Aqua Movement™ is a warm water program which combines elements of massage, floating, stretching and creating a feeling of well-being. Massage is about touch and skin to skin contact, using warm water is a wonderful medium to enhance the experience. The weightlessness of the water allows more freedom of movement for young babies. Over the past 40 years, I have done a lot of research into understanding babies and the need for both parents to be actively involved in nurturing and promoting the tactile, visual and audio senses of their baby.
During the nine month gestation, the baby is being supported and surrounded by amniotic fluid, this provides an ideal safe, comfortable and nurturing environment which we need to continue when baby is born. I feel that this is an essential part of baby’s development and well-being.
An Aqua Movement program can be cost free, you only require a shower or bath tub with warm water and a loving parent.
Where possible, I encourage Dad to actively participate in the program as it gives him ‘one on one’ time to further bond with baby and also gives Mum time to have a little break.
Bath time should be more than just a place to wash baby, it should be about fun and adventure. In the beginning, a new parent may be a little unsure at bath time, which the baby can sense, leading to a dislike or fear of the water. Give thought to bath time, make sure the water is the right temperature; baby is not hungry or unsettled and play some relaxing, soothing music.
Going into the big bath or shower is a great experience, I personally like showering with the baby from around 2 weeks of age. This allows skin to skin contact. Support the back of the head and you can gentle rock in and out of the shower. If you are worried that you might drop the baby, wear exfoliate gloves. This is a nurturing position and babies should be extremely relaxed, happy and comfortable at this early age.
In the big bath together, experiment with different positions and ways of holding your baby and use your free hand where possible to gently massage. Move the baby around in the bath as much as possible, baby will respond to the feel of the water.
WARNING – NO BABY OR CHILD SHOULD BE LEFT UNATTENDED IN THE BATHROOM AT ANY TIME.
Over 10 years we averaged a loss of 5 children per year between the age of 0 to 4 years in bath tub drownings.
For every life lost there is approximately 5 left with some degree of brain damage.
The family unit is an important part of our program we encourage both parents to be part of this wonderful aquatic experience.
Our Aqua Movement classes start in the pool from 5 to 8 weeks, preferable after the baby has had their needles.
When teaching young babies it is important that the program is gentle and caring. I would suggest to all parents considering starting at any age, spend the time to go and watch an age appropriate class and also the toddlers class. So that you can not only be comfortable starting your baby, but see what you will be working towards over the next few years.Listen to your heart. If you are watching a program and it feels uncomforatble then this is not appropriate. We need to repect our baby’s feelings and not expose them to any traumatic methods.
SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH YOUR NEWBORN
In the early classes with babies under six months the focus is on movement and relaxation.
No Phones, no washing, just baby and you – it is the best uninterrupted 30 minutes of your week.