They may be beautiful bundles of joy, but babies aren’t exactly well known for allowing their parents a great night’s sleep.
Common issues such as waking too frequently, sleeping during the day and staying awake at night plus a range of physical barriers including trapped wind, colic and constipation can upset baby’s natural sleeping patterns and lead to tiredness and fatigue all round.
For parents seeking a 100% natural solution to baby sleep issues, reflexology offers a proven aid to help your little one sleep. It can be used anytime, anywhere and even better, can strengthen the bond between parent and child.
What is reflexology?
Reflexology is a safe and natural technique that has been successfully used for centuries to relieve stress and act as a natural healing therapy.
Based on the principle that reflex points found on the feet and hands correspond to specific muscles, bones and body parts, baby reflexology can quickly soothe a cranky child and relieve the stresses caused by new sounds, unfamiliar places and common infant illnesses.
Why is baby reflexology becoming so popular?
All parents want the very best for their child, with many mums and dads constantly on the hunt for natural methods to help their baby get the sleep that’s so vitally important to their development.
Good quality sleep is essential for growth, as the pituitary gland secretes important growth hormones while they're in the land of nod. Young babies that suffer from common baby sleep issues and do not get enough good quality rest are far more likely to develop at a slower rate than those that do drift off, so it's easy to see just how vital sleep is for babies to thrive.
Many common infant illnesses can act as barriers to quality sleep and upset their natural sleeping patterns – but this is where baby reflexology can help.
What does it entail?
Reflexology for baby is a very gentle technique that uses the baby’s feet to help relax specific areas of the body. This in turn helps your little bundle of joy drift off into a restful sleep.
The feet tell us a lot about our baby’s health and wellbeing. You can easily find reflexology charts and diagrams online that can be scaled down for infant feet as the key areas are the same for adults and children alike.
A baby reflexology session sees common reflexology techniques tailored for those tiny feet. It is incredibly gentle and soothing and can be undertaken pretty much anywhere that’s warm and quiet, making it a perfect tool for mum and dad.
How do I get started with baby reflexology?
Firstly, you’ll need to get baby used to the sensation of having their feet touched. Some babies will happily allow you to massage their feet, whereas some of their wriggly counterparts need a little longer to get used to the feeling.
Once your baby is comfortable with the sensation of their feet being touched, it’s possible to use short baby reflexology sessions lasting around five minutes or so to help combat fractured, broken sleep.
If you know that your baby really struggles to go to sleep and then stay asleep for a healthy duration, this common reflexology technique can work to relax the infant in readiness for better quality sleep.
The Solar Plexus Relaxation Method
The middle part of a baby’s foot just underneath their middle toe is known to stimulate the solar plexus – in all humans this is the foot’s number one point for relaxation.
Gently add a small amount of pressure to this area while holding the foot with the rest of your hand. Next, start to make small circular movements with your thumb on both feet simultaneously, feeling for any irregularities as you go.
After a few moments, you should feel your baby start to relax, and any tension in their body begin to dissipate.
If at any point baby starts to pull their feet away, don’t force them to continue, just try again later. It can take a few attempts before your little one gets used to the experience, so don’t be put off if they seem a little uncomfortable at first.
Many parents use this simple technique a few times a day to help settle their baby before nap time, and it's a great way to get started with baby reflexology. Once you’ve mastered this technique, you can try other baby reflexology methods to help provide relief for colic, constipation and other illnesses, so it’s a great skill to learn for parents who want to help their child with a 100% natural at-home treatment.
If you would like a more detailed tutorial contact Refuel Reflexology.