Tuesday, November 18, 2014

2014 Week 3 Baby Bumpkin's Yoga Activity for the Week is Butterfly!

By Sue Heron Training Co-ordinator Tatty Bumpkin and Paediatric Physiotherapist 

In this blog I describe a Baby Bumpkin Yoga activity and outline some of the benefits for both you and your baby so you can enjoy doing the activity at home. 

The Baby Bumpkin Butterfly Yoga Activity 

Butterfly Pose - Younger Babies

Flutter your butterfly wings! 
Cautions for your baby
  • Remember never to force the movements of the poses. If your baby is younger, under 3 months, do smaller hip circles for the butterfly pose and keep your baby’s knees closer together, this is because your young baby’s hips are not designed to move through a full range of movement yet. 
  • As your baby gets older you will notice their hips become gradually more mobile and they will be able to do bigger hip circles with their knees wider apart. 
  • If you know your baby has any hip instability (hip dysplasia) ALWAYS consult a health professional before doing butterfly pose with your baby
Cautions for you 
  • If you are a new mum doctors recommend waiting until any bleeding has stopped before doing gentle yoga postures. 
  • It is important to get the ‘okay’ first from your health visitor or midwife before you roll out your yoga mat!  For women who have had a Cesarean section, the wait before doing yoga is likely to be a little longer.
Babies 0-2 months
  • Settle your baby on a mat in front of you.
  • Butterfly pose consists of three moves i.e. 
    • Gently hold your baby’s lower legs and feet with each hand and bring the soles of their feet together – so they are facing each other. 
    • Now carefully take your baby’s feet, their soles still facing each other, towards their tummy. Remember not to force the movement and keep smiling and talking to your baby to reassure them. Hold for 1-2 seconds and release. 
    • Finish butterfly pose by bringing your baby’s feet gently towards you, so their knees have the opportunity to straighten out. Keep your baby’s ankles and feet together as this will guide their hips to rotate in the opposite way. Remember babies are not able to fully straighten their knees until they are about 5 months old – so only straighten your baby’s knees as far as they will comfortably go.
  • Repeat the sequence about 2-3 times. You may notice that your baby closes their eyes when your guide their feet up to their tummy. 

Babies 2-4 months 
  • Settle your baby on a mat in front of you.
  • Gently hold their lower legs and feet then guide the soles of their feet together as described above. 
  • Now, hold both your baby’s feet with one hand and gently push their feet towards their groin and tummy area. Hold for 1-2 seconds and release, bringing your baby’s feet back towards you as above. 
  • At this age you can add some ‘foot circles’ i.e. Take your baby’s feet in one hand guiding them up to their chest, sole to sole, and now gently circle your baby’s feet in both directions. Only do small circles and if your meet with resistance do not force the movement.  
  • After circling your baby’s feet in both directions finish the pose by once more holding your baby’s lower legs and feet in each hand and bringing their feet gently towards you. 
  • Keep your baby’s ankles and feet together as this will guide their hips to rotate in the opposite way. Remember to straighten your baby’s knees as far as they will comfortably go. 

Babies 4-8 months 
  • At this age you can try and do all the movements above in a sequence to a slightly quicker rhythm ..
    • Take your baby’s feet to their tummy, sole to sole using one hand then back towards you still using one hand.
    • Then take their feet once more up to their tummy, sole to sole, and do circles in both directions.
  • Sing a nursery rhyme to your baby or listen to Tatty Bumpkin Butterfly song to help you keep a rhythm. (See below for download details).
  • Repeat the whole sequence 1 – 2 times – then let your baby rest. 

Butterfly Pose - Older Babies

This pose is ideal if your baby sitting confidently needing only a little support. 
  • Find a comfortable place to sit with your baby. 
    • If it is comfortable to do so, sit with the soles of your feet together, letting your knees fall out to either side like fluttering butterfly wings. If this position is not comfortable either try sitting on a small cushion or sit cross legged. 
    • If you have experienced symphysis pubis pain during pregnancy and are still experiencing pain do seek advice from a health professional before doing butterfly pose as, in this situation, the pose will not be helpful for your recovery. Remember if anything starts to feel painful do stop! Instead sit in either side sitting or back on your heels. 
  • Now sit your baby in front of you so they can rest back against your body for support. 
    • Try to encourage your baby to sit as straight as possible. If your baby is tending to lean back against you most of the time- do the butterfly pose for younger babies. Some babies may not be quite strong enough to do the pose in sitting - and you do not want them to learn a 'bad pattern' of sitting. 
  • If you are sitting in butterfly pose yourself it is nice to let your baby sit inside the circle of your legs.
  • Gently guide the soles of your baby’s feet together so that their knees can also fall out to the side in butterfly pose. 

Games Around Butterfly Pose for both Older and Younger Babies

Blowing Butterflies 
  • Cut out some paper butterflies – origami paper is often the best to use as it is stiffer than normal paper.  
    • N.B Cautions for your baby - do not make your ‘butterflies’ out of tissue paper as the dye can come off. 
    • Remember to supervise your baby carefully whilst playing this game so they do not put the paper butterflies into their mouths. Never leave them alone with the butterfly props. 
  • Gently wave or blow your paper butterfly over your baby in either lying or sitting. 
  • Your baby will love to look at the paper butterfly and or try to ‘bat’ it with their hands and you will have the opportunity to take deeper and slower calming breaths. 

Butterfly pose and Blowing game to Tatty Bumpkin Butterfly Song
Blow those butterflies! 

Why Butterfly Pose is Good for Your Baby

Butterfly Pose 1 
Butterfly pose gives your baby the chance to: 

1. Gently stretch the muscles on the front and side of their thighs
  • From about 2 months your baby will gradually be able to take their knees further out to the side and bring their feet closer to their chest. 
  • This extra movement is due to the ‘capsule’ around your baby’s hip joint gradually stretching as a result of your baby constantly kicking out with their legs. 
  • Remember though - do not force the movement. 
2. Experiment with bigger leg movements, strengthening their leg muscles 
  • When your baby is about 3 months they may be able to pull their knees up by themselves and hold this position for a few moments. 
  • So if your baby is this age or older, after you have done the pose with them a few times see if they can start to do some of the movement by themselves
3. Activate their tummy muscles
  • From about 4 months your baby may start to automatically lift their buttocks off the floor when they do butterfly pose and to reach down with their hands to touch their knees. 
  • When they do these movements, they will be activating their tummy muscles – providing them with a more stable base for overall control of their body.

Other Benefits 
  • As you do the gentle foot circles with your baby you will be helping to relieve any tension in their lower back and hip areas.  
  • As a result, butterfly pose is a great activity to do with your baby after they have been sitting in their buggy for a while!
  • Butterfly pose can also help to relieve any wind or mild tummy cramps your baby might have.

Butterfly Pose 2  

1. As your baby sits against your in Butterfly pose for short periods they will be developing and refining their sitting balance:
    • From about 5 mths your baby will gradually be able to put more of their thighs on the floor when sitting in butterfly pose – this means they have more stable base to sit on 
    • Crucially from about 7 mths your baby will be starting to push down through their ‘sit bones’ against the floor or seat (The sit bones are the boney projections at the base of the pelvis - to feel your own ‘sit bones’ sit on your hands  and slowly rock forwards, you will gradually feel the two boney areas). When your baby starts to actively push down through their sit bones their arms will be able to do freer movements.

Our Baby Bumpkin Sessions – Nationwide

  • Please remember though, for you and your baby to gain the full benefit of all the Baby Bumpkin Yoga and multi-sensory activities.
  • Because each Baby Bumpkin adventure is carefully linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) the sessions not only enhance your baby’s physical skills they also develop your baby’s early communication, social and thinking skills. 
  • Our qualified Baby Bumpkin Teachers are fully trained in aspects of baby development and Baby Yoga and are kept fully up-to-date by our professional team of paediatric physiotherapists, Yoga teachers and musicians.  
  • Find your local class at http://www.tattybumpkin.com/classes/find-class.html. 

The Baby Bumpkin Adventure this Week

If you are taking your baby to a Baby Bumpkin class this week you will go on an adventure with Baby Bumpkin to visit the ‘Magic Butterflies’. Your baby will have a chance to: 
  • Develop their physical skills as they do the butterfly, snake and train poses with you. 
  • Have fun with others, progress their early communication and social skills and enhance their bond with you as they move to the Tatty Bumpkin Butterfly song. 
Enjoying Tatty Bumpkin Butterfly song together!
  • Progress their early visual, hand and thinking skills as they play with the butterfly props!  
  • Finally, at the end of the session, enjoy a special moment of relaxation and bonding with you.  

Tatty and Baby Bumpkin as a Career - Work for Yourself 

Maybe, you are thinking of a new career, which gives you:
  • The opportunity to work with kids
  • A great sense of job satisfaction and
  • Flexible working to fit around your own family?
In which case - find out how you could be trained to deliver Baby and Tatty Bumpkin classes in your area at http://www.tattybumpkin.com/business/index.html

Love Baby Bumpkin x

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