ATTENTION all dads!
Did you know... research (1) has shown that fathers who gave their babies 15 minutes of daily massage for one month were more expressive, showed more enjoyment and interaction during floor play? A father's touch is just as important for a newborn, and not only to help with the bonding process. Massaging your newborn is also equally relaxing for dad as it helps reduce stress hormone levels through the calming power of touch. Infants receiving massage, on the other hand, displayed an increase in eye contact, smiling, vocalising and reaching responses.
Encouraging fathers to be involved during labour is giving them a purpose and a place, says Susan O'Brien, MD of Boston Medical Centre (2). Once baby is born, fathers massaging their baby is a lovely way to nurture a growing relationship. It also offers mum a break, gives dads something to do with their child and to spend quality one to one time together.
As Tim Barrus said, "It takes a tough man to make a tender father". Tim is a father and child counsellor in Florida, U.S.A. Tim's article, "Nurturing" (3) offers 6 valuable points for all expectant and new fathers:
1. Never underestimate the power of an infant.
2. Learn to nurture
3. Do lots of touching
4. You are not going to be a big player in the mind of your infant.
5. Nurturing is work!
6. Nurturing doesn't end with infancy.
Idibidi Kids welcomes and encourages fathers to be involved as much as possible with the birth of their baby and to learn infant massage, with or without your wife/partner. There are many benefits of learning to massage your baby, please view http://www.idibidikids.com.au/infantmassage.htm
(1) Cullen, C., Field, T., Escalona, A. & Hartshorn, K. (2000). Father-infant interactions are enhanced by massage therapy. Early Child Development and Care, 164, 41-47.
(3) "Nurturing" by Tim Barrus
Labels: dads learning infant massage, fathers bonding with baby, fathers massaging baby