How Baby Yoga Can Help Down Syndrome Babies



Baby yoga can be beneficial to babies with Down syndrome in a variety of ways.

In your role as a new parent of a child who has Down syndrome, you are undoubtedly already familiar with the physical and medical difficulties that come with the disease. Low muscle tone, poor motor control, gastrointestinal issues, orthopedic problems, ear, nose, and throat problems, and vision impairments are some of the most obvious and prevalent obstacles that people with Down syndrome face. Taking care of your newborn – or any infant – may be a difficult task. When a baby is born with Down syndrome and other special needs, the duties become more difficult to do. Working on some of these chores with your Down syndrome infant can help to uncomplicate some of them, soothe some of the discomfort, strengthen the body, and calm the mind. This will lead to a more independent future for your child.

Exercise is essential for children with Down syndrome, and yoga can provide the ideal start to a healthy future for them as infants. It has the potential to disrupt the vicious cycle of poor muscle tone that leads to inactivity and obesity. Because poor muscle tone necessitates your baby’s exertion in order to move, you must take an active role in monitoring her movements and encouraging her to move around. A certified Baby Yoga Instructor can help you and your baby get started on a specific yoga program that will suit the requirements of your baby while also promoting his or her growth and development. Muscle strengthening, coordination improvement, and learning balance are all things that may aid greatly in a variety of developmental areas.

Some examples of how particular infant yoga poses might help your baby’s physical and medical problems (these exercises are suitable for babies from one month to walking) are as follows:

The following are some of the effects of poor muscle tone on your baby: A) Your baby does not feel snugly bundled together as other infants do. She feels heavy since she isn’t doing nearly as much of the effort as she should, allowing her arms and legs to dangle more freely. he series of infant yoga exercises that follow correspond to the fundamentals of Hatha yoga, which attempts to expand the hip and knee joints in order to strengthen and tone the deeper muscles that run down the base of the spinal column. This has the twin effect of strengthening and refining the individual’s life energy.

Stretch your baby’s legs just below the knees and bend them open, slightly wider than the hip, as seen in the picture. In a gentle pedaling motion, alternately move the legs toward the rib cage and stretch them toward you.
2) Half Lotus – While holding your baby’s feet, move the left foot toward the right hip, forming a half lotus position with the right foot. When the heel is readily reached, press it against the side of the shoe. Release the left foot and repeat the process with the right foot.
The third technique is to roll the baby’s knees in a circle, first to the left and then to the right, as near to the body as possible while holding the knees together. Begin with a tiny movement and then increase it as your baby becomes accustomed to it.
Then gently but firmly press the palms of your hands on the soles of your baby’s feet to counter-push them back. Release the tension and repeat. She may try to pull away from your touch or push it away. Increase the pressure on her when you notice she is responding. You may also push down on one foot at a time, which will promote the kicking motion.

5) In this section, we will discuss diagonal stretch (also known as diagonal elongation) (take care that the back of his neck and head stay on the floor for this exercise and that his spine is extended). To begin, bring your infant’s right foot and left hand together and then open the two hands out diagonally again, repeating the motion a few times. Start by opening your baby’s arms and legs but do not stretch them at first to make her accustomed to the motions. After that, she should extend both her arms and legs. Follow this up by doing the same thing on the other side.

In this more difficult diagonal stretch, not only are the back muscles toned, but also strong co-ordination between the limbs is encouraged. You can learn how to circle your baby’s opposing hand and leg by opening each hand slightly and circling the baby’s opposite arm and leg a few times with each hand. Towards the conclusion, have him move his arm and leg in a variety of ways before switching the direction of the movement. This will also put your hand-eye coordination to the ultimate test!

B) Babies have little motor control when they are born, but they soon learn to hold their heads up, roll over, sit, crawl, and walk as they get older. As well as learning to hold their heads up and turn over, they gain other skills. A rattle is another something kids learn to grip as they grow older. As they grow older, their ability to utilize their hands, arms, and fingers for reaching, grabbing, and fine motor control gradually increases as they get older. – Baby and kid with Down syndrome go through the same phases as other children when it comes to motor development, although it takes them a little longer to achieve strength and motor control. Both take a great deal of practice before they can be considered skilled. These yoga exercises, which you may do with your newborn, will assist in the development of that youngster, according to the experts.

1) Cradling Seat Hold – This position will assist to strengthen your baby’s spine from the sacrum to the neck, as well as to better coordinate the muscles in the back. Make a seat for your infant by placing your strongest hand below his or her bottom. Put your powerful hand in front of him, whether you’re standing, kneeling, or sitting. Using your other hand, hold his head, making sure that you are also supporting the base of his neck as well. This is the upright seat that you will use with your new child. When you’re ready, slip your open, strong hand beneath the baby’s bottom and gently bring him up to your chest. he is currently balanced on your hand, with your other hand supporting him behind his head. Practice getting your baby as erect as possible and then gradually reducing the amount of support you provide for his head while maintaining your hand in place. Hold the posture for a brief period before bringing your baby closer to you once more.
2) Rolling Baby – Slide your baby’s chest onto the palm of your hand and grip her upper arm firmly between your thumb and fingers, as shown. Place your strong hand, referred known as the “seat hand,” between your baby’s knees to provide support for his stomach. Make sure his head is parallel with her spine as you move her face down to him. Resting her head on your forearm will provide her with additional support. Then turn her up and inward to face you, kiss her on the lips, and then roll her out again, this time facing you. To begin, sit down and do this exercise before moving on to standing. Start with a very modest roll and, if your baby loves it, gradually increase the size of the movement until it becomes more noticeable.
For this traditional yoga pose with your baby, sit with your back supported and your legs bent, with your baby laying on her stomach in prone along your thighs with her feet against the inside of your thighs and her head on or just beyond your knees. This is especially useful with tiny babies since it makes your motions more symmetrical. If you want, you can sit with her laying across one or both of your thighs. This is more favorable to a complete relaxation of her back following stretching, but it makes your activities asymmetrical as a result. Hold your baby’s shoulders in place with your thumbs right below her shoulder blades, and very gently raise them off the ground. Making use of your thumbs as levers At this point, it makes little difference whether or whether your baby raises her head to look about. Relax your hands and repeat the process two or three more times.
4) Front Crawl Stretch – To do this stretch, place your baby on your legs, prone and transverse, with her head resting on one of your thighs, with her legs crossed. Create a routine that is both busy and gentle depending on your baby’s needs. Slowly extend one arm up to the side and the other down alternately, holding her arms and wrists still. This is a gradual stretching action.
5) Ball Games (also known as billiards) (for babies already sitting) If there are two adults, form a diamond formation with your legs to around him. If there are three adults, sit in a circle. Roll a soft ball back and forth between the two newborns, and he will initially take pleasure in seeing you interact with them. Her eye-to-hand coordination is being encouraged by observing and participating, and he will be able to grip and hold them in no time.
The disease gastroesophageal reflux, which refers to the flow of stomach contents back up the esophagus, is frequent in newborns and children with Down syndrome, particularly in boys. However, while the activities that follow will not provide a cure for GER, they will aid in alleviating possible cases of GER.

Massage in circles around the abdomen stimulates a sensitive region in the majority of infants. Place one palm flat on your baby’s tummy and take a deep breath in and out. Repeat this process three times. Circular stroking of the navel with your palm, in a clockwise direction, will help to relieve discomfort. Repeat this process multiple times. Next, using the same hand, gently push in areas surrounding the belly button in a clockwise manner. Repeat this process on the other side.
2) Inversions – This is a basic upside-down position for newborns who are still learning to hold their heads up. This position elongates the spine, aids in the clearing of mucus from the lungs, and activates the entire neurological system. Place your baby on his stomach in a sitting posture with your legs straight out in front of you, with his head towards your pelvis and his feet toward your knees. Sit in this position for the rest of the day. Then bend your knees to the point where your feet are flat on the ground and your baby is practically hanging upside down on you. Slowly drop your legs to the ground and repeat this motion many times.

The item is turned upside down in the third step (for babies from 8 weeks) A headstand is one of the most essential postures in Hatha yoga, and your baby will be able to benefit from it if you use this exercise to teach him or her the basics. Performing a headstand lengthens the spine, increases blood circulation to the brain, assists in the cleansing of the lungs, and stimulates the entire nervous system. Sit on the floor, on a bed, or in an upright chair to prevent being slumped over and squished together. Communicate with your child and make direct eye contact with her before laying her prone on your lap for the duration of the talk. Take a sweeping motion to raise her upside down with her back to you, holding her calves firmly in both hands rather than her ankles or feet, as you would with a baby. Get ready to carefully lay her on your lap, either facing you or facing away from you, depending on your own taste. Your infant should be placed on her shoulders or on her chest while one of your legs holds her thigh with the other. Reduce her feet gradually until she is prone or laying on her back over your legs, or between your legs, and then raise them slowly.

It is also believed that reduced muscular tone of the digestive system is a contributing factor to constipation, which is a fairly prevalent issue in newborns with Down syndrome. Several studies have found that in many Down syndrome newborns, the gut passes feces through the digestive system more slowly, enabling excess water from the stool to be reabsorbed by the colon. It is possible to move the stool along at a more regular pace by performing the baby yoga movements that follow.

The first position, knees to chest, stimulates the digestive system and may cause a bowel movement or burp to occur. 2) The second posture, knees to chest, stimulates the respiratory system. Take your baby’s legs just below the knees and bend them open so that they are slightly broader than his or her hips. Grasp your baby’s legs and press them firmly on the sides of his abdomen, right below the rib cage. Continue for two or three repetitions, taking your time and relaxing completely between each repetition without lifting your hand. If your kid appears to be in discomfort and his abdomen feels firm, gently massage it and attempt the movement again later on.
The second technique is to roll your baby’s knees in a circle, first to the left and then to the right, as near to the body as possible while holding your baby’s bent knees together. Begin with tiny motions and gradually increase them as your baby becomes accustomed to them.
A reduced midfacial region, including the nasal and sinus passageways, in children with Down syndrome may contribute to the occurrence of more frequent colds and sinus infections. The immunological response of certain children with Down syndrome to germs and viruses is impaired, which contributes to the higher incidence of upper respiratory infections in this group of children. When your child is unwell, there are a few massages and yoga activities that can help her feel better by opening up her chest, sinuses, nose, and ears, as well as expanding her respiration. Additionally, if this procedure is carried out on a regular basis, it may help to reduce the incidence of infections.

Face massage – Place your hands on the sides of your baby’s face and brush your thumbs across his or her brows, down the sides of his or her cheeks, and down the sides of his or her jaw using your thumbs. The nasal passageways will be opened as a result of this. With your fingers and middle finger, massage in small circular motions around the ears to allow air to circulate through the ear passages.
The second technique is to massage the chest with both hands, moving from the center out to both sides and then back into the center in a flowing circular motion. With one hand, draw a diagonal line across the chest to each shoulder, then return to the middle of the chest and continue down.
3) Out Stretch – While your kid is lying on his back in front of you, grasp his arms at the wrists and inhale through your nose. Take a deep breath and gently extend your arms to his sides until you begin to experience resistance. Replenish the cross by bringing his arms back and crossing them over each other twice on his chest, swapping arms in the cross the second time. Repeat the process two or three times.
4) Circle Stretch – While holding your baby’s wrists in the same position as for the out stretch, gently raise them over her face and open them out in a broad circle before bringing them back to the center. Pay close attention to how your breath moves in tandem with the action. To ensure that your baby is comfortable with her arms completely open, you can reverse the circular action by lowering her arms before circling them back up and bringing them back to the center of her chest.
In order to view one picture from two eyes and to employ depth perception, the movement of the eyes must be aligned. F) Stratbismus is a medical term that describes when the eyes do not move in unison. Children with Down syndrome are more likely than other children to have strabismus. Early childhood strabismus is characterized by the perception of double images by young children. Over time, their brains learn to suppress the pictures from the deviating eye, allowing them to view only a single image in front of them instead. In the early stages of strabismus, a patch is placed over the stronger eye to obscure its vision, causing the kid to utilize his or her weaker eye, therefore strengthening that eye’s vision. In addition to assisting with eye strength, there are yoga activities that will aid with the vestibular system as a whole.

With your baby on your lap, place one hand on her chest on the front and the other on her back to produce a see-saw movement between your hands, with her body moving back and forth between your hands. Allowing greater and more space between your hands and her body as you progress from a little to a larger movement is important. Allow her to fall forward and backward if she loves it, and catch her when it feels appropriate.

1) Maintaining a little bend in your knees at the same height, roll your knees anticlockwise if the baby’s head is to your left, and clockwise if the baby’s head is to your right, all while remaining on the ground. Straighten your legs as they reach the floor in a ‘roller-coaster’-like motion, which will assist tone your core muscles as they approach the floor. If you need to recharge your batteries, take a little pause and continue moving your legs down and back up your legs. While keeping your legs completely flat on the floor, place both of your hands on your baby’s shoulders and gently push him over to the other side, down your legs, and to the other side again. then “unroll” him all the way back to his original position.
Your weaker hand can be used to give a solid support across your baby’s chest if your baby is in the seat hold, as described in description B1 “cradle seat hold,” or if your baby is facing away from you and in the seat hold. It is advised that you lift him somewhat with your seat hand and let your arm to drop a little while continuing to hold him in the same manner. It’s okay to repeat the technique once or twice more if your baby enjoys it. Move slowly and carefully to avoid any jolting or shaking during the process.

In addition to enjoying rocking motions, newborns also get the benefits of these movements in the form of improved eye control, back strength, head righting, and balance. Swing your baby very gently from side to side in a rocking motion while maintaining the same posture. Gradually increase the rocking action to your baby’s preference.
For children with medical conditions such as a congenital heart defect or Atlantoaxial Instability, consult with your child’s doctor for suggestions on the appropriate degree of exercise for your child’s age and physical aptitude. The ability to climb, run, and play for children with Down syndrome who move correctly in terms of posture, coordination, and position will gradually increase as they gain more experience in these activities. Your dedication to your infant and child will be recognized and appreciated. It’s important to remember that your child is first and foremost an infant. That youngster will develop as a result of your perseverance, encouragement, and most importantly, love.

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