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Is this normal? Baby massage class seemed weird


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#1 OneProudMum

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:21 PM

A couple of weeks after the birth of DD we went along to a baby massage class ran by the hospital.

In the massage class we were taught that at the beginning of every massage we need to ask our babies if they give consent to being massaged. They said that as time progresses our children will be able to give an answer in an age appropriate manner. They then went on to say that we should carry this same principle to bath and nappy time, to foster some sort of trust so that they can learn that they can say no.

Is this a typical thing? I don't ask my children if I can wash them! Well, DS washes himself anyway.

Thoughts?

Edited by OneProudMum, 05 January 2013 - 01:47 PM.


#2 Expelliarmus

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:27 PM

I heard that as well - not at a massage class, just 'in general'. I never bought into it. They learned to say no and we built trust without me asking them every single time I touched them.

#3 Rosiebird

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:27 PM

Not weird. I used to say "massage honey?" or "do you want a massage sweetheart?" in a questioning voice, and stop if she started to squirm or look upset. I didn't ask "would it be permissible to massage your feet?" or anything stupid like that, but I think it's a good reminder that your baby is a separate person with wants and desires, even if she is rather small, and it stops you from "doing things to" rather than "doing things with" your baby. Don't say anything if its not natural to you, the important thing is being sensitive and responsive to your baby.

#4 TillyTake2

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:29 PM

I'd "ask" for something like a massage but not for a nappy lol. If you need a nappy change you NEED a nappy change.

#5 José

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:32 PM

I don't really find that weird. Some Dr and nurses will ask permission before they touch you or at least tell you what they are about to do. And if I could get a pap smear without being touched I think that would be great! When I was training to be a swim teacher I was told to ask children prior to touching them especially when teaching breast stroke I find I might needto ttouch feet/ legs to help kids get the idea of how it is supposed to feel. I guess the difference is ur discussing babieswwho can't talk and they r ur baby. Still, I think it models respectful behaviour and gives them, when older, the opportunity to say they don't want a massage.

Edited by feliz6, 05 January 2013 - 01:34 PM.


#6 Guest_Sunnycat_*

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:32 PM

I did baby massage and was told the same thing. I have always told DS before we are about to change his nappy or massage him or wash him, don't do it so much anymore (still do regarding the nappy change), I just want to reassure him when he was a newbie.

#7 Expelliarmus

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:36 PM

I went with the 'telling them what's going on as you do it' approach. It ended up being a more natural set of questions.

"Oh you're sad? Mummy's going to pick you up. Do you want something to eat? Oooh smelly bum, let's change your bum first then you'll feel better. Let's go to the change table, just take this one off, isn't that better? Yes it is! Ooooh squirmy baby, let's put a new one on, ah there you go, all better! Oh no, you don't like that? Oh I'll just cover up your little feet ..." etc etc

As they got older they responded non verbally and verbally and I took those cues rather than asking permission. "Oh you don't like that, do you, I'll stop, want me to stroke your back instead of pat ... hmmm you like that I think ..." It just evolved a bit more naturally and by the time they could respond questions like that came as part of the normal interactions and the child was able to respond.

#8 OneProudMum

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:38 PM

QUOTE (Sunnycat @ 05/01/2013, 02:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I did baby massage and was told the same thing. I have always told DS before we are about to change his nappy or massage him or wash him, don't do it so much anymore (still do regarding the nappy change), I just want to reassure him when he was a newbie.


Is the sort of thing you say more like "mummy is just changing your nappy now" (this is what I do).

Or do you actually ask "is it ok if mummy changes your nappy now?"



#9 tickledpink72

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:39 PM

Sorry, I find that REALLY weird, but I never did baby massage.  Especially the bath & nappy change "consent"...there is no option to say "no" to either for my DS.

#10 OneProudMum

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:40 PM

QUOTE (howdo @ 05/01/2013, 02:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I went with the 'telling them what's going on as you do it' approach. It ended up being a more natural set of questions.

"Oh you're sad? Mummy's going to pick you up. Do you want something to eat? Oooh smelly bum, let's change your bum first then you'll feel better. Let's go to the change table, just take this one off, isn't that better? Yes it is! Ooooh squirmy baby, let's put a new one on, ah there you go, all better! Oh no, you don't like that? Oh I'll just cover up your little feet ..." etc etc

As they got older they responded non verbally and verbally and I took those cues rather than asking permission. "Oh you don't like that, do you, I'll stop, want me to stroke your back instead of pat ... hmmm you like that I think ..." It just evolved a bit more naturally and by the time they could respond questions like that came as part of the normal interactions and the child was able to respond.


Great so what I'm doing is the same. Thanks!

#11 ekbaby

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:41 PM

I don't think it's weird. I probably take it the way howdo said. I.e. talking to baby when about to change them, telling then what is happening, rather than just ripping it off. Also with baby massage they were probably making the point that not all babies like being massaged or there might be time when your baby is fractious/tired etc and a massage is just upsetting them rather than being a nice bonding activity, I guess they are just saying listen to your baby and watch their cues.

#12 CherrySunday

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:41 PM

Sounds fair enough, I guess - but as roseibird said it, informal.

I've never asked permission to change, massage, wash my children, but I do always talk them through what I'm going to do.
I never just scoop them off the floor and toss them on the change table; I would say "okay Atlas, let's change your nappy. Would you like a blue one this time"
or with DD, I'll ask her to choose a nappy for herself, then we talk through how we change a nappy (commentary of the type of poo included - courteousy of the toddler  sick.gif)

#13 Frockme

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:42 PM

Oh for heavens sake, ask them if they want a shower or nappy change? Seems so extreme. .  biggrin.gif  If I didn't insist on my dd showering / bathing and sometimes going to the toilet she never would. Well she would of course but only when it suited her. Now I don't let a 2 yO rule my life now or ever lol. Telling a child what's coming up or having a good routine in place seems more sensible.
For massage yes ok, ask. They aren't there of their own accord anyway so seems a bit silly. I'm sure there are better ways to teach the things.

#14 Rosiebird

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:42 PM

I say "nappy time cutie!! Can we change your nappy now? Come on sweetie, up you come". Nappy time is less negotiable than massage time though! I don't think it's the words so much as the spirit - that you are looking for cues to see whether the baby is enjoying massage time to decide whether to continue of not.

I'm not sure why a *warning -sensitive * was needed though!

#15 Mumto1feral

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:43 PM

I don't think it's weird at all. I remember Pinky McKay suggests doing it this way too when I read me of her books. I think i also remember reading somewhere else thats it's partly to do with teaching your child about boundaries and instilling in your child that they are individuals and have rights about what happens to their own bodies, which in turn supposed to be a protective mechanism against child sexual abuse.

#16 OneProudMum

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:43 PM

QUOTE (tickledpink72 @ 05/01/2013, 02:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Sorry, I find that REALLY weird, but I never did baby massage.  Especially the bath & nappy change "consent"...there is no option to say "no" to either for my DS.


It was probably not "can I change your nappy? sort of consent possibly more "is it ok if I xyz?"

#17 OneProudMum

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:45 PM

QUOTE (rosiebird @ 05/01/2013, 02:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I say "nappy time cutie!! Can we change your nappy now? Come on sweetie, up you come". Nappy time is less negotiable than massage time though! I don't think it's the words so much as the spirit - that you are looking for cues to see whether the baby is enjoying massage time to decide whether to continue of not.

I'm not sure why a *warning -sensitive * was needed though!


I thought it would be best to put it there and gauge response rather than possibly upsetting someone.

#18 Guest_Sunnycat_*

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:48 PM

QUOTE (OneProudMum @ 05/01/2013, 01:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Is the sort of thing you say more like "mummy is just changing your nappy now" (this is what I do).

Or do you actually ask "is it ok if mummy changes your nappy now?"


Yeah, especially in the early days when he screamed blue murder, I'd try and reassure him and just tell him, "it's all okay, I'm just going to change your nappy".

With the massage was the same, something like "I'm going to give you a massage to help you relax". I didn't do massage that often and DS was always the type of child who loves to be cuddled or touched so didn't really make much difference to us.

#19 Maple Leaf

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:49 PM

I never asked 'permission' for bathing or nappy changes.

It's more like "nappy time!".

Or "time to hop in the bath". I would never use a questioning voice with either of those things as my kids would assume they had a choice and take off running and think it was a huge game watching Mum wrangle them into the tub!

#20 Guest_Sunnycat_*

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:49 PM

QUOTE (OneProudMum @ 05/01/2013, 01:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I thought it would be best to put it there and gauge response rather than possibly upsetting someone.


When we did the baby massage, the woman said it was good to start getting in the habit of asking permission before touching your kids as it helps teach them that their body is their own and the orders need consent to touch them and that it is okay for them to say no. I don't know if it's something that needs to be taught when they're that young but in theory I think it's a good idea.

#21 Expelliarmus

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:55 PM

I do understand the theory but for babies I don't think it's appropriate to be perfectly honest. Babies need people to touch them and do things for them. In fact babies need touch. But if you've been talking to your baby and responding to their cues since birth in some manner than as they can do things for themselves you can gradually modify what you are saying to include asking for permissions when appropriate. It's a gradual thing. shrug.gif

#22 Oriental lily

Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:58 PM

I think is fine to do it if you find that useful but I am really not sure it achieves much.


There is negotiable things and non negotiable.

Massage is negotiable.
The whole point of it is to relax your baby, that's hardly going to happen if the child does not want it.

The same as a hug.

However asking child if they want a bath is pointless because it will happen anyway.

I am also a bit scepitical of the current pop psychology of treating your child as a equal. And that their needs and wants are important as yours.

Sounds sweet and lovely in theory however
It seems to be missing the reality that children and even teens are not rationale people.

Doing a running commentary on what your going to do is totally different because it helps with speech and helps prepare and make a baby feel secure.


#23 kpingitquiet

Posted 05 January 2013 - 02:00 PM

I certainly don't do it. Just last night my 2yo was sitting on my lap watching Driver Dan and I gave her a backrub. shrug.gif If she doesn't like something she says "No! Dun liiiike it" so that's pretty clear indication she's not up for it biggrin.gif I personally think parent-child trust is built by not harming them, being there when they need you, and being their support, not by treating them in an unfamiliar, professional manner. And gosh knows I never ask if she minds if I change her diaper or if dad takes her for bathtime. The kid would have a 3-ton diaper by now and would have bathed maybe twice since she learned to speak if we did that.

#24 MinkyMonkey

Posted 05 January 2013 - 02:07 PM

QUOTE (Mumto1bub @ 05/01/2013, 01:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't think it's weird at all. I remember Pinky McKay suggests doing it this way too when I read me of her books. I think i also remember reading somewhere else thats it's partly to do with teaching your child about boundaries and instilling in your child that they are individuals and have rights about what happens to their own bodies, which in turn supposed to be a protective mechanism against child sexual abuse.


yyes.gif

I also did infant massage and always asked permission, like most PP with nappies changes, baths etc. it was more like letting her know what was going on than asking permission per se.

#25 MinkyMonkey

Posted 05 January 2013 - 02:10 PM

QUOTE (Sunnycat @ 05/01/2013, 01:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
When we did the baby massage, the woman said it was good to start getting in the habit of asking permission before touching your kids as it helps teach them that their body is their own and the orders need consent to touch them and that it is okay for them to say no. I don't know if it's something that needs to be taught when they're that young but in theory I think it's a good idea.


I think it's a good habit to get into so you may as well start straight away, kind of like please and thank you.




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