The word ‘spa’ is perhaps already familiar to parents. In recent years, baby spa services have begun to emerge, particularly in urban communities. Just look at the social media pages of young mothers, and you can be sure to find a picture of their infants enjoying a spa treatment, whether having a massage or participating in water therapy. Baby spa offers various activities for both infants and mothers. However, is baby spa actually beneficial for the Little One, or is it just a trend?
In its developments, spa activities do not only involve bath treatments, but other treatments as well, including body massage. Spa can now not only be enjoyed by adults, but also infants and children. Ideally, spa activities for children is conducted under the supervision of a trained therapist.
Baby spa generally consists of two types of activities, which are:
Hydrotherapy refers to water therapy, where the Little One will swim floating in a pool using a buoy circling around their neck. They will then freely move their arms and legs, similar to the condition in the womb. Experts believe that while they are kicking in water, the water waves will stimulate the Little One to train their balance and coordination abilities. This was reported by the results of a study in Norway.
In addition to that, hydrotherapy will also stimulate the arm and leg muscles of the Little One to be more trained. According to a study in Finland, infants who participated in hydrotherapy proved to be able to walk faster because their leg muscles are better trained compared to those who did not participate in therapy.
Water therapy also relaxes the Little One, increases their appetite, and improves their sleeping patterns. The results of a study in Germany demonstrated that infants who swim have better motor, social, and cognitive skills.
Aside from hydrotherapy, the Little One can also receive a baby massage therapy in baby spas, which is known to have various positive benefits, including:
In a study by Field TM, premature infants provided with massage stimulations showed a 47 percent higher increase in body weight per day compared to infants who did not receive stimulations. Baby massage is thought to increase vagal nervous system activities and stomach movements, leading to a more efficient absorption of nutrients.
Massages can relax the infant, make them not cry easily, and ease their sleep. A study on premature infants who were massaged until the age of 8 months showed that baby massages can increase the quality of sleep and reduce the wakefulness of infants during bedtime.
Baby massages stimulate the production of oxytocin that can lead to feelings of happiness and being loved. In addition, baby massages can strengthen the bond between parents and their child by channeling their affection through touch and skin-to-skin contact.
So, it can be said that baby spa has various benefits such as making the Little One relaxed, increasing their appetite, and strengthening the bond between the Little One and their parents. Hence, it is fine to occasionally bring the Little One to enjoy it. However, parents should ensure that the therapy is conducted under the supervision of an experienced therapist.
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