Infant Massage is the very special art of using nurturing touch to communicate with your baby, to show them that they are loved, welcomed and respected, and that they can feel safe and secure in their new world. It is a wonderful way of bonding with your baby as it works on an emotional as well as a physical level, developing closeness between parent and baby that has lifelong benefits. Parents/Caregivers massage their own baby using a specifically designed series of strokes. This series combines Indian and Swedish massage along with Reflexology techniques and some gentle yoga-based exercises into a routine designed to be beneficial for infants.
The person bringing the baby to the class will massage the baby. This could be mum or dad, a grandparent or a foster parent for example. Baby massage is a very intimate bonding experience with a baby and therefore the International Association of Infant Massage recommends that it should only be done by those closest to the baby.
Both parents are welcome to attend the classes together with their baby.
Classes are suitable for babies from birth to pre-crawling, so up to about 8 or 9 months should be fine for attending, depending on the individual baby. Some instructors prefer babies to be 4 to 6 weeks before they join a course so you should check with the individual instructor when enrolling.
The reason for the upper limit is that it is more challenging to massage a baby who has begun
crawling, as they will be more interested in moving off to explore their surroundings.
These are baby classes and crying is welcomed and accepted. All babies cry! This is how they communicate. Classes are entirely “baby led” and you should feel free to tend to your baby’s needs in whatever way you need to by feeding, changing, walking around etc. while class is going on. The instructor will usually keep going as much as possible but if there is a general outcry a little “cuddle break” will often be taken.
Your baby can begin swimming just as soon as you are ready to bring them. Babies start at around twelve weeks.
Our only criterion is that they need to be less than one year when starting the course.
Try to feed your baby 1-2 hours before the lesson. You may also find your baby is particularly hungry afterwards, having just completed such a healthy workout.
The double nappy system means a swim nappy (disposable or reusable) must be worn
with a neoprene nappy over the top. This creates a double layer of protection,
significantly reducing the risk of any leaks.
With health and safety in mind, it’s really important that your baby’s nappy fits snugly
enough to form a good seal around their tummy and thighs. Babies of a young age can drop in body temperature very quickly and the extra heat makes them feel more comfortable in the water.
You can order these from www.splashabout.com
From experience we recommend one size bigger
Swim nappies are available in most supermarkets and include brands like Little Swimmers
One parent or guardian is required per baby/toddler for the lesson. Parents/guardians get into the water with their baby/toddler and are fully supported and guided by the highly-experienced swimming teacher. We do invite two parents to join in if they are available.
Twins are very welcome at classes. You will need to check with the instructor whose classes you are planning to attend, but most instructors would advise that it is best to bring along another adult to massage one of the babies while you massage the other. Ideally you could bring along your partner, a grandparent, an older sibling perhaps, or a relative or close friend. As baby massage is intimate and a lovely way of bonding with the baby, you should try to bring someone who will have a close relationship with your baby.
YES. If you are on the appropriate plan with your health insurance company you will be able to claim a refund of fees. All the major Health Insurance companies refund up to €100 of the cost of a course. It is important to note that to qualify for this refund you must do a course with an instructor who is a member of Baby Massage Ireland. You should check with your health insurance provider to ensure you are on a plan that qualifies and your instructor will give you with a receipt which will enable you to claim the refund.
There are lots of different plans available with the various companies. We stress that you need to check with your insurer to see if you qualify for a refund of fees BEFORE doing a course.