Monday, May 3, 2010

Tiger in the Tree & Rub d' Foot Peas (Baby / Tot Massage)

It's Making Memories Monday and Montessori Monday...
Mix them up and what do you get? 
Peanut butter cup time and this post! 

A Memory and a Montessori tie-in! 

When Big Bro was a newborn, I started reading about the benefits of baby massage...
How it relaxes babies, helps them so that they are more comfortable, more content, more at ease.
Book after book...
We set up a little massage area in our family room for Big Bro and he absolutely loved it.
He would fall asleep many times as we were giving him a little massage.
After reading many baby massage books, we kept hearing about this position that you can hold your baby in and give them a little calming massage at the same time called Tiger in the Tree.
This position is designed to calm a baby, and to help them if their tummies are bothering them or if they or just upset in general.
He absolutely loved being held like a Tiger in the Tree.
The other thing he seemed to really take to was a foot massage.
Big Bro loved to have us rub his feet.

Then, when Little Bro was born, he also seemed to take to having massages, especially foot massages.
One of the first things Little Bro put together as a sentence was "Rub d' foot, peas", as he would say it for "Please rub my foot."
When Big Bro was a tot and Little Bro was still a tiny tot, we had to travel quite a bit, sometimes for hours at a time in the car.
Little Bro would hike up his foot for us to be able to reach as we were in the front seat, either on the driver's side or the passenger side of our van, did not mater to him if we were driving... and would utter "Rub d'foot, peas"...or if he was too tired to do that, he would just start bouncing his foot around until we noticed and then, would give us a look that we were to interpret as foot rub time.
Big Bro would follow suit and would just bounce his foot up and down hoping that we would give him a foot rub as well...

Worked out fine when both Dear Hubby and I have been in the car at the same time, as inevitably, both boys always end up wanting us to rub their feet simultaneously, but it was a bit of a challenge when Dear Hubby was on Temporary duty in the Sunshine State and I had to go back and forth with the two boys by myself to the Old Dominion...

Back and forth, back and forth...Florida to Virginia...Virginia to Florida...

I got pretty skilled at simultaneously driving while rubbing one little foot for a couple minutes, and then, the other one's foot.
Both boys would fall fast asleep and the time then flew as I was driving solo.

Well, even as both boys have grown, they still love having us rub their feet.

They both continue to like foot rubs most often is when we are on long road trips and they are strapped in their booster seats in our car or when they are not feeling well.

Now, for the Montessori tie-in...

Now so that you will all know, I did not get into reading about baby massage or even giving baby massages because it was a Montessori thing...back then, I did not even know that massage was something that Dr. Montessori advocated...

I actually got into reading about massage and giving Big Bro massages primarily because it seemed like something neat to do, and because Big Bro was born with a breathing condition called congenital tracheomalacia...he had trouble breathing (as a newborn until almost three, his trachea was not fully developed...not fully formed and was floppy instead of rigid like it is supposed to be when he was little and if he coughed or cried too hard, it would make his breathing worse).

To me, it just seemed logical that if we gave Big Bro massages, and kept him as comfortable as possible, that he would be more at ease and would breathe better.

The foot massages evolved out of holding him while he had to do nebulizer treatments.
It was a way to reassure him that the "nebbie" treatments weren't scary and that he should relax as he was getting them. He started with nebulizer treatments at two weeks old and has needed them for much of his life, even though he has outgrown his tracheomalacia.

Well, come to find out, massage is a very Montessori thing to do!

According to the blog, Montessori Mom, who did her Montessori training at the St. Nicholas Center under Miss Child...

"Montessori believed that massaging a baby helped develop better motor skills and coordination later on for babies. Babies and parents bonded when touching as well. She felt that saying or singing little ditties while playing with the baby's feet, hands, and so on were a cultural type of massage.
She asserted that affection should even include play and amusement. She felt that a bored baby would not develop into an intellectually, physically, and emotionally strong individual."

Now, remember to do some bloggy hopping today to read other people's Memory and Montessori posts...

Please visit Jennifer at Adventures in McQuill Land, as part of her Making Memories Monday.
Jennifer and the bloggers who link to her always share some neat memories so it is well worth the visit to her lovely blog. This week, she shares about camping.

Please visit Mommy Moment, for their Montessori Monday.
Jody did a very nice post about Music and Montessori last week and is in fact offering a giveaway for a great little CD put out by Little Fingers that Play...
You should pop over and sign up to win this gem of a CD, as it would be a neat CD for young children. Would have loved to have lined to this post for last week, but we tend to do music more either as background music while doing our morning work or else as part of our foreign language  / gross motor sorts of activities...or in conjunction with our continents boxes, as we have several handmade instruments from various countries. Will have to go back through and see what posts are under other categories other than music that I could link up with this theme.
Jody does thematic Montessori Monday links, so that is her twist on Montessori Monday.

Also, please be sure to also check out One Hook Wonder, for her Montessori Monday.
Thank you to those of you who had emailed me to let me know that One Hook Wonder also hosts a Montessori Monday. Nicole tends to get a variety of links, instead of a particular theme, so if you are looking for something neat such as a work extension or something, there very well might be a link here that will appeal to you and your family.
Last week, Little Bro was very inspired to do the knobless cylinder and brown / broad stair work extensions that were from a cool post linked up by Mi Escuelita Montessori, so it is neat to know that there are so many folks focusing on Montessori on Mondays.
I am actually going to hook up with Toddler Tuesday on her blog for this post, as it has to do with Montessori and baby massage...I linked an older post that shows our Continents Boxes and some other work that the boys had chosen that week...painting and peg work...

Happy bloggy hopping!
Happy Monday!


Mommy Moment said...

That was a very interest post! I actually took a baby massage course when our 4 year old was a baby. It sure did work to calm baby down!

Have a lovely day!


Discovering Montessori said...

This information is very interesting! I have to start implementing this with a six month old that I provide care for. Is there a specific book or dvd that you can recommend to me?

Martianne said...

I was very into baby massage with my first child - massaging him several times a day... With my second, who came but 18 mos and a day later, I was not as good about it. Now, I am expecting child #3 and hoping to get back into it... As an interesting side note, when my son was about 18 mos. old, we started recognizing some extra challenging behaviors in him. We attributed it to sibling arrival/rivalry, his age, being a boy, etc. It took us until just recently to realize he has mild SPD (sensory processing disorder) Now, as I look back, I think, "Duh!" At 18 mos., his "natural" sensory diet of daily massages and much focused sensory input (with textures, music, etc.) began waning... He was likely always SPD, but since we were "feeding" him a balanced sensory diet each day, it wasn't obvious. When I stopped, his beahvior changed. And, not to rmable, but I am also relaizing that when I focus on more classic Montessori work with the kids, he does well. So, my unresearched, just a mama opinion is that not only do massage and Montessori go hand in hand, but that both help with SPD, too.

Now, completely different note: Love your blog and thank you for stopping by mine. Have a terrfici week. I look forward to browsing your blog more as life allows...

Martianne said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I just left you a huge ;ong comment about massgae, but also wanted to answer your question - I have the whole set of Draw Right Now books, so if you want to know about any one in aprticualr, just ask. My son loves the series!

Jennifer said...

Like Martianne, my boys have sensory processing deficits. We do brushing, which I see as kind of a massage for slightly older kids. It amazes me how well they respond to this... going from agitated or over-excited to relaxed and sometimes even sleepy in less than 10 minutes! I wish I had known more about baby massage when the boys were infants/toddlers. Thanks for linking up with Making Memories Monday... I enjoy how you link your memories with Montessori ideas.

The Sunshine Crew said...

We had one that I loved that was published by Dorling Kindersly. It may have just been called Baby Massage.
There was another book that we had that had a baby's foot on it. I will go back and see if I wrote the titles down anywhere or if the book covers ring a bell on Amazon...

The Sunshine Crew said...

Jennifer, the thanks goes back to you!
Thinking and reflecting on various memories in a somewhat structured but fun way every Monday is really getting me to do some thinking about how things in life are kind of interconnected...
Thanks for your neat post today about camping! I have such limited experiences with camping but reading your post has made me want to try to do some camping with our boys and dear hubby in the future.

carol stickney said...

Sunshine Crew
I hope you will try camping. It is a great experience and kids love being outdoors communing with nature. Family camping in a tent brings a closeness all its own. Happy camping!

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