Sarah & Archer Review Beginners Baby Massage with The Happy Baby Hive
Mumbler Reviewer Sarah and baby Archer did a course of baby massage with The Happy Baby Hive at Williams Den, here’s how they got on…
I’m a first-time mum with a lockdown baby so I’ve been keen to get to as many baby classes as I can now the world has opened up a bit. Getting out of the house has been great for both me and my baby boy, Archer – even he has become increasingly bored of our four walls over the first months of his life, and I think it’s key to his development to meet new people, experience new things and spend time with other babies.
Archer was just under 6 months when we started the baby massage sessions with Natalie. As an eager roller who is easily bored I was slightly nervous to start the sessions. Despite the classes being described as ‘baby-led’ I had visions of an oily battle – with him having a meltdown and me left red-faced. I needn’t have worried – Natalie had already anticipated babies behaving like babies and had left some toys in a basket for each of us to entertain our little ones with when required, while we continued to listen to the massage sequences.
Natalie explained that it’s important to do just 5 minutes of massage in a happy baby than battle to do 20 minutes on an unhappy baby so that really took the pressure off if Archer had other intentions for the session…which he often did…’Hello foil blanket, oooh a colourful scarf…oh my – a feather!!’
I mirrored the strokes being demonstrated for as long as his attention allowed. Depending on the area being worked on, this varied, and I knew he wouldn’t be having any of it when it came to his feet – as a Reflexologist it’s ironic that my child hates his feet being touched. Probably because they’re his number one snack at the moment. Luckily his back, arms and legs took much less convincing.
Everything was provided, including the oil, and we worked on a different routine and body part each week, starting with legs and feet then moving onto tummy, chest and arms, face, back and ending with a colic routine. Natalie also repeated the previous weeks routine each week which helped.
The classes are ultimately for the mums as much as the babies. We had plenty of time to chat through the trials and tribulations of motherhood, to enjoy a cuppa and some biscuits and to take in the stunning views through the giant windows at the lovely William’s Den. I noticed more than once we were all still sat there chatting beyond the 11am finish time which shows both how relaxed the sessions were and how much we all enjoyed them.
It’s clear that Natalie is very passionate about supporting mums on their journey. She was always friendly, and the classes were really well thought out. The room is a warm, calming environment with pretend candles, inspirational quotes about motherhood and even a pile of baby books for mums to borrow. Each week there was a backdrop set up for us to have mum and baby photos taken, and the last session was a graduation session in which we were all given a certificate and some paint to add baby footprints to them if we wanted. All in all it was a really well-rounded class with a bit of everything, and we learnt some lovely strokes to add to my boy’s bedtime routine.
Class attendees will also have access to their private Facebook group where Natalie shares useful content for mums, and where they’ll be able to find a video running through all of the massage techniques to refer back to.