Ruth is a Baby Wearing Consultant and has some great tips and advice on baby carriers and baby slings and baby wearing tricks.
This is based on the live interview that you can also access below, where Ruth came into the Buddha Buddies Facebook page and offered some great tips for the parents.
Why Choose A Baby Carrier?
Ruth: “My name’s Ruth, So I am to baby wearing consultant. When my boy was born, he had severe reflux from day one, basically as much milk came up as went in.I knew that the only thing that seemed to comfort him and keep some of the milk in was keeping him upright. So I got some cheap baby carrier, from Ebay, and I looked at my baby and I looked at the carrier and I thought, there is no way that it’s going to be safe to see my baby in this carrier. So I went to my local library and I had a trial of one with them and it just it changed my life.
It changed our parenting journey. And it helped me to keep Matthew up, to keep him comfortable, to keep him close and connected. And, yeah, I just enjoyed using it so much that I actually trained up to be a supporter. And I’m a trained consultant, which means that I’ve done by intensive training. I had to do CPD. I’m insured and all of the boring stuff and the advantage of that being, I do all the research, I do all the technical stuff so that you as a parent can just concentrate on choosing a nice product and being safe and comfortable and confident in using it.”
Rachel: “I know exactly what you mean with the with the reflux and colic. When I am teaching in classes, I’ve had a lot of babies with reflux and colic and it’s one of the things I always say, again and again most probably my number one tip. Do not let your baby lie flat. Yeah. And for classes, obviously that can be problematic. But actually if you put them in a more upright position, they’re more comfortable.
But it’s lovely for me because where I teach locally, a lot of the people live locally and more and more over the last few years, I’ve seen rather than people turning up with Pushchairs or Buggies, they’re turning up with with a sling or some sort of carrier so that they’re walking, they are wearing their babies. Happily, they’ve normally got a rucksack for the mummy stuff. Yeah, but inevitably always have a coffee cup in the other hand, which I think is another is a hidden bonus that nobody talks about.”
“And it’s that moment when they go, oh my goodness, I’ve got my hands back, that moment when they realise that they can play with a toddler or have a drink or hold the child’s hand, which is a bit of a novelty in those early parenting days. And we know that actually keeping your baby close is better for them. It’s better for you than it just helps you in your parenting journey.”
Who Are Baby Carriers Suitable For?
“There’s pretty much no family for whom I cannot work with. I’ve helped parents whose babies have had additional needs, a heart condition, cystic fibrosis, things like that. Babies that were born premature. Babies were they have little muscle tone. Most parents, we can help them with support to get that close connection.”
Ruth and I discussed how a parent’s natural instinct is to hold their baby. We are often put under pressure in our society to put our baby’s down, and although we both agree that we cannot simply hold our babies all day and night we also could have that close contact with our babies when they needed it, without feeling guilty.
That for me is one of the biggest benefits of using a baby carrier or baby sling.
What is your instinct telling you to do?
Ruth: “And it is always to pick my baby up. If you are grown up upset, you wouldn’t just leave and see if you calm down. You wouldn’t expect them to make themselves better. You go over them, you’d speak to them gently, you comfort them. Why would it be any different with babies? And I think we are seeing change. I think we are going back to more responsive parenting and I think we’ve got a long way to go.
Old habits die hard. I get a lot of parents whose own parents are pressuring them into being a certain way with their child. And yeah, hopefully carrying is something that, you know, ultimately it’s your choice. But I’ve yet to get here a good argument against carrying the baby.
Benefits Of Baby Wearing
There are so many benefits to carrying your baby. We discussed a few:
Ruth: “I’m not saying that a sling is going to solve every problem I know. But it feeds into so many areas. It helps with like connection, it helps with bonding, it helps with sleep, and it helps you to pick up other cues. If you’re breastfeeding, it helps with breastfeeding. If you bottle feeding, it still helps because you can still maintain that connection and the bond. And if your partner is helping you by using a sling, it helps them to bond with the child. But it also means if the baby is in the sling, stay with that. It’s a nice, comfortable content space and you can go and have a bath or have a break or have a snooze, whatever it is, because that baby’s still in a kind of really comfortable place. Safety. Yeah, a place of safety that you as a mom know that your baby’s in a place of safety.
Which Baby Carrier To Choose?
Watch the video to see some of the carriers that Ruth actually demonstrates. As she is not affiliated with any ONE company she really can offer the best impartial advice.
How To Wear Your Baby Sling
Again this is covered with a live demonstration in the video – much better than still shots and lots of text.
How To Connect With Ruth And Learn More About Choosing Your Baby Carrier
Ruth: “Simple. So I’ve got three options. One is that you can go looking for your own carrier or, you can book a video call with me where we go see different things.
Or you can purchase my online course.
It doesn’t matter if it’s the middle of the night, if it’s 6:00am on the weekend. The course is there to take you from knowing nothing about slings or maybe being overwhelmed. And there’s so many choices. And by the end of the course you should feel confident, comfortable and safe.So it teaches you the different choices of baby slings and the advantages and disadvantages of each type of baby carrier or baby sling. And it will tell you how to use them step by step videos, because the feeding in a sling and a lot of sort questions that people have come up, you find come up a lot.”
No matter what you try, your baby just keeps crying?
If this sounds familiar it could be that your baby is suffering from colic. Doctors often refer to the rule of 3:
Crying for more than 3 hours a day
Crying for more than 3 weeks
Crying more than 3 days in a week
This sounds simplistic but does provide an idea of just how persistent this form of crying is. For many babies, it can happen at different times of the day, or night and usually develops between the second and fourth week after birth. The good news, it does subside! Normally by about 4 months, the bouts of crying begin to lessen and my 6 months they have gone completely. For colic remedies to help your baby then keep reading.
What Is Colic?
There is no real medical definition of colic, though most mums will tell you that it is very, very real! It can often be a sign of an issue with feeding, sometimes linked to intolerance in the milk protein, that can affect both bottle-fed and breastfed babies. This does not account for many of the cases though, as in most of the situations relating to colic there does not appear to be any intolerance or deeper medical conditions. There is a great definition on Wiki
Symptoms Of Colic?
As mentioned, the starting point is often the rule of 3, but there are other things that are linked to colic too:
Fussing, at different times of the day.
Feeding, changing or sleep do not ease the crying.
Crying can occur at any time.
Knees are brought up to the chest when crying, indicating pain in the stomach.
Tries to comfort by either the breast or bottle, but then pulls away.
What Causes Colic?
Although it is still a general term for a baby that cry’s for long periods of time, there is still not a clear idea of what causes colic. Some of the issues that are thought to be a factor:
Over-stimulation – Many babies cannot adjust to the stimulation of all of their senses. You will sometimes see that when a baby is in a room with lots of people, where there is constant noise and lights that the crying will be much worse afterwards. I have seen this in Baby Classes, and the only way that the central nervous system can cope is to shut it all out. It does this very effectively by crying until exhaustion sets in. It is a brutal response from the body and can be helped by ensuring that you limit the stimulation to your baby.
Reflux – Linked to the lack of development in the Pyloric Sphincter, this causes the milk to come back up after feeding, bringing acid with it. If your baby is spitting up lots of milk after feeding, it is time to get to your Doctor for some medical assistance. There are medicines that can be given to help and in extreme cases, surgery is needed, though this is rare. Again, for many babies, they will grow out of this as the digestive system matures.
Immature Digestive System – This can really affect the premies, where the digestive system has not fully matured. They can be very sensitive to feeding, both in quantity and time. Again, as the body matures the digestive system will develop and the symptoms will eventually go.
Food Intolerance – This can happen to both breastfed and bottle-fed babies. It is often the milk protein that causes the discomfort but it can really be any foods (if you are breast-feeding). I had one mum who narrowed it down to strawberries! If you think this is an issue, then please do consult your Doctor. If you are bottle feeding there are some great formulas that can help.
Change your feed – One of the first approaches is to try either changing your formula or cutting out dairy if you are breastfeeding. If the pain is being caused by an intolerance you will normally notice a difference in 4-7 days. As always, please do consult your Doctor or health adviser before doing this.
Baby Massage – The techniques on the tummy can really help relieve pressure, trapped wind and ease the discomfort. I have a masterclass, just designed for baby tummy pain. It covers my top baby massage techniques so ease colic, constipation and trapped wind. All of which your baby can be dealing with as part of the symptoms of colic. Constipation often is part of colic, as the feeding pattern can become erratic.
Baby Yoga – There are some great movements that you can do to relieve trapped wind, which can often be a cause of tummy pain. You can watch some great Baby Yoga Videos on my Youtube Channel or yoga moves specific to baby tummy pain are also part of the masterclass too. The Baby Yoga Action Song of The Grand Old Duke Of York is a brilliant one, not only does the mix of song and action distract your baby but the movements help relieve trapped wind and constipation
Get Outside – I found when my daughter had colic that one of the best ways os soothing her was to take her outside. The fresh air and sun always helped, though I also combined this with a particular holding position too.
Holding Pose – I was taught this position when my girls were born (I have twins), and it was one of the BEST SOLUTIONS for colic that combined with these other tips, really did help bring her some comfort and relief. It is called different things, but I know it as ‘tiger in a tree’. You hold your baby in your lap, facing out and then you tip her so she rests along the length of your arm, her body is fully supported by you throughout. This position naturally puts pressure on the tummy, which seems to ease pain from trapped wind (it is also a great way of bringing up trapped wind) and you can also add in movement by rocking or swinging.
Colic Drops – There is no real scientific proof that these work, but I did add them into the routine in those colic weeks. Some mums swear by them, others say they do not make a difference. I think, as with most things baby-related, you can add it into your toolbox and see if they help your baby.
Bonus Tips To Try For Colic Remedies
Swaddle – Again, some babies really respond well when they are fussing to being swaddled. You can read more on how to do this, and some of the benefits too in a previous blog on swaddling your baby. Although I found it essential for sleep, I did not find it that beneficial for colic. Though again, it is easy enough to try, so worth a go when you are struggling for remedies for colic.
Swings – As I mentioned in the holding pose, movement can really help your baby when they are distressed or in pain. A baby swing is a great way of achieving this and often allows them to also sleep, which is always a blessing when you have been up for hours trying to offer comfort.
Tips For Mums
Nap – Get rest when you can is number 1. With patterns all over the place during these weeks, you will need your strength.
Help & Support – Do not be afraid to ask your partner, family and friends to help. Even if it is to drop off some meals, do the shopping. Or just be around so you can sleep for an hour. You will NEED support during these weeks. I remember these days well, and I was exhausted.
Other Mums – If you are part of any classes or groups then reach out for that emotional support from other mums. Mums are an awesome tribe that will be there for you, and having a friendly ear at 2 am can be a life-line. I know from my Baby Classes that the mums are often up during the night feeding but texting or chatting in a WhatsApp group. It helps get you through those well known ‘witching hours’.
Helping You And Your Baby with Colic
The Masterclass combines my knowledge of 15 years as a baby massage & yoga instructor with being a parent. I know first hand how Colic affects your everyday. It is all well and good people saying it is only a phase, but when you are up for hours rocking your crying baby, those weeks feel like years. I designed this class to offer you REAL SOLUTIONS TO COLIC, that you can use TODAY. It costs just £9.99 and includes full video instructions which you can watch at any time.
Baby Massage – Colic Remedies
There is also an online complete baby massage course, that delves further into infant massage. This course has over 100 minutes of guided videos, with a fully illustrated handbook and full support via my Private Facebook Group too. This is designed for you to watch at your own pace, go back to any of the videos and work through the course when it suits you. It is perfect for parents who are not able to get to physical classes. A full body baby massage routine is broken down into manageable stages, allowing you to learn at leisure. One of my mums, who has been to my classes previously took this course recently as said that it combined all the knowledge from my live classes, it ‘was as if Rachel was in my living room’! It is a very personal touch, one that I hope connects with you too.
Connect With Me
Feel free to comment below, ping me an email or connect on Facebook. I love being able to support parents, through the rough and the smooth. I hope that these colic remedies are able to help with your baby.
Good luck over the next few weeks, I know how tough it is. Hang on in there, and know that you are doing an amazing job!
The times of popping along to a baby class are currently out of action for many people across the globe. Baby Massage is still such a useful skill to have, but how can you still learn how to massage your newborn baby?
So, the need for great quality online baby classes and courses to impart some great techniques and also keep parents sane is a must. The Baby Massage Course is the start, Baby Yoga Classes will be coming as well.
Baby Massage Benefits
There are soo many benefits to both you and your baby from learning essential baby massage techniques. You can read about many of them in my Top Benefits blog. Though for most parents they need solutions to:
There are lots more, but if these are the ones that you need then YES massage is the right solution for you!
Baby Massage – Why Learn From Me?
I have been teaching the Massage Your Baby baby massage course for 15 years. The last few weeks have seen the closure of classes, with the risk to parents and babies just too high.
New Online Baby Massage Course
It was time to get this course available to everyone, no matter where they are. So, I have created an online course for you. With over 100 minutes of videos, a fully illustrated PDF handbook and clear modules to follow.
Many people are now in a situation where they are unable to get to a class. For others, who are still able to get out and about but perhaps prefer the idea of taking their time and working through all the information at their own pace.
What About Support?
Do not worry, the learn to massage your baby course also includes access to my VIP Facebook Group too! I pop in there with additional tips for babies and development.
There are lovely parents in there to chat to along the way. Offering that additional level of support that will keep you going and answer any questions that you may have.
How About The Baby Massage Basics?
I have put a little video below which not only covers the basics but will also give you an idea of what you can expect from the course too. I hope you enjoy it and please do let me know how you get on.
How Do I Purchase The Online Baby Massage Course?
If you want to purchase the complete online course you just hit the button below. The course is only £57 and includes everything you need confidently massage your baby at home, with video, modules to follow, downloadable handbook and support.
“I love the personal touch, it’s like Rachel is sitting in your living room with your” and “It’s so much more than a massage course!”. You can also see lots of reviews from many of the parents who have attended the live courses over the years on the Facebook Page too
More Baby Classes
There will be lots more resources coming along soon. All online courses are available on the online page and will run via the Online Parenting Platform, This platform allows you to access each course easily and download all the elements. This already has lots of ideas for keeping the older kids busy – all with a mindful approach.
Why You Need Baby Massage In Your Daily Baby Routine
We are all very aware of Baby Massage, however, it has only become so widespread during the last 10-15 years. This is mainly due to the amazing research that took place around 2004 by Dr Tiffany Fields at the Touch Institute, Miami. Studies were run in Neo-Natal Units, where pre-term babies were massaged daily.
The results were profound with research showing that babies fed more, slept better and therefore left the hospital before their non-massage counterparts. As you can imagine, it has now lead to the integration of Baby Massage into most Western Cultures as we all accept the benefits of Baby Massage.
As parents, we know that although our little baby may not have any verbal language they are able to let us know whether they are happy, unhappy, hungry, tired or content in many other ways. It is one of those amazing skills that parents develop quickly – how to ‘read’ their baby! Other’s will come up to your crying baby and say ‘oh he must be hungry?’ but you know that is not the way he acts when hungry, this time he is tired. How do you know?
It’s all about the non-verbal communication, how he cry’s is just part of it. Is he also using his any other parts of his body? Are his eyes closed? As a parent, you learn to read these cue’s very quickly.
How does Baby Massage fit in? Well, how about touch as communication? Parents use it instinctively, we stroke our babies when they are tired or upset, we rock them to soothe them, we pat their back to reassure. Massage is yet another method of adding touch into this language. We call it the power of ‘positive touch’.
Video on Baby Massage Benefits
Benefits of Baby Massage
Bonding With Baby
Every parent assumes that when their baby arrives they will ‘naturally’ feel a connection. That is not always possible, as for many babies they may be taken away from birth due to arriving early or problems during labour. For parents this trauma can be ongoing, they feel they have missed essential moments with their baby. Massage can help every parent with this bond. A time that you set aside just between you, your baby is the only focus. You are both able to develop that connection in a calm, relax environment. The use of repeated strokes can assist you both to allow a sense of security but also activate the parasympathetic nervous system. This is our involuntary system, that regulates heart rate and blood pressure. Massage can help to regulate the heart rate and lower blood pressure, in both baby and parent – both win! You can read more on Bonding with your baby on our Guest post from Parenting expert, Sarah Weller.
Health Benefits for Baby Massage
There are so many different ways that massage actually benefits the physical, emotional and mental well-being of your baby.
Lowers blood pressure
Reduces heart rate
Produces oxytocin (the feel-good hormone)
Decreases adrenaline (one of the hormones relating to stress)
Deepens the breath – deeper and longer breathing
Assists in weight gain due to the above
Health Benefits for Parents When Massaging Your Baby
Yes, you too benefit when you are performing a baby massage.
The repetition of the strokes can also address your para-sympathetic nervous system in a similar way to your baby’s, including:
Lowers your blood pressure
Increases the emotional bond between you and your baby
Deepens your breath as you tend to breathe more deeply as you perform the strokes
Increases your confidence
Establish Baby Routines
At some point in the early months, most parents strive to establish a routine for themselves and their baby. Based around feed times, sleep times and other family aspects (such as an older sibling).
Newborn massage is a great way of assisting in setting habitual behaviour, that you can create by making baby massage part of your baby routine EVERY day.
In all classes, I discuss how adding simple things like lighting and music all help ‘set the scene’. Creating an environment that is then always associated with their baby massage gives your baby a sense of security which adds to the benefit of the routine. With this added security babies often feed and sleep better.
Again a great win for parents.
Many More Benefits Of Baby Massage
There are lots of other benefits for both you and your baby from regular infant massage. However, the key is to learn some techniques that you feel confident enough to take home and use regularly. Many more benefits are discussed during the Massage Your Baby Course.
This course is available in person (UK based), but also online. Often parents in classes bring up new ideas of how massage benefits their family, as we have plenty of time to chat over a cup of tea at the end of classes.
You will cover more of the benefits in both the online course and in person classes.
How Can I Learn Infant Massage?
You can come to local classes if you are in Kent. See the class page for all the details of when and where baby massage classes in West Malling run.
The ability to pop to a live class is not always possible. We have all learned to adapt over the last 18+ months, and many new parents will still be shielding, or just unsure if they are ready to come to a in person class.
Also, I know that many of you reading this will be based in other Countries, so do not worry. You can still gain from all of the baby massage BENEFITS listed but know that you and your family are safe.
The LEARN BABY MASSAGE AT HOME Course is designed to be as full of information as any course that I would normally be delivered in person.
You can check out all the details including a FREE Basics Of Baby Massage Video too. All created by Rachel, a Parenting expert who has been teaching parents all the essentials of baby massage and much more for 17 years.
I love teaching baby and toddler yoga, even after 15 years. The benefits of Baby Yoga continue to amaze me, and other parents too.
Although it is now far more wide spread than back then, it is still one of those baby classes that parents are often unsure of what the real benefits to their baby are. This comes up frequently when parents contact me regarding what is involved in a baby yoga class. Time to put some of those amazing baby yoga benefits out there for you all.
Benefits of Baby Yoga – For Parents
Yes, you too can gain from attending a baby yoga class!
Bonding – The time that you spend with your baby during a class is precious. It is really is just about the two of you, and this allows for building those deeper connections.
Support – Never underestimate the power of support when you have a baby. You really do need to have a tribe around you. Other mums who know what you are going through, who can offer that much needed ear to listen or shoulder to cry on. Most of my classes end up creating Whatsapp groups that offer support to each other. Many develop friendships that last years.
Benefits of Baby Yoga – For Babies
Brain Boosting – You may have seen from my other posts that I love how baby’s brains develop! One of the main features of baby yoga that make it really great to boosting that brain power is mid line crossing. This where we take arms and legs across the body. You can read how important this is for baby brain development here.
Body Awareness – How your baby learns about not only his body, but where is body is in relation to other objects (known as propreoception). Working out how movement can benefit motor functions as well as sensory development are integral to my classes. For more information on how your baby’s brain is structured you can read my article on the baby brain.
Establishing Routines – Getting your baby moving can really help alongside other activities to sorting out some routine in your day. If your baby is a bit grumpy before bed (the witching hour as I used to call it), then putting in a couple of fun yoga moves can really help to tire them out.
Break The Mood – Even the best of babies can get grumpy for seemingly no reason. No matter when people ask – “is he hungry”, “is he tired” and you know that answer is NO! They can get themselves into quite an emotional state without much effort. How about some tools to help you break that cycle? Well that is one of the most surprising benefits, if you can get singing and moving your baby, they often forget what was making them all emotional in the first place!
Singing & Movement – I love the combo of using baby songs and movements in classes. You can watch one of these in action in my Baby Songs Videos, on my Youtube channel.
How To Get Started With Baby Yoga
If you can attend a live class then that is great. Buddha Buddies run a combination baby development class that offers baby massage and baby yoga. You can also watch lots of baby yoga videos on Youtube, or meet up with friends and have a go together. For inspiration, check out my Yoga Songs Videos and have a go with your baby. You can watch the great Baby Yoga Action Song Wind The Bobbin below.
How Baby Yoga and Baby Massage Compliment Each Other
I love using both baby massage and baby yoga together. The movement followed by a chilled out baby massage really does lead to the most relaxed babies. You can catch my online baby massage course below. At only £57, it really does cover everything you need to confidently massage your baby at home.
I hope that you are able to start with some baby yoga with your baby or toddler, as you can see there really are some great benefits of baby yoga, not just for your baby but for you too. As always I love to hear what you think, so please do leave a comment below or connect with me on my Facebook Page.
For more parenting tips, with lots of freebies then do sign up to my newsletter.
For a natural baby bath alternative, this recipe will do the trick. If you are looking to use a natural remedy in your baby’s bath, using simple ingredients that ensures that your baby’s skin is kept chemical-free and feels super soft, then try this easy to make at home method. Reduce your plastics, reuse your muslin and compost the waste. This Baby Bath Soak is easy and fun to make.
[Disclaimer: Please note this post may contain affiliate links. This means I may receive a commission if clicked at no extra cost to you. Though the opinions remain my own.]
Healing Power of Plants
So, if your baby gets dry skin, or you are in need of a remedy for the symptoms of Chicken Pox, Eczema or viral rashes. This easy to make natural recipe can be a lifesaver!
Suitable from Newborns onwards, there are no nasty chemicals or preservatives. A perfect natural option for baby bath time.
Natural Remedies for your Baby
Oats have been used for thousands of years to naturally feed the skin, calming and nourishing it is a great base for this remedy.
Lavender has been used medicinally for centuries and is known to be both anti-inflammatory and anti-septic.
Together these are both safe, natural, edible ingredients. If your baby swallows any of the water, it should not cause any side effects.
Put your oats and lavender together in the bowl. Mix thoroughly.
Scoop out a large handful of the mixture and put into the middle of your muslin square. Tie the muslin closed tightly (WARNING – if it is not secure, the mixture will come out in the bath)
Just throw the bath soak into the bath. The water will turn milky from the oats and the smell will be amazing.
When you have finished, untie and empty the mix into the garden compost. The muslin can be washed and used again.
You can add other lovely things into the mix too, I often cut up some Chamomile Tea Bags (about 8) and put them into the bowl. Again this herb is so gentle on your baby’s skin but is also great for healing and inflammation. If I have any I will sometimes use: dried rose petals (just keep some from your garden) and Calendula (or Marigold), which again is great for soothing skin.
Reduce Your Plastics
Not only is this Baby Bath Soak a great natural remedy to use with your baby, children or in fact the whole family; but you are also reducing your plastics, reducing your waste and lowering your toxic load too! If you would like more ideas on replacing your plastics with more natural solutions, check out the blog over on our Mindful Parenting site. It has ideas on easy ‘swops’, where you can replace some of those single use plastic products that we all have in the home with a more sustainable option.
As the main ingredient is so readily and cheaply available, the cost per bath soak is tiny! You can often pick the lavender from your own garden, or if you are purchasing a bottle of Doterra Lavender Oil then you will realise that it lasts a long time, you should be able to make at least 100 Baby Bath Soaks with just one bottle.
Make Your Own Natural Remedies
If you would like to know more recipes that use natural ingredients, then check out the Home Cleaning Products article. You can also sign up to the monthly Parenting Tips newsletter, which has lots of great resources.
Welcome, I am Rachel Hawkes, owner of Buddha Buddies and mum to twins. I have been teaching baby and kids classes for 15 years and love seeing the connections made and the confidence that builds within classes.
I hope that you will find the advice and tips here useful and that they provide some little ways of helping you on your parenting journey.
If you would like more tips and tools then please do sign up to the newsletter.