INFANT MASSAGE: A HANDBOOK FOR LOVING PARENTS – NEW EDITION!

I am happy to announce that the new updated, expanded edition of Infant Massage: a Handbook for Loving Parents has been released by Random House. It is available on Amazon.com and from most bookstores.

CHAPTERS:

  1. Why Massage Your Baby?

  2. Your Baby’s Sensory World

  3. The Importance of Skin Stimulation

  4. Stress and Relaxation

  5. Bonding, Attachment, and Infant Massage

  6. The Elements of Bonding

  7. Attachment and the Benefits of Infant Massage

  8. Especially for Fathers

  9. Helping your Baby (and you) Learn to Relax

  10. Your Baby’s Brain

  11. Music and Massage

  12. Getting Ready

  13. How to Massage Your Baby

  14. Crying, Fussing, and Other Baby Language (including cues, reflexes and behavioral states

  15. Minor Illness and Colic

  16. Your Premature Baby

  17. Your Baby with Special Needs

  18. Your Growing Child and Sibling Bonding through Infant Massage

  19. Your Adopted or Foster Children

  20. A Note to Teen Parents

BACK MATTER INCLUDES:

References and Recommendations

Resources

Author Bio

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Prenatal stress could enhance protective mechanisms of babies

Source: Prenatal stress could enhance protective mechanisms of babies

Maternal stress and depression during pregnancy may activate certain protective mechanisms in babies. Psychologists from the University of Basel together with international colleagues report that certain epigenetic adaptations in newborns suggest this conclusion. Their results have been published in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.

In their study, the researchers observed that increased concentrations of hormones, depressive symptoms and general adversities during pregnancy were accompanied by epigenetic changes in the child. As a result of these changes the oxytocin receptor gene, which is important for and stress adaptations, is activated more easily. This mechanism could indicate that in these cases, the babies adapt to develop more resilience to cope with future challenges and adversities.

 

Preemies’ Brains Get Boost From Breast Milk

MRI scans found infants who drank more of it had more brain tissue, study found

Source: Preemies’ Brains Get Boost From Breast Milk

“The brains of babies born before their due dates usually are not fully developed,” explained senior investigator Dr. Cynthia Rogers, an assistant professor of child psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis.

“But breast milk has been shown to be helpful in other areas of development, so we looked to see what effect it might have on the brain,” Rogers said in a university news release.

“With MRI scans, we found that babies fed more breast milk had larger brain volumes. This is important because several other studies have shown a correlation between brain volume and cognitive development,” she said.

Not Teaching Parents About Early Brain Development Is A Massive and Damaging Public Health Failure

Source: Not Teaching Parents About Early Brain Development Is A Massive and Damaging Public Health Failure

The biggest single public health deficit and failure in America today is the fact that almost no parents of newborn children have been told or taught that they can improve their child’s learning abilities significantly by exercising their baby’s brain in the first three years of life.

The basic biological science on that issue is absolutely clear — and almost no one is sharing that information about that biology in any useful ways with the parents of newborn children.

Music exposure benefits babies’ brains

Infants who participate in music lessons appear to benefit in terms of neurological development more than those involved in other play-related activities.

Source: Music exposure benefits babies’ brains

Previous research has indicated that music training when young can improve infants’ ability to process musical sounds and speech.

However, it has not been clear from these studies whether perceptual differences between musicians and non-musicians are due to music training. It may be that people who already have superior auditory skills are more likely to become involved in musical activities.

In addition, the quality and style of music training vary widely, potentially affecting the results.

Links and Attachment

On sait maintenant à quel point le lien d’attachement est important. Mais comment l’établir?

Source: Liens et attachement

FROM THE FRENCH:

The benefits of a secure attachment

A baby who develops a stable and secure attachment relationship with his parents in the early years of his life is more likely to be well equipped to handle difficult situations throughout his life. Instead, a baby who could not form this close relationship with significant adults may struggle to adapt to group life. The attachment is even essential to the survival of the human being.

Although the first years of life are very important to establish a link attachment, be aware that built up over a lifetime.

A strong attachment so has several advantages:

  • The child will feel loved and safe. When he grows up, the child will feel that he is worthy of affection and it will have a positive perception of others. It will be easier for him to reach out to others, to explore their environment and new experiences. On the contrary, children with insecure attachment will be reluctant to love and be loved. It will react badly to compliments and rewards. For example, it will deny that it makes the hugs .
  • The baby will know that he can rely on his parents to meet their needs. It will have more confidence in him when explore the world around him and will more confidence to others. By cons, a child with an inadequate attachment bond will tend to pull away from those around him, as if he had given up the idea that we can meet their needs. It might even develop distrust of adults.
  • A child who feels secure is easier to learn and thrive on the engine and intellectually.
  • The child will have a greater ability to adapt to different situations in life, because it will feel supported by his family and will be better able to control their emotions in stressful situations. For example, the separation from the adult when he starts attending the daycare or school will be easier.
  • The attachment will facilitate the learning of social skills and the sharing of emotions. A child with a secure attachment also manifest more empathy and cooperation with others. This will help to form strong relationships with other children, educators, daycare or teachers at school. In the absence of such a link attachment, a child will live more conflicts with children his age because he socialize only to meet its own needs. Indeed, children with insecure attachment will look much the focus . He will have difficulty to share adult attention and to admit his faults. It could even be manipulative and hostile when he does not get what he wants. So it will be more likely to have problems with behavior and delinquency older.
  • As an adult, he will have more chance to live healthy relationships and be satisfied at work. On the contrary, the person without secure attachment will be more likely to experience dissatisfaction in their couple relationships and even domestic violence. Labour relations will risk also to be a source of conflict.

How to foster a secure attachment

The first of a baby attachment link is generally established with his mother, but the bond he shares with his father is just as important. A bond of attachment can also be formed with an aunt, a grandparent or a teacher. The one with his parents, however, remains the most important.

Some behaviors favor the creation of an attachment link:

Before 18 months, a child is unable to make a whim, because his brain is not developed enough. If a baby cries to be taken is that it needs to be reassured. So you do not spoil your child when you respond to their needs. You rather teach him that he can count on you.
  • Meet the needs of your baby with affection, tenderness and consistency. For example, if your baby cries , try to give him what he needs, whether drinking, changing layer or a hug.
  • Respond quickly to your baby’s crying. This will allow him to feel less stress. With time, you learn to recognize the signals of your baby and you will respond more effectively to their needs. Your baby will know and he can count on you to ensure comfort and safety.
  • Interact with your baby tenderly. Rock her, hold it in your arms and talk to him gently.
  • Accept the child as it is, with its strengths and weaknesses. This will allow him to feel that he can be loved and promote the development of good self-esteem .

Remember that your baby needs only a good parent, not a perfect parent. So do not worry about mistakes you might make. As your baby will know that you can count on most of the time he will adapt.

If you feel unable to care for your baby, or because you live a depression or for any other reason, seek help from your spouse or relative. Consult your doctor or contact your CLSC about the services available in your area. Similarly, if you do not understand the needs of your baby despite your ability to care, consult your doctor. He feels perhaps health problems.

Serve and Return

Serve and return interactions shape brain architecture. When caregivers are responsive to children’s signals, they help them build critical skills.

Source: Serve and Return

Because responsive relationships are both expected and essential, their absence is a serious threat to a child’s development and well-being. Healthy brain architecture depends on a sturdy foundation built by appropriate input from a child’s senses and stable, responsive relationships with caring adults. If an adult’s responses to a child are unreliable, inappropriate, or simply absent, the developing architecture of the brain may be disrupted, and subsequent physical, mental, and emotional health may be impaired. The persistent absence of serve and return interaction acts as a “double whammy” for healthy development: not only does the brain not receive the positive stimulation it needs, but the body’s stress response is activated, flooding the developing brain with potentially harmful stress hormones.