A few years before I had my first child I read, ‘The God of Small Things’ by Arundhati Roy. It is a great book and one that I fully recommend. Not only is it a beautiful piece of literature, but through it I was introduced to baby massage.
Baby massage is hands down one of the sweetest practices you can routinely do with your baby. It is also one of the most beneficial aiding circulation, muscle strength, digestion, boosting of immune system, increasing brain development, and bringing relief to sleep and respiratory difficulties. Touch is crucial for healthy child development. A UK study released back in October 8, 2013 in Frontiers of Psychology confirmed the importance of human touch to healthy brain development, but baby massage is also known for it’s superior bonding qualities. Touch is known to be the first of the senses to develop in the human infant, and remains emotionally central throughout our lives. The connection you create at this stage can last a life time.
Baby Sign Language
Communication is key to any relationship, but when you have someone in the relationship who is struggling to get their message across it can lead to frustration and avoidable meltdowns. Signing can break the language barrier and help your little one communicate their basic needs and desires, but maybe more importantly feel heard and understood.
Babies as young as ten-months-old to a year can start to learn and with consistency can be using different hand signals to communicate within a few months. If they understand ‘waving’ means ‘goodbye’ they can understand many more gestures like ‘more’, ‘wet diaper’, ‘all finished’, ‘eat’ and ‘tired’. The rapport and understanding generated between you and your child will deepen your bond.
Wearing your baby not only helps your baby feel secure, but it strengthens your connection as you talk to, sing or snuggle while still multi tasking. “Babies who spend more time in close physical contact with their caregivers cry less and develop better, both physically and cognitively. Physically, the stimulation of contact, as well as the constantly changing position of the adult caretaker, ensures more stimulation and development of the vestibular system.” Marie Spadaro, Curriculum Director at Attachment Parenting International (API). Baby wearing can also help you become more in-tune with your baby’s needs. Connection, communication and trust are all great foundations of any relationship, especially the one between a mother and her child.
And all these things can be enjoyed by the father too 🙂
Image Credit: Joanna Tano Photography