toddler settle

What is Reflexology for Babies and Children

Reflexology is a non invasive gentle therapy suitable for babies from birth. Tiny babies, children and adults can all benefit from this ancient therapy that has been used for centuries to bring about healing, balance and a sense of well-being.

Here’s a video explaining a little bit about reflexology. Get in touch with any queries!

👣 What is reflexology

Reflexology is based on the principle that all our body parts and bodily systems are reflected on the feet and the hands. Applying gentle massage and therapeutic touch to specific areas will have an effect in the corresponding body part or to the whole child.

👣 How can reflexology help my baby or child

For Babies

  • Helps to alleviate symptoms from colic, reflux, teething, colds, unsettledness

  • Encourages bonding and attachment between baby and care-giver

  • Promotes calm, is soothing and relaxing

  • Assists the Immune system

  • Aids deeper and more restful sleep

For Children (including the above)

  • Helps with ‘Tummy’ aches, non-specific ailments, headaches, behavioural issues

  • Supports children with stress and anxiety

  • Helps to concentrate and focus

  • Encourages ability to relax

  • Promotes self confidence and self esteem

👣 Research into reflexology

Care-givers who have witnessed the impact of Reflexology on their baby or child or indeed even themselves, may not need to see research to know it ‘works’. However it’s great that there is always ongoing research into reflexology to help validate its credibility.

One large review by Kunz and Kunz (2008) summarized 168 research studies and abstracts from journals and meetings from around the world. Many of these studies originated in peer-reviewed journals in China and Korea. All of the studies had information about the frequency and duration of the reflexology application. Based on the studies they reviewed, Kunz and Kunz concluded that reflexology may:

✔  Impact specific organs

For example, fMRI readings demonstrated an increase in blood flow to kidneys and to the intestines.

✔  Improve symptoms

In particular, positive changes were noted in kidney functioning with kidney dialysis patients.

✔  Induce relaxation

Though EEG measurements of alpha and theta waves, researchers saw that blood pressure was decreased, and anxiety was lowered.

✔  Reduce pain

Twenty-seven studies demonstrated a positive outcome for reduction in pain; e.g., AIDS, chest pain, peripheral neuropathy of diabetes mellitus, kidney stones, and osteoarthritis.

Other systematic reviews are cautious in saying that reflexology may:

  • have a positive effect on type 2 diabetes (Song, 2015)

  • exert a beneficial effect on lowering blood pressure and incontinence (Song, 2015)

  • have a positive impact on blood pressure (McCullough, 2014)

  • be effective for tingling in MS (Yadav, 2015)

These reviews note that the quality of research studies on reflexology is generally low. 

Specific research into paediatric reflexology

Koc and Gozen (2015) note a statistically significant difference in pain scores of infants suffering from acute pain between the reflexology and control groups. The infants in the reflexology group also had lower heart rates, higher oxygen saturation, and shorter crying periods than the infants in the control group.

Gordon et al. (2010) compared the effectiveness of foot reflexology, foot massage, and regular treatment (control group) in children (1-12 years) with chronic idiopathic constipation over a 12-week period. The study design was a randomized control trial. The authors report that the reflexology group had the greatest increase in the number of bowel movements and the greatest reduction in constipation symptom scores. There were significant differences between reflexology and control groups; however, there was no significant difference between reflexology and massage for bowel frequency, and no significant difference between control and massage groups for bowel frequency or overall constipation symptom scores.

👣 Can I give reflexology to my child myself?

Yes. Reflexology is completely safe when the pressure applied is extremely gentle. The pressure used in a typical reflexology treatment for an adult is not the same as for a baby or child. My video tutorials aim to give you the tools to feel confident to try a little bit of Reflexology for your child and see if it can make a difference. It can be a wonderful opportunity to try something between being able to make an appointment with your GP, another Health Practitioner or indeed even a qualified Reflexologist.

I really hope this helps.  Please leave a comment if the video has helped you or if you have any other questions, get in touch!

Love Lucy ♡


Fun rhyme to apply suncream!

If you have ever tried to apply suncream to a writhing and complaining baby or toddler you’ll need no explanation to why this will be helpful!

Try the rhyme and actions for yourself with this video and let me know how you get on ♡ 

How does this rhyme help?

The actions and rhyme in the video are simply a great distraction! It’s fun and silly and your baby or toddler will get caught up in the ‘fun’ of it and forget that you’re actually trying to put sun cream on them!

Speech and Language development

Talking, singing, playing, touching, making eye contact with your baby is all helping to develop their speech and language.

I really hope this helps. Please let me know if you have had any success. Good luck!

Love Lucy ♡

Baby Massage for calming, soothing and sleep

Sleep is so different for everyone. What works for one baby won’t for another, but massage universally has a very calming, soothing effect and promotes a deeper, more quality sleep.

Try this short wind down routine in the video and I would love to know how you get on ♡ 


Research from the Touch Institute in Miami on Sleep:

Sleep problems in infants decrease following massage therapy. 

Infants and toddlers with sleep onset problems were given daily massages by their parents for 15 minutes prior to bedtime for one month. Based on parent diaries the massaged versus the control children (who were read bedtime stories) showed fewer sleep delay behaviors and had a shorter latency to sleep onset by the end of the study. Forty-five minute behavior observations by an independent observer also revealed more time awake, alert and active and more positive affect in the massaged children by the end of the study.

Field, T., & Hernandez-Reif, M., (2001). Early Child Development and Care, 168, 95-104.


How does Baby Massage help?

When babies are being massaged, they release oxytocin, the feel good ‘love’ hormone which calms, soothes and promotes sleep. Melatonin and serotonin, the sleep regulating hormones are increased, and cortisol the stress hormone is decreased. Massage also stimulates the vagus nerve which is responsible for all the resting and relaxation responses in the body.

Before you start

♡  Please make sure you have waited around 45 minutes after your babies last feed.

♡ Find a comfortable space on the floor, turn off the TV, your phone and feel free from any distractions.

♡  Feel confident that your baby is happy, well enough and ready to participate.

Practicing the strokes

♡  Make sure that you also feel happy and not stressed! Take a few deep breaths before you start. Shake out your arms and hands. Ask your baby if they would like a massage to soothe and relax them.

♡  Bring them close to you so they can see you and feel safe.

♡ Use a sing-song voice with lots of encouragement and praise.

♡ The slower and deeper* your massage stroke, the more calming and sleep inducing. A light and fast stroke will be stimulating.

*We never use deep strokes on babies. Start softly, gently and gradually sink your hands in a little deeper if you feel baby is allowing.

Essential oil use

If you feel you would like to and feel confident using Essential Oils, they can be very relieving for coldy symptoms and wonderfully supportive emotionally as well as physically. Essential oils must be used with caution, sparingly and never ingested.. Safe oils for babies are Lavender Lavandula angustifolia, Roman Chamomile Anthemis nobilis and Mandarin Citrus reticulata. Lavender in particular is amazing for encouraging and promoting sleep. Roman Chamomile for relieving pain and Mandarin for ‘fractious babies’. Oils must always be very high quality and organic if possible. Here in the UK, I recommend Neals Yard to ensure safety and quality. Electric steam diffusers are also a fantastic way to diffuse the oils into a room safely. If you would like advice on essential oil use please consult a qualified aromatherapist.

Research from the Touch Institute Miami into Lavender Oil for Babies:

Lavender bath oil reduces stress and crying and enhances sleep in very young infants.

Very young infants were given a bath with or without lavender-scented bath oil. The mothers in the lavender bath oil group were more relaxed, smiled and touched their infants more during the bath. Their infants looked at them a greater percentage of the bath time and cried less and spent more time in deep sleep after the bath. The cortisol levels of this group of mothers and infants significantly decreased, confirming the behavioral data showing increased relaxation of the mothers and their infants. These findings support a body of research showing the relaxing and sleep-inducing properties of lavender aroma*

Field, T., Cullen, C., Largie, S., Diego, M., Schanberg, S. & Kuhn, C. (2008).  Early Human Development, 84, 399-401.

*I have included this research out of interest but please be aware that Lavender Essential Oil in the bath could be ingested by your baby and must be monitored with caution. If you would like to try a bath with lavender oil - One or two drops maximum of Lavender EO must be mixed into a tablespoon of milk before adding into the bath. The fat in the milk disperses the oil so that the Lavender oil doesn’t ‘sit’ on the top of the bath water.

I really hope this helps. Please leave a comment if this video has helped or if you have had any success. Thank your so much and good luck!

Love Lucy ♡





Baby Massage for relieving teething pain

Teething can start anywhere between 3 months and last up until 3 years with those big molars coming through. There are plenty of teething aids you can try and buy, but remember you have your wonderful healing hands that will bring a lot of support and relief to your baby.

Have a go with this lovely rhyme and massage stroke and I would love to know how you get on ♡ 

How does Massage help?

The actions and rhyme in the video aren’t just cute but do provide relief! As you massage with your fingers from the cheek down to the chin you are helping to bring endorphins to the area which is really going to help if they have hot, itchy and painful gums. The one to one attention you are giving will bring great comfort and understanding that you love and care for them and are trying to help. The little rhyme is great fun and provides a great distraction even if just for a couple of minutes. One mum after attending a ‘teething’ class told me recently that she remembered to massage and gently massage her babies cheeks when he was in pain and actually managed to stroke him to sleep.

Before you start

♡  Please make sure you have clean hands and short trimmed fingernails.

♡ Find a comfortable space on the floor, turn off the TV, your phone and feel free from any distractions.

♡  Feel confident that your baby is happy, well enough and ready to participate.

Practicing the massage stroke

♡  Make sure that you also feel happy and not stressed! Take a few deep breaths before you start. Shake out your arms and hands. Ask your baby if they would like to receive a massage.

♡  Bring them close to you so they can see you and feel safe.

♡ Avoid covering babies ears at any time during the massage and introduce your hands gently, they can be intimidating if suddenly they appear over babies face!

♡  Use a sing-song voice with lots of encouragement and praise.

Essential oil use

If you feel you would like to and feel confident using Essential Oils, they can be very relieving for teething symptoms and wonderfully supportive emotionally as well as physically. Essential oils must be used with caution, sparingly and never ingested.. Safe oils for babies are Lavender, Roman Chamomile and Mandarin. Lavender in particular is amazing for relieving sinus congestion and pain and promoting sleep. Roman Chamomile for relieving pain, soothing and Mandarin for ‘fractious babies’. Oils must always be very high quality and organic if possible. Here in the UK, I recommend Neals Yard to ensure safety and quality. One or two drops max in your babies bath* will help so much. Electric steam diffusers are also a fantastic way to diffuse the oils into a room safely. If you would like advice on essential oil use please consult a qualified aromatherapist.

Research from the Touch Institute Miami into Lavender Oil for Babies:

Lavender bath oil reduces stress and crying and enhances sleep in very young infants.

Very young infants were given a bath with or without lavender-scented bath oil. The mothers in the lavender bath oil group were more relaxed, smiled and touched their infants more during the bath. Their infants looked at them a greater percentage of the bath time and cried less and spent more time in deep sleep after the bath. The cortisol levels of this group of mothers and infants significantly decreased, confirming the behavioral data showing increased relaxation of the mothers and their infants. These findings support a body of research showing the relaxing and sleep-inducing properties of lavender aroma.

Field, T., Cullen, C., Largie, S., Diego, M., Schanberg, S. & Kuhn, C. (2008).  Early Human Development, 84, 399-401.

*Drop one or two drops of Lavender EO into a tablespoon of Milk before putting into the bath. The fat in the milk disperses the oil so that the Lavender oil doesn’t ‘sit’ on the top of the bath water.

I really hope this helps. Please leave a comment if this video has helped and you have had any success. Thank you so much and good luck!

Love Lucy ♡

Baby Yoga for colic, constipation, gas and wind

Babies suffering with colic and painful trapped gas and wind will find relief through the combination of stretches and movements in Baby Yoga. Babies with tummy pain often prefer the Yoga movements over the massage as they find it less intense.

Have a go with this short video tutorial and I would love to know how you get on ♡ 


How does Baby Yoga help?

 Babies take in a lot of air when they feed or cry and the air can get trapped in the bowel. Once you have a few air bubbles stuck in the bowels, they tend to form large pockets of air that gives babies that uncomfortable hard tummy, characterised often by babies drawing their legs up towards their tummy to try and expel the gas. Doing these movements with them, we are mechanically moving the air out of babies body.

Precautions

♡  Please consider waiting for your babies 6 week check before practicing baby yoga.

♡  If you have any concerns with your babies hips please clear with your GP before trying these stretches.

Before you start

♡  Please make sure you have waited around 45 minutes after your babies last feed to practice this sequence of movements.

♡ Find a comfortable space on the floor, turn off the TV, your phone and feel free from any distractions.

♡  Feel confident that your baby is happy, well and ready to participate. Things to consider: Are they making eye-contact, making happy cooing noises, do they seem playful?

Practicing the movements

♡  Make sure that you also feel happy and not stressed! Take a few deep breaths before you start. Shake out your arms and hands. Ask your baby if they are ready to try some fun yoga moves to help them feel better.

♡  Bring them close to you so they can see you and feel safe.

♡ Use a sing-song voice with lots of encouragement and praise. Try the song! They love to hear you singing.

♡  Only take the movements as far as baby wants to. If you come up against resistance, bounce the legs gently saying ‘relax’ and try again. All babies have different flexibility, if at any time they are uncomfortable please stop and try again another day!

When to practice and how often

♡ As a preventative to make sure those air bubbles aren’t having the opportunity to stick together and form those hard pockets of air - twice a day is very good if you can! This might be once in the morning (remember to leave 45 mins between feeds) and once in the afternoon. This will really help to get those air bubbles moving through the bowel as much as they possibly can throughout the day.

I really hope this helps. Please let me know if you have had any success. Good luck!

Love Lucy ♡