By Diane Ako
HONOLULU (KHNL) - Babies love to be touched. They thrive on it, and they need it to grow and develop. Massage is one way to do it. It not only helps you and your baby bond, it can comfort your baby when he or she is upset, and ease colicky behavior. Massage therapist Roxanne La'akea Schneider explains, "It stimulates circulation, gives them a loving touch; it's quality time with your baby, basically."
Schneider holds baby massage classes. She says it's a great way to bond with your infant. "When you're playing with them you're interacting but distracting them. This is more one on one, 'my time is for you,' and it's a bonding of hearts."
Massage helps encourage social interaction and can improve the baby's awareness of the world around him. But remember, babies have short attention spans. "They determine what they want when they want it," says Schneider.
As if on cue, one of the babies starts whining. "If she gets a little fussy we can do it this way," says Schneider, propping up the infant. Massage doesn't necessarily have to be done lying down. You can also rub their back, or their hands. "Infant massage is a time you can have with your baby, a time of intimacy for you and your child," reminds Schneider.
And a warning! Schneider says never to work on a baby if they are:
-premature, under 1,000 grams
-fever above 101F
-systemic infections like chicken pox
-cancer or undiagnosed lumps
-fracture, bleeding, burns, or other acute injury
Schneider is a massage therapist at several locations on Oahu. She'll hold an infant massage course for parents and caregivers if she has a minimum of 5 people signed up. Reach her at:
Roxanne La'akea Schneider, LMT, NCTMB
Resolution Massage Therapist, MAT# 8096, NCTMB #423533-00
Honolulu Club 543-3945 (Tue/Sat afternoons)