At the end of my baby massage courses parents are given the chance to provide feedback. Recently at the end of one of my childrens’ centre course I received the following:
“The singing is awkward and unnecessary. Playing music/lullabies in the background would be much better”.
It would have been great if the parent had asked me during the course why we sing songs, as I would have explained this aspect more than I usually do. Unfortunately, unless the parent sees this blog post they won’t know the technical background reasons about why I chose to include songs during the course I teach.
So, why do you include those awkward and unnecessary songs?
There’s actually quite a few reasons why I include them:
- A lot of feedback I receive from parents say they do actually like the songs. For some parents it helps them to remember the movements
- When you’re singing, you’re engaging with your child on another level. You’re less likely to be chatting to the person next to you and more likely to be focusing on how your baby is reacting to the massage, which will help enhance the communication between you and your baby
- Singing a rhyme can help you gauge how long to massage an area
- Your facial expressions and the sound of your voice are actually helping your baby with language development
- Babies can often respond positively to the rhythm and repetition, as they find the rhythmic aspect soothing and comforting
- From birth, babies enjoy interacting with parents and from about one month they can also make response sounds to parents. During baby massage classes babies will often join in and I find the songs can help to engage a baby’s attention – especially when we’re putting them on their tummies!
- When the children get older, it can be a great way to make the massage more fun – singing the wrong song, confusing the words and letting your child correct you can make it a great time together
It’s difficult to please everyone, and I know that some people may not be comfortable singing. I do reassure people that my singing isn’t the best and the tune you remember is absolutely fine – I often run groups where we all have different tunes for a different songs! At home it may be that you choose not to sing the songs, or you have your own favourites, and that is absolutely fine too. The course has been designed so you can do as much with your baby as you feel comfortable.
While I aim to make the course fun and informative in a general way, there are usually reasons about why I’ve included specific aspects. Over the years I have adapted it and changed it – songs were actually an addition I made a year or two after I began teaching the course because of the benefits. It has been designed and is delivered so that we can encourage your baby’s development in a fun and engaging way and to give you the confidence and choice about whether to include songs at home.
So, to the parent who felt they were awkward and unnecessary, I’m sorry you felt that way. Having reviewed the feedback I have decided to keep the songs for the time being, as I believe the benefits and views of others outweighs this opinion at present. My courses, however, do constantly evolve and if I receive lots more people who agree with your view then I will certainly review it again.
Louise is an holistic therapist who owns the Therapy Centre, BS14 9HB, a clinic offering a range of holistic and beauty therapies. Louise offers reflexology, aromatherapy, aromatology, holistic massage, Indian head massage, reiki, baby massage and story massage. She is a mum of two boys and when she is not working she enjoys getting outdoors with her family. For further information visit louise-morgan.co.uk or contact her clinic on 01275 217160