and techniques, including the use of rhyme, rhythm and repetition to perform a successful full body baby massage to Lion.
Prior to the class I was a bit stressed as I hadn’t ventured out much with Lion on my own and was anxious incase I interrupted his sleep pattern. But Casey (Sensory Land Instructor) really put my nerves at ease by offering me a Fennel Tea and offering me a bit of ‘me’ time, whilst she held Lion.
Sensory Land was the largest class Lion had ever been in. As Lion is highly inquisitive he was very intrigued with all the people in the room and became a little tearful. Casey came over to see if we were both OK and offered us a pom pom shaker for Lion to play with as he seemed to be getting restless whilst laying down.
As the class went on I became more relaxed as there was no pressure to partake in the class if your baby was a little irritable, which Lion was getting as he had just mastered the art of rolling over and found rolling more entertaining than being massaged!
It was made clear to us at the beginning that some babies will cry as it can be quite over stimulating and if you felt that making the most of the sensory elements would be more enjoyable we were more than welcome, which is exactly what we did. Lion really enjoyed playing with the toys on offer without my fear of him disturbing the whole class, he especially loved the bubble machine!
What I liked about Sensory Lands version of baby massage is that it offered a ‘sensory playtime’ for babies like Lion who prefer to be more hands on, where as other massage classes I have attended don’t go the extra mile for babies who are early physical developers.
The massage touched on the following senses; hearing, touch, vision, smell and proprioception as well as offering mum, dad or carer a chance to unwind too.
Life with a new born and or child can be pretty hectic. If it isn’t the constant changing of dirty nappies, cluster feeding, teething and every other demand you can think of, you are often left feeling overwhelmed and sometimes feeling like you are on an emotional rollercoaster that is never going to end!
Therefore this class offers you that breather you so deserve. Not only does baby massage offer amazing benefits to baby it gives YOU the chance to bond, unwind and relax. Baby massage helps in reducing your stress hormone and in turn can help alleviate depression.
With the correct technique and strokes taught by a trained and experienced instructor baby massage has been reported to ease the symptoms of colds, teething, colic, constipation and more.
I have been lucky as I bonded with Lion straight away but it doesn’t come as natural to some parents, thus baby massage is also a great way to experience bonding with your cub/s. This is encouraged through the use of touch, eye contact and quality time.
Lion was five months when we attended the class and in hindsight I think it would have been better to start a massage class with him before he was rolling and sitting up as I think he would have got more out of the ‘massage’ section of the class.
After the class I incorporated some of the techniques into our daily routine and it definitely eased his gas!
For those of you that follow me on social media you would have seen my constant struggle with him sleeping at length at night so unfortunately for us it has not improved his sleep routine, despite him seeming more relaxed and sleepy after the class!
I would really recommend families to learn baby massage and if you are in South-West London then please do check out Sensory Land. They offer a number of baby massage courses and workshops to book and/or find out more please click the course/workshop that interests you below:
Things to remember: Take a towel, baby friendly massage oil (some classes provide oil but if you want to practice at home please stay away from petroleum based oil, essential oils, olive oil and sunflower oil), don’t forget spare nappies and NEVER leave your house without a spare change of clothes, just in case of accidents!
* This was a gifted opportunity but all opinions are my own
We hope this honest review has brought you an insight into a baby massage class. There is never any pressure to take part during our classes and we truely believe it is better to do one minute of massage with a baby when they’re in the right mood and environment rather than a whole 60 minute class with a child who isn’t ready. We LOVE that Jada had something to take away from class by watching and was able to help little Lion with wind that he had be suffering with whilst incorporating massage into their daily routine.
There isn’t a ‘right’ age to give you baby a massage but depending on the baby once they begin to roll, sit and try to crawl often in group classes this is exactly what they want to do and it can be a little stressful to their parent. Many families learn with Sensory Land and continue to massage their little one well after 6 months.
Going to new places and classes can feel intimidating and if you feel at all worried, anxious or nervous you are always welcome to give me a little message before you arrive and i’ll be on hand to help you get in and settled. We are always happy to have baby cuddles and grown up cuddles are available too, if you want one.
The beautiful photographs were taken by the talented Rachel Rimell.
For more information about our Baby Massage Courses click here