The Benefits of Yoga for Babies

Baby yoga and baby massage can bring emotional and physical rewards for babies of all ages, and at each stage of development. As well as helping your baby to bond with you, it will soothe and stimulate her and help and help improve his balance, coordination, motor skills, and respiratory and digestive systems.

From 6 Weeks To 3 Months

During your baby’s first three months of life, her motor development will centre on gaining control of her head and neck muscles. She will hold her limbs close to her trunk at first and her hands in little fists. Her movements may appear a bit haphazard and she will be easily startled. Her vision will be rapidly improving and she will recognize her parents and other carers, gradually growing in trust, and will respond to facial gestures and pleasurable sensations.

At this stage, baby yoga provides visual stimulation, encouraging you and your baby to exchange facial expressions and body gestures.The exercises in the 6 weeks to 3 months section aid extension of the limbs through simple movements. Massage will encourage mutual trust and bonding through physical touch. It is important, however, not to embark on the following sequences before your baby has had her 6-week check. At this check up your medical practitioner will be able to assure you that you and your baby are ready to start yoga exercises.

From 3 Months To 6 Months

From 3 to 6 months, your baby will be developing more complex movements and will be able to co-ordinate her muscle groups better. As her upper body control and strength develops, she will start to roll over. Her movements will be smoother and less jerky, her upper-limb movements will become more directed and purposeful, and she will reach out to grab objects as her hand-eye control improves. Because she can now hold her head up and look around, she will be much more aware of her surroundings, including other people. As your baby’s muscular control develops from her centre outward, she will be able to kick when lying on her back and lift his head and shoulders when lying on her tummy. She will start to roll over and maybe even sit up as his lower spine strengthens.

The routines for 3 to 6 months make more use of active play, with fun routines, songs, and rhymes to encourage movement and social participation. As your baby attempts to learn to crawl, she will move individual limbs in a directed and coordinated way, and the exercises will use movements of each limb in turn, together with opposing leg and arm actions, to promote this.

Exercises with your baby lying on her tummy allow her to stretch her whole body and build up torso strength, while the rolling sequences allow her to exercise her whole body in fun routines. At this time she may be beginning to teethe, and the calming walks and “whooshing” sequences can help to relieve discomfort.Your baby will be more active socially and will enjoy the smiles and interactions that you share together in yoga. She will also enjoy watching your movements as you exercise.

From 6 Months To 9 Months

At 6 to 9 months, your baby may be sitting up and will soon be starting to crawl. Babies use opposite arms and legs when crawling and this coordination will be helped by the yoga sequences. Many babies will be trying to stand at about 6 months and like to be supported in this position. They will be developing motor skills by reaching and grabbing things.

The exercises in this period are more interactive and playful, with song, rhymes, “peek-a-boo”, and watching routines.Your baby will no longer Wish to just lie on her back and will sit up to participate, so be prepared to adapt the exercises to her needs.

What Can I Do To Help My Premature Baby?

Studies have shown that premature babies who are regularly stroked and regularly hear their parents’ voices progress rapidly in early development. Premature infants Who are massaged every day may cry less, go to sleep more easily, spend more time alert when awake, and show fewer signs of stress. Regularly massaged pre-term babies may also gain weight more quickly and will be more sociable and happy.

While your premature baby is still in hospital, you can use warm touch with relaxed hands as a daily routine. Once your baby is at home, you can begin to apply massage strokes to her, but respect when she has had enough. Hold her body in your cupped hands. To make sure that your hands are deeply relaxed as you do this, practise long, slow abdominal breathing. Be sure that the space is very warm and that your baby is enclosed near you, then begin by massaging the place on your baby’s body that has been least “invaded” when in hospital this will usually be the back. Miniaturize every stroke for example use two or three fingers rather than a whole hand. For more guidance, contact a qualified baby massage teacher.

How Can I Calm My Colicky Baby?

A colicky baby will have difficulty in tolerating stimulation and will often be stiff and tense with a distended tummy. Babies with colic may gain a lot of comfort from the yoga sequences in this book, and the massage techniques can stimulate the gastrointestinal system and relieve colic. An effective relief routine for colic is the massaging the tummy sequence followed by the “Knees to tummy” exercise. Remember that if your baby continues to be distressed she may be unwell, so seek professional medical help.

Tip

By regularly massaging your baby you can help prevent, as well as alleviate, digestive problems.