Give Baby Touchy, Feely Love

baby-spa-5jpgJavanese SPA and Massage Training Indonesia – For parents, the arrival of a baby is one of the most magical moments in their lives. When they are holding a warm bundle of joy in their arms, they know their lives will never be the same again. And they are soon visualizing happy days in the future when they play together with their child, drive them to school and cheer them at their first football competition. But those days are a long way down the line. The cute little baby has a lot of growing to do before it can helps its parents dreams come true. It takes a lot of time, proper nutrition and gentle loving care to help your baby grow into a healthy individual.

To encourage healthy growth among babies, Zwitsal, a range of baby products from Unilever Indonesia, in collaboration with local neuroscientist Anne Gracia, has created the Zwitsal Baby Spa (ZBS).

ZBS is a four-step baby spa treatment that you can do with your baby at home and has just been launched in Jakarta.

“Every parent wants their baby to grow into a healthy, strong and intelligent kid with a bright future,” said Zwitsal brand manager, Oktaviani Sumitro. “We truly understand them. And that’s why we’ve worked together with a neuroscientist to develop ZBS for your baby.”

The brain

“The brain is the main engine of every human being,” says Anne. “It controls every physical and cognitive function in the body.”

The brain is also one of the first organs that the embryo grows inside the womb.

“The baby starts developing its brain long before the mother realizes that she’s pregnant,” said the neuroscientist, who works in a number of hospitals in Jakarta.

According to the neuroscientist, twenty-five days after the egg is fertilized, the embryo will have already developed its forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain.

“These organs control the baby’s basic bodily functions within the womb,” she said.

By the time the baby is born, its brain is whole and ready.

“But the brain’s neurons are still like thin threads, which are not yet connected to one another,” Anne said.

As the neurons are not yet connected, the baby’s brain and bodily functions are very limited.

“For example, new-born babies can hear and see, but not very clearly,” she said. “Neither can they give proper responses to stimulus.”

In later days, the baby’s brain will develop synapses that connect its neurons and improve its cognitive and physical functions.

But this development occurs at different rates for each baby.

Babies born through C-section, for example, will usually experience stunted physical development.

“During normal childbirth, the head naturally rotates to find the opening of the womb and this rotating movement stimulates the brain’s cells,” she said. “But it doesn’t happen during the C-section.”

Many other factors, such as genetics and malnutrition, also contribute to baby’s stunted growth.

The baby spa

There are ways to encourage healthy growth in your baby. One of them is through the baby spa developed by Anne Gracia and Zwitsal.

“Actually, it’s not something new,” said the neuroscientist. “Mothers have been massaging their babies for ages. But we’ve now composed it into simple practical steps that are very efficient to stimulate the baby’s nerves and brain.”

The whole process, according to Anne, only takes less than 15 minutes.

“It’s a 15-minute treatment that will become a lifetime investment in your child’s future,” Anne said.

You should, however, perform the baby spa at least two to three times a week for effectiveness.

According to the neuroscientist, the spa treatment can be performed on babies and kids between one-day to four-years-old.

“However, the stomach massage should only be done to those that have shed their umbilical cord stump about four weeks old,” Anne said.

The spa can be done either in the morning or in the afternoon but make sure that your baby is comfortable, not hungry or tired, before you start the procedure.

Step one: Healthy massage

According to Anne, massaging your baby before bathing him/her is good for his/her health.

“It warms up his/her body and opens the skin’s pores before taking a bath,” said the graduate of Padjadjaran University in Bandung.

Put your baby on a flat bed with a small pillow underneath his head. Position yourself in front of your baby, so that he/she can always see you during the massage.

The massage is done lightly from the top of the body to the feet. Put some baby oil on your hands to assist you in the massage and to warm up his/her body.

On the head, the massage is focused around the forehead, nose, cheek and chin to stimulate the functions of the eyes, ears and nose.

“It also stimulates the nerve-endings around the mouth to help the baby to eat solid foods and speak later in his/her life,” Anne said.

Gentle rotating movements are used to massage the arms of your baby.

“This massage will enhance the flexibility of the baby’s arms and hands that he/she will use to write, type or lift things,” she said.

You can also use the same rotating movements around your baby’s upper thighs. And then, you may tap lightly along the thighs and calves of your baby to improve blood circulation in this area.

The massage finalized with gentle circulating movements at the soles of your baby’s feet.

Each movement should be repeated three to six times but not when he/she is ill or having a fever.

The whole massage procedure can be viewed onzwitsal.co.id/baby-spa.

Step two: Happy bathing

Bathing is indeed a happy time for babies.

“The ripples of the water will remind the baby of the amniotic fluid that surrounded its body in the mother’s womb,” Anne said.

Singing and talking soothingly to the baby while bathing him/her may also enhance the experience.

Step three: Warm touches

After the bath, you may apply some baby oil on the baby’s chest and stomach to warm up its body.

Then place the tips of your fingers underneath your baby’s collarbone and perform a gentle long stroke in the shape of the letter “I” towards its chest.

“The massage stimulates the thymus glands, which sit below the collarbone,” said the neuroscientist. “It produces antibody cells that protect the baby against bacteria and viruses.”

And then make a large heart shape with your fingers on the baby’s chest.

“This movement will stimulate the lymph nodes around this area to prevent infection on the baby,” Anne said.

The massage is finished by making an inverted “U” on the baby’s lower stomach. This movement improves the digestive system and metabolism.

“When your baby’s metabolism is excellent, it will boost the flow of nutrients, water and oxygen within the entire body and brain,” said the mother of a 17-year-old son. “Then, he/she will grow into a healthy and strong kid.”

This “I love U” massage is familiar to many parents.

“Yet, few of them know the correct movements and the significance of each movement on their baby’s body,” she said.

Step four: Sweet-smelling fragrances

You may apply some cologne on the baby’s body after giving it a bath. Choose one that has a mild and refreshing fragrance.

“The cologne is not just some cosmetic for a baby,” Anne said. “It actually helps to stimulate the baby’s sense of smell. And it also acts as an aromatherapy that soothes the baby’s nerves and give them something to recognize.”

The baby will usually feel calm and drowsy after the whole treatment.

Benefits

ZBS does not only stimulate the baby’s growing nerves and joints, but also helps the parents and their babies to bond emotionally.

“The skin-to-skin contact will enhance the intimacy between the baby and its parents,” Anne said. “And recent studies show that intelligent kids are usually those that are emotionally close to their parents.”

“We hope that ZBS will inspire parents to take care of their babies and prepare them to face a world that is getting tougher and more competitive each and every day,” said Oktaviani Sumitro, Zwitsal’s brand manager.

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