Learn baby massage from the book
Baby Massage – Book by Vimala Schneider
The book Baby Massage by Vimala Schneider is a true classic among the parents’ counselors. In 2014, the 17th edition has already been published. I am very happy to be able to review this book for you.
Of course, first of all, it explains why massage and touch are so important for babies. It is amazing how many areas (physical and mental) the loving touch with your hands has a life-long positive effect. For this purpose, several studies are mentioned and cited. In short, the more physical contact in childhood, the greater the capacity for intimacy as adults.
Baby Massage by Vimala Schneider: Content
The chapter about fathers being involved seems quite antiquated to me. However, given that this book comes from 1979, you may well take this chapter as an occasion to rejoice that “getting involved” is a matter of course for many more men today than it was then.
This is followed by numerous explanations to select the right lullaby, the room temperature and the massage oil.
Much more interesting, I found the comments on how firmly you should massage a baby. So how big the pressure should be. My own experience is that you can usually grab something firmer than you think at first. At least my own kids seemed rather bored by too gentle “sweeping”. When my daughter started crawling, she really enjoyed firm lower back massages. And they could be included in almost every wrap in the procedure.
From page 92, finally, the various hand grips and massage techniques come. Cute illustrated and comprehensible described. Here the procedure of a complete baby massage is explained. This is designed so that you only work on the legs and feet in the beginning and when the baby has got used to it (after a few days), then the stomach. Later, the chest is added, then the arms and the head and at the end of the back. So you can extend the massage again and again. Just as it pleases the child and the massaging person.
My focus from the book Baby Massage
I myself did not manage to read this book during the baby phase. Many things do not apply to my one-year-old daughter because she is much more robust than a newborn. That’s why I always went for feeling and massaged the body parts, which seemed to me tense. Like the lower back when crawling or the head when teething.
I would like to emphasize one section of the book, namely Schneider’s comments on screaming (page 132). It explains why babies sometimes have to scream (relieves tension) but at the same time opposes the possibility of screaming. She puts baby crying into a social context and explains the long-term consequences of having “hardened” by screaming for many affected children in adulthood.
In my Internet filter bubble there is a general consensus that you do not let babies cry on their own. But there are still so many parents who think that this is normal and helpful practice. It is certainly helpful to keep the consequences in mind once again. Also, if the bond-oriented readers of this book could be bored of it.
What we have referred to as “pup massage” in our family can be found in Schneider’s section on colic. Here she explains how to help the baby to “let off the winds …”. We learned this technique from our midwife and passed it on to several families. I think my husband has done at least once every time his famous puppet massage with every baby in our circle of friends. He has become a real expert in this field!
Other use cases discussed in this book:
- Massage for premature babies
- Massage for babies with disabilities
- Massage for older children
- Massage by a sibling
- Massage for adopted children or foster children
- Tips for teenage parents
It can therefore be said that Vimala Schneider has treated the subject in her book really comprehensive. After reading, I also understand why many parents run their baby birth classes with their newborns. For families who can not or do not want to participate in such a course, baby massage by Vimala Schneider is a great alternative.
The book Baby Massage by Vimala Schneider has been published by Kösel and costs 14,95 €. We thank the publisher for providing a free review copy.
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