Baby Spa: A Necessity for the Little One or a Wish of the Parents?
Oleh: Morinaga Platinum
The term “spa” may be already familiar for parents. This term is a Greek abbreviation for “Solus Per Aqua”, which means conducting physical care of the body using water as a medium. However, nowadays spa facilities are not only designed for parents. The Little One can also enjoy these services at special service outlets that have recently emerged. How beneficial is baby spa? Is it just a mere trend?
Generally, activities at baby spa outlets consist of two things, which are hydrotherapy and baby massage. During the hydrotherapy session, the Little One will swim floating in a special pool with the help of a floating device around their neck. They will feel comfortable being in water as they are used to floating in the amniotic fluid inside their mother’s womb for 9 months. The benefits of hydrotherapy include:
- Strengthening the physique of the Little One as they will move their body during their time in water.
- Fostering their self-confidence. Introducing the Little One to water since an early age is hope to get them accustomed to it and not develop a fear of water or swimming in the future.
- Supporting the coordination abilities of the Little One. A study conducted in Norway in 2009 demonstrated that hydrotherapy can repair and increase the ability of infants to coordinate their muscle and balance.
- Training their arm and leg muscles. Based on a study in Finland, babies who participate in hydrotherapy are proven to be able to walk faster as their leg muscles are more trained.
- Making the Little One relaxed, increasing their appetite, and fixing their sleeping pattern.
In addition to hydrotherapy, baby spa outlets also allow the Little One to undergo a massage session. Parents often experience situations where the Little One becomes irritable when placed on the bed, but their cry immediately turns into a smile when parents lift them up and carry them. The touch of their parents calms them. Imagine the benefits experienced by the Little One when they are massaged.
Many studies have demonstrated the benefits of baby massage, which include reducing discomfort and irritability, helping the Little One to sleep more soundly, and reducing the risk of constipation and colic pain. “When babies are massaged, their central nervous system is stimulated. This is the start of a chain reaction: massage helps the brain of the Little One to produce more serotonin hormone. As a result, the heartbeat of the Little One slowly reduces, along with their breathing rate. They eventually become more relaxed,” explains Tiffany Field, PhD, head of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine.
Baby massage can also stimulate the release of oxytocin hormone, which leads to feelings of happiness and being loved. In addition, baby massage can strengthen the bond between parents and the Little One by conveying affection through touch and skin-to-skin contact. This is beneficial for mothers who experience baby blues or postpartum depression, to be able to attach themselves to the Little One.
In a study by Field TM, premature infants who are given massage stimulations show a 47 percent higher increase in body weight compared to those who are not given stimulations. Baby massages are thought to have an effect on the increased activities of the vagal nervous system and stomach movements, making nutritional absorption more efficient.
Seeing the various benefits of baby spa, there is no harm to bring the Little One to try it. However, it is best to ensure that the service outlet has trained therapist staff, to ensure that maximum benefits can be obtained from the baby spa. Good luck!