Whether your baby is small or an older child – CHICKEN POX makes every parent start that panic of ‘What do I do now?”
Well, time to take a breath and know that no matter how severely they react there are some simple things you can do that will really make them FEEL BETTER! So grab a cuppa, take a moment and have a read of a couple of top tips that you can help with any child, even from newborn.
Do not Worry
Firstly, do not rush to the shops as granny told you that Calamine Lotion is, the ‘thing’. This simply dries out the skin and makes those nasty little spots dry and extra itchy. You can use Aqueous Calamine, this is the same calamine but put into a different base (feels similar to sudocrem). This stops the skin drying out, though it is difficult to put on and get off so only use it on those really big spots!
Secondly, get those old stained muslins ready! Why – you are going to make your very own home remedy! Our Oat Soak Recipe
Oat Soak Recipe
This is so simple, costs peanuts and is good for all babies, children and adults! It’s super easy to make and will ease those horrid symptoms of itchy, hot skin.
You will need:
1 x muslin (or jam muslin if you have it)
Oats (nothing fancy, just the local supermarket ones are fine)
Chamomile Tea Bags (again just shop brand will do)
Ribbon, string or something to tie
Now, in a big bowl pour a good portion of the oats, add a large handful of the lavender, then cut up about 4 tea bags and empty the contents into the bowl. Give it a good mix with your hands or a wooden spoon. Now cut your muslin so they are in squares, big enough to put a large handful of your mixture into. Tie up securely with either string or some ribbon. (Any gaps and the mixture will spill out).
Now you need to pop this into a luke warm bath. This is a super little bag of delights! Not only will it turn all milky but the oats make the skin silky smooth and ease the itching.
The lavender and chamomile are both anti-septic and anti-inflammatory so work to calm the skin’s heat and itchiness. They are all edible so you do not have to worry if your baby starts drinking the water. There are no sulphates to irritate the eyes and increase the itching.
Staying at Home
So a couple of really easy ‘top tips’ to help you cope with this awful virus when it hits your family. Remember, some are affected worse than others so if you are worried then please do consult your doctor. This advice is not in any way a replacement of proper medical care, just some tips that have helped as a mum! You will be stuck at home for at least 10 days but try and make the most of the time with your little one.
Hoping that your little one recovers quickly and that you survive the quarantine!!
This is just one of the many ‘tips’ shared in our Baby Classes, so if you would like to know more why not head over to the website to see our class timetable.
There are also lots of other helpful articles for you such as learning about your baby’s brain where you can pick up some top tips and developmental know how!If you would like to receive our regular newsletters with further tips then please do sign up to our mailing list and join us on Facebook. All the usual links are of course below.
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Baby Massage has now become one of the most popular classes to attend for mums with little babies. No wonder, the classes are chilled, engaging and mums get to learn a whole load of massage techniques that they can use at home. In a Buddha Buddies Baby Class all aspects of learning how to massage your baby are covered. Making it part of your routine is an essential element.
Although most mums would agree that having a daily routine is something that they have or trying to establish, it is not often as easy as it sounds. For many mums there are a number of issues that make creating a routine very tricky. These can be from birth issues (long stays in hospital) to post-birth complications for baby or mum, to lack of additional support. Add in mass sleep deprivation and it can all just be too much.
How Can Massage Help?
Somtimes you just need to start small. I often have very small babies in classes (from 4 weeks and feeding every 2 hours). It can seem a mammoth task to put ANYTHING into a regular pattern. Baby Massage can help. Although in a class you will learn a ‘massage routine’, which can take up to 45 mins to complete, you can just choose 3-4 massage ‘strokes’ that your baby likes. This may only take 4-5 minutes but can still have a positive effect on your and your baby (you can read all about the Benefits of Baby Massage in our blog).
4-5 Minutes a day – that is all you need to start with. First, think of WHEN that will work. It is often hugely beneficial before bedtime, after the bath before the last feed. Or this might not work and you find that the morning works best. The key is, repeat that 4-5 minutes at roughly the same time, EVERY day.
Breaking this down into small time chunks is doable – a small step. If you repeat this every day, you are creating a Routine! Hurrah – it might be all you can manage at this point. Just take those few precious moments every day and enjoy.
Massage In Lockdown
We are now in uncertain times, and most parents are unable to attend a ‘live’ class. So the need for a high quality Baby Massage Course that you can use in the comfort of your own home is needed.
I have developed this online course based on my 15 years of teaching. It includes over 100 mins of Video, a PDF download and full instructions. Alongside a supportive VIP group, where you can ask any questions, during and after the course.
You are past those early weeks and some parts of your day are starting to look similar. It feels like a massive milestone, you are getting there! Develop your Baby Massage routine alongside this. If your baby is now happier for longer before bed, then add some more Baby Massage in, take it up to 7-8 minutes, or longer.
Some days will always work better than others, but don’t worry or stress. It is all part of your journey and the important thing is to be aware that those small steps are starting to become more manageable.
Your routine will change as your baby grows, sleeping and feeding patterns change and you will need to adjust around those. Then you put in colds, teething, injections, holidays and days out and it is easy to see why your lovely routine has flown out the window. Just know that you can establish a new routine, putting those small steps back into place.
Your Growing Baby
One of the things I mention in my classes with my Buddha Buddies mummies, every time you reach that point of ‘something needs to change’, it inevitably does! Having Baby Massage as part of this routine ‘toolkit’ can really help you as a parent. Remember, you can use it at any time. It can be a great mood changer as it affects so many of the physical and emotional systems. As well as being calming to receive, it is also soothing to give. Those repeated strokes can have a lovely affect on you too!
Your baby will go through enormous changes in this first year – it is indeed a journey for you both. So don’t sweat the small stuff, enjoy those moments and try to make your Baby Massage part of your daily routine.
Why not also check out the Facebook Page where I am busy posting some great videos to keep you and those babies entertained.
As adults, we are aware that our brain is divided into two halves – each having very distinctive roles. What, though does that mean for our babies and children? How do the left and right hemispheres of the brain talk to each other and can we improve baby brain communication?
How does this look for your baby’s brain?
Well let’s break it down to basics to start:
Responsible for the control of the RIGHT side of the body
Responsible for the control of the LEFT side of the body
So both sides control very different functions – most of which will not be needed in these early months. Although what is also developing is the bridge that connects both hemispheres (Corpus Callosum). Communication between the two is essential – more about that in our next blog!
Our baby’s’ brain is busy forming new networks that once formed can then be used for pretty much anything, from language to fine motor skills. The process of forming these networks is biologically driven, but experiences also allow connections to form. Our babies continue to build these connections between both hemispheres for many years, but 0-3 years are the crucial ones. More synaptic connections are formed during the first 3 years than during the rest of our lives! However, our brains can continue to build new connections throughout our lives, it really is possible to teach an old dog new tricks!
Baby Brain & Movement
Simply put – it is just as important what we do with our babies, to create these experiences as it is to allow the body to form them on its own.
Although in a Buddha Buddies Baby Yoga class we do talk in about the brain – what is covered is how it develops and what this means to YOUR baby. Milestones and reflexes are just part of this developmental process, and there are many things we do in classes to bring our awareness to these key points of development. There is more information and some great techniques to try at home in the next blog about Midline Crossing, which is one of the best ways to increase connectivity between the left and right side of the brain. This is also true for older kids and adults.
So, if you would like to know what is happening, then check out the other blogs and you can even view some great action songs that use techniques to boost that brain connectivity on the Youtube Channel, including this fab Grand Old Duke Of York Action Song. The Facebook Page has lots of tips that you can use to include into your day and you can also learn more about how to make Baby Massage part of your routine, which is another great brain-boosting activity.
A mother of twin girls, Rachel is a Complimentary Health Specialist. Running a Wellbeing Centre and founder of Buddha Buddies, baby & children’s Yoga, Massage and Mindfulness Classes. She runs between juggling the usual family and household dilemmas and her businesses.
As parents, we are constantly amazed by how fast our baby grows and the new skills they seem to develop almost daily. As an Instructor, I have relished learning more and more about just how babies develop and how to incorporate these new skills into a part of our lives. In every Buddha Buddies Baby Yoga class I teach we include activities that practice ‘midline-crossing’. For me, they are an essential element of baby and toddler development, easy to do and repetitive (for embedding) and fun.
Why is it so important to add midline-crossing activities into part of your baby’s day?
Well, we all know that the left and right hemispheres of the brain control different things. (You can also look at our previous blog on how the brain is structured.) However, what is also key here is how the two sides are able to communicate. There is a bridge between the two sides called the corpus callosum. This allows both sides to essentially talk to each other. As each side carries out different tasks they need to be able to work together in order to coordinate learning and movement.
For babies, this communication is the foundation for later work on the development of such things as the dominance of hand and bilateral movement (both sides working together – i.e pushing and pulling).
So how can we add in activities early on in our baby’s development?
That is where our Baby Yoga comes in, specific moves are practised to enable the crossing of one limb over the middle of the body. Of course, we always make it fun and we never force any movement!
So to keep you going here are a few activities for you to try at home – or you can always pop along to a class or watch one of the various Videos including Action Songs that work on crossing the midline FREE on the Youtube channel.
Half lotus – with your baby on the floor in front of you start by taking hold of the right lower leg, now take this leg and move it across the body to the right thigh. Repeat each side several times. In class we also sing ‘pat-a-cake’ while we do this, adding other elements of singing and language into the mix!
Give me a hug – in the same position as before, this time take the arms out to the side and then cross over in the middle of the body, give them a little hug with their arms as you go. Repeat, this time ensuring that the arms move position, whichever one was on top is now underneath.
Hand to knee – with your babysat on your lap take the right hand and move towards the left knee. Repeat each side several times.
As you can see, they are all easy moves to incorporate as part of any routine. You do not need any special equipment and if you can, always make good eye contact, so you work on your non-verbal communication and bonding at the same time.
If you would like to know more about the activities or baby development, then do pop along to a class. You can also check out the YouTube channel, which has some great videos to watch on all things baby.
I have put together a little list of some great baby (under 1-year toys) that can help with mid-line crossing activities at home.
Stacker – a great one to build hand to eye coordination too.
Have a look at some of these developmental toys, you will notice that not only are perfect for adding in some midline-crossing but they also address other skills such as; problem-solving, hand to eye coordination and fine and gross motor skills.
Rachel is a mother of twin girls. She is a graduate with a combined honours degree in ‘English & Psychology. She is also a Complimentary Health Specialist, running a Wellbeing Centre and also is founder of Buddha Buddies – baby classes based around child psychology.
You can read her book on Mindful Parenting on Amazon. Sign up to receive more top tips to help you on your parenting journey.
There are Amazon Affiliate links in this article. Only products used or recommended by other parents are ever endorsed.
There can be so many reasons that your baby has a tummy ache. These can range from a simple change of food to reactions to medicines. Finding baby tummy ache relief remedies that are all-natural is not always easy.
Firstly, of course, if you feel that there is something wrong, you must speak to a medical professional. A Doctor, Health Visitor or Obstetrician. The Advice here and in the books is to help you as a parent, they are not to replace medical advice.
The tips that are discussed here are for help on those issues where the underlying cause is either known or is a temporary condition that your baby is going through. I know from being a parent, and from 15 years of teaching in classes, that tummy ache can be terribly painful for your baby.
For more detailed instructions on how to help your baby using Baby Massage and Baby Yoga please see the new Masterclass, which has embedded video and lessons, to guide you through techniques that can help relieve your baby’s discomfort. This Masterclass costs only £9.99 and is yours to watch as many times as you need. You also get full support via the VIP Group too.
Massage is well researched for being able to bring relief to many causes of tummy pain, both in babies and adults. By working around the tummy area in slow steady movements you can often help the internal organs to shift any food that may still be working through the system.
Massage can also help with soothing. Working not only the colon but calming the parasympathetic nervous system, which will help to calm your baby too.
It really is a winning duo! You can massage the area but also help your baby feel calmer, which often aids the body and can bring you some much-needed respite from crying.
There are so many benefits of baby massage, you can read my top benefits. Bringing relief to tummy pain is just one.
Baby Yoga For The Tummy
Movements that work with the body to help relieve gas or constipation that are suitable for nearly all babies. The key with any movement that you are doing ‘to’ your baby, is to ensure that you always work with them, you never force a movement.
You can grab the FREE E-BOOK which has some simple ways of getting started with both the baby yoga and the baby massage.
One of the techniques that work really well is to use the legs to bring into the body. A fun way of doing this is via signing ‘the grand old Duke of York’. You can see how in the video below! Babies love songs, and adding in actions really is amazing for brain development too!
I hope that these little tips can help. For the full range of techniques then please do check out the MASTERCLASS, it is £9.99 and has all the videos and instructions you need to start working on helping with those tummy issues.
You can follow more of my videos for baby massage and baby yoga on the Youtube Channel too. Please do subscribe to the channel to learn when the next FREE videos will appear.
Online Complete Baby Massage Course
If you want to know more about baby massage, you can always purchase the full course – this has all you need to confidently massage your baby at home. Along with BONUS VIDEOS – covering Tricks for Baby Tummy Time and More Baby Yoga. The Course is only £57 and has full video instruction and access to the VIP group for support too!
If there are more ways you would like to connect, then please do head over to the Facebook Page. You can also post any comments below, and I will happily answer. These natural remedies can really help bring relief to your baby. They are easy to learn, fun and engaging for your baby and also will be great to use at other times too. They are suitable for all ages, so you can also try them with toddler tummy pain and older kids too!
If you like the tips here, don’t forget to sign up to the monthly newsletter. It always has some tips that are useful alongside access to downloads that I do not offer anywhere else.
I hope that this has helped and reach out if you need more information.
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 and babies fed more, slept better and therefore left the hospital before there 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
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
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
Yes, you to benefit when you are performing a massage on your baby. 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
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). Massage is a great way of assisting in setting habitual behaviour. 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 Massage gives your baby a sense of security which adds to the benefit of the routine. With the security babies often feed and sleep better. Again a great win for parents.
There are lots of other benefits for both you and your baby from regular 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 at the Massage Your Baby Course. Often parents 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.
How Can I Learn Baby Massage?
The days of being able to pop to a live class are for the moment out of bounds to most. The risk for all is too high, and many countries are on lockdown.
So, online is the way to go. You can still gain from all of the 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 Mindful Parenting expert who has been teaching parents all the essentials of baby massage and much more for 15 years.
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.