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Baby Spa Offers Float Therapy and Massages

Katlyn Joy |23, June 2014


Does your baby seem stressed? Not sleeping well, digestion sluggish? How about her balance? Is his muscle tone good? Maybe your baby would benefit from a visit to the Float Baby spa in Houston, Texas.

For an hour you can have your baby set in a purified water pool for a 20-25 minute session. Baby will be outfitted with a inflatable ring around the neck so the limbs float freely in the water. A swim diaper and warm towel are also provided. Following the float, babies will get a massage from Mommy, under spa instruction. Arms and legs will be massaged in a safe manner.

The reason for this unusual treatment? Proponents point to the benefits of swimming in babies, including the study done in 2010 by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology which found that babies who were taught swimming had improved balance and the ability to reach for items.

The spa's Kristi Ison said, "The benefit of allowing the baby to have free range of all their limbs is what supports the early neurological development of the baby."

Baby massage is a practice said to be found in India thousands of years ago as a part of Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurvedic texts cite using coconut oil and sesame oil to moisturize the skin and promote circulation.

While you may not live near a baby spa, or necessarily want to indulge in a luxury baby lifestyle, you may want to reap some of the same benefits for your infant at home.

Water Time

While baby swimming is controversial, in 2010 the American Academy of Pediatricians changed its position on infant swimming, advocating swimming lessons for toddlers as young as 1 year of age. They lowered their age level after a study was released by the National Institutes of Health linking swimming lessons with lowered drowning rates among 1 to 4 year olds.

If you want to enjoy a watery relaxation with baby, remember to keep your hands on baby at all times, never leave baby even for a moment. Make sure baby is wearing a swim diaper, and that baby doesn't swallow pool water. Baby will respond best to warm water and a gradual introduction.

You can also make baby's bath time a pleasant experience for baby by providing age appropriate bath toys or props. Let baby enjoy splashing, kicking and pouring water. Make sure the water is at a safe temperature and never leave baby unsupervised.

Massaging Baby

It's important to understand proper techniques for massaging an infant, as injury can occur if done wrong, such as dislocating a shoulder.

The Mayo Clinic cites benefits from infant massage including increased relaxation and better sleep, less crying, increased interaction between parent and child, and an increase in hormones that reduce stress levels in baby. The International Association of Infant Massage adds these to the list: positive effects on the circulatory and digestive systems, possible reduction of teething pain, colic, constipation, and muscle tension.

When massaging baby, you should pick a good time of day. Don't massage baby too soon after feeding, or you might cause the infant to vomit. The Mayo Clinic suggests waiting at least 45 minutes after feeding. Babies can benefit from daily massage, and for some it may be part of a bedtime ritual that helps relax them and prepare them for sleep.

Always watch baby closely for clues to how baby feels about the touches, so maintaining eye contact is important. Make sure baby is in a room that is comfortably warm and place baby on a secure surface covered with a towel or blanket.

If you choose to use oil for infant massage, make certain it is made without scent and is non-toxic. For babies with skin sensitivity, you should test the oil on a small spot first to check for allergic reactions.

The younger the infant, the softer the touch should be. However, take care not to tickle baby, either. Monitoring baby's response, including body language and vocalizations will help you gauge the pressure desirable.

Whatever particular technique you use, you should speak to baby in a loving, calm voice and let baby know what is happening. Enjoy your special time with baby and baby will likely enjoy it as well.

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