Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Can Baby Yoga Be Beneficial For Babies With Down Syndrome?

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baby yoga
As a new parent with a Down syndrome child, you are probably already aware of the physical and medical challenges associated with the condition. 
The most noticeable and common challenges are - low muscle tone, little motor control, gastrointestinal problems, orthopedic problems, ear, nose and throat problems and eye problems. Taking care of your child - to any child - is quite a challenge. 
When the child has Down syndrome and special needs, tasks become more complex. Doing baby yoga with your Down syndrome child can help simplify some of these tasks, relieve some pain, strengthen the body, heart, and mind, creating an independent independent future.

Exercise is important for children with Down syndrome and the right start to their healthy future can come from yoga as a child. This can break the vicious cycle of low muscle tone leading to increased inactivity and obesity.
 Because low muscle tone requires your child to work hard to move, you need to play an active role in monitoring his movements and motivating him to move around. A certified baby yoga instructor can get you and your child started on a special yoga program that will meet your child's needs and promote growth. 
Learning to strengthen muscles, improve coordination, and balance can all go a long way in many areas of development.
Here are some examples of how some yogasanas can help your baby's physical and medical conditions (these exercises are for children ranging from 1 month to walking):

A) With low muscle tone, your baby does not feel tightly tied together like other babies. She feels heavy because she is not doing much work holding her hands and feet and lets them tangle more. The following infant yoga movements correspond to the core of hatha yoga, which aims to open the hip and knee joints to tone the deep muscles of the body around the base of the spine. It both strengthens and refines vitality in the individual.

• 1) Pedal Stretch - Move your child's feet below the knees and make them open, slightly wider than the hip. Rotate the legs alternately towards the rib cage and pull it towards you in a slow pedaling action.

• 2) Half Lotus - Holding your child's feet, bring the left leg towards the right hip in the half lotus position. Whenever it reaches easily, press the heel on that side. Release and do the same with the right leg.

• 3) Rolling Knees - Holding your child's bent knees together, roll them as close to the body as possible, in a circle, to the left and then to the right. Start with a small movement. Increase it as your child gets used to it.

• 4) Push and Counter-Push - Gently but firmly press the palms of your hands against the soles of your child's feel. Release and repeat. She can resist and push against your hand. When you feel his reaction, increase the pressure. You can also press on one leg at a time which will encourage kicking.

• 5) Diagonal Stretch - (Keep in mind that for this exercise, his neck and back part of the head rest on the ground and his spine is extended). Grab your child's right leg and left hand and bring them together, then open them diagonally, repeat a few times. To get your child accustomed to movements, first open without pulling, then stretch both his arms and legs. Repeat this on the other side as well.

• 6) Brain Gym Circle - This is the more complex diagonal stretch that not only tones the back muscles, but also promotes good coordination of the limbs. Holding your child's opposite arm and leg in each hand, open them slightly outside and rotate both inward a few times and turn both of them outward. Finally, round his arms and legs in different directions and reverse the movement. It will also test your coordination!
baby yoga

B) Infants have little motor control at birth, but soon they begin to hold their head up, sit, sit, crawl, and walk. They learn to approach a rattle and hone their skills for using hands, hands and fingers, reaching slowly, greed and fine motor control.
 Children with Down syndrome go through similar stages in motor development, but they take longer to develop strength and motor control. Practice is needed to develop both. These yoga exercises done with your child will help jump-start that development.

• 1) Cradle Seat Grip - This posture will help strengthen your child's spine from the sacrum to the neck, and will coordinate back muscles. Use your strongest hand as the base under your child to make a seat. Stand, kneel or sit with your strong hand in front of him. Support his head with your other hand, ensuring that you also support the base of the neck.
 This is a place to sit upright with your new baby. When you feel comfortable, place your open strong hand under the child and raise it gently. He is now balancing on your hand, supported by your other hand behind your head.
 Practice straightening your child as much as possible and then slowly lower his head support while keeping his head in position. Hold the position for a moment before placing your child near again.

• 2) Rolling Baby - Slide your baby's chest on your upper hand and hold her upper hand firmly between the thumb and index finger. Now place your strong hand, "seat arm" between your baby's legs to support your stomach. 
Lower his face by connecting his head with his spine. To give his head extra support, rest it on his forearm. Then his face to face you and give him a kiss, roll him face-down to resume and inward. Try this before you sit before standing. 
Start with a very gentle roll and, if your child likes it, gradually increase it and incorporate it into a larger movement.

• 3) Mini Cobra (for children 3 months and older) - For this classic yoga posture with your baby, sit on your back and bend your legs, and your baby on his stomach Lie down with your feet. On your body and its head or beyond your knees. It is good for young babies and symmetries your actions. Alternatively, lie down on one or both thighs.
 It is more suited for full relaxation of his back after stretching but makes your actions asymmetrical. With your thumb just below your child's shoulder blade, hold his shoulder and very gently bring them up. Using your thumb as a lever. 
It does not matter whether your baby raises his head at this level. Relax your hands two or three times.

• 4) Front Crawl Stretch - For this stretch, lie your baby and lie transverse to her feet, so that her head rests on one of your thighs. Make it as active or as gentle as your child needs it. Hold his arms and wrists and stretch one arm upward and the other in a slow stretching movement.

• 5) Ball games - (for pre-seated children) sit in a circle, or if there are two adults, draw a diamond shape with your legs to surround it. Roll a soft ball back and forth between two children and he will see you playing with them for the first time. Soon he will be able to catch and hold them as his eye-to-hand coordination is stimulated through seeing and joining.

C) A common condition in infants and children with Down syndrome is gastroesophageal reflux which means the esophagus of the movement of the contents of the stomach. The following practice will not cure GER, but will help to overcome possible instances of GER.

• 1) Abdominal Circles - This massage stimulates the sensitive area in most infants. Place one hand on your baby's stomach and take a full breath in and exhale. Then use a clockwise motion for circular strokes around your baby's navel with your hand. 
Do this several times. Take the same hand and apply gentle pressure to the areas around the belly button in a clockwise motion.

• 2) Inverse - This is a reverse posture for young infants, who cannot hold their head. This pose enhances the spine and helps to clear the lungs of mucus and stimulates the entire nervous system. 

In a sitting position with your legs straight, place your baby on his stomach with his head facing your pelvis and his feet towards your knees. Then raise your knees so that your feet are flat on the ground and your baby is almost upside down. Slowly lower your legs and repeat several times.

3) Upside down lifting - (for infants from 8 weeks) This exercise will allow your child to get all the benefits of a headstand, one of the main postures of hatha yoga, which lengthens the spine, increases circulation to the brain , helps.
 Clean the lungs, and stimulate the entire nervous system. Sit on the floor or bed or an upright chair. Talk to your child and make good contact and then lay him on your lap. Instead of her ankles or feet, move her calves firmly in both hands and lift her upward with her back in a wide movement. To bring him down, prepare him to lie face down or face down on your lap carefully. 

Place your child on his shoulders or on his chest, on his thigh. Then gently lower his legs until he is prone or on your back behind your feet.


D) Constipation is a very common problem in children with Down syndrome, it is also believed to be caused by a lack of muscle of the intestinal tract. In many infants with Down syndrome, the intestine moves the stool slowly along the gastrointestinal tract, allowing excess water from the stool to be reabsorbed by the colon.

 The following baby yoga exercises will help move the stool at a more normal rate.

• 1) Chains to Chest - This asana stimulates the digestive system, and can cause bowel movements or burp. Move your baby's feet just below the knees and make them open, slightly wider than the hips.
 On the sides of your abdomen, press your baby's knees firmly under your rib cage. Release the pressure and repeat two or three times, take your time and relax completely without raising your hand. 
If your child feels uncomfortable, and his stomach feels stiff, massage him gently and try again later.

• 2) Rolling Knees - Holding your baby's knees together, roll them in a circle, to the left and then to the right, as close to the body as possible. Start with small movements as your child gets used to it.

E) Children with Down syndrome have small median areas including the nasal and sinus passages, which can contribute to persistent colds and sinus infections. Some children with Down syndrome also have a low immune response to bacteria and viruses, which also play a role in an increasing number of upper respiratory infections. 
There are some massages and yoga exercises that will make your little one feel better and expand his breath when he is ill by opening the chest, sinuses, nose and ears. If done regularly at the same time, it can help reduce the frequency of infection.

• 1) Facial Massage - With your hands on the sides of your baby's face, stroke the eyebrows with your thumb from the bridge of the nose, and around the cheeks and jaw. This will open the nasal passages. Then massage your index finger and middle in a small circle around the ear to open the surrounding areas of the ear.

• 2) Chest Massage - With both hands, rotate the chest outward from the center, and then back to the center in a flowing circular motion. Then, with one hand, stroke diagonally across each shoulder, then center back under the chest.

• 3) Stretch out - With your child on his back in front of you, hold your arms at the wrist. Exhaling slowly, spread it towards you until you start feeling resistance. Bring your arms back, crossing each other on their chest for the second time, changing arms in the cross a second time. Repeat two or three times.

• 4) Circle Stretch - In the same position to stretch out, hold your child's wrists and gently bring them over his face and open them in a wide circle before turning to the center again. Be attentive to the flow of your breath with movement. 

If your child is happy to open their arms fully, then reverse the circling movement, lift them up before bringing your arms down and bring them back to the center on your chest.
baby yoga


F) The alignment of eye movement is that which enables us to see an image from two eyes as well as use depth perception. When the eyes do not move together, it is known as strabismus. Strabismus is common in infants with Down syndrome. 
When strabismus is present, young children will see double images. Over time their brains learn to suppress images with astray eyes so that they can see the same image. 

Initial treatment of strabismus involves patching the strong eye to blur your vision which causes the child to use his weak eye and strengthen his vision. There are yoga exercises that will help strengthen the eye as well as help the entire vestibular system.


• 1) Saw Saw - With your child on your lap, use one hand to move his chest to the front and the other to the back of his head between his hands to create movement around his body. 
Do for Progress for a small sweeping movement, and allow more and more space between your hands and your body. If she enjoys it, let her fall back and forth and catch it when she feels fine.

• 2) Rolling - With your knees slightly bent at the same height, roll them anticlockwise if your child's head is on your left, clockwise if it is on your right.
 Straighten your legs as they reach the floor in a 'roller-coaster' -like movement, which will also tone your abdominal muscles. After a short rest, keep this time moving downwards and move your feet backward. With your feet flat on the floor, place your hands on your child and push him gently so that he rolls along your feet. 
Then take him back to the starting position.

• 3) Mini-Drop - Do this with your child in the seat as in the description B1 "Crib Seat Grip", or as a safe support for your child away from you and your weak hand on your child's chest. Slowly lift it from the seat of your seat and then allow your arm to come down slightly while holding it in the same way. 
Repeat once or twice if your child enjoys it. Walk slowly to avoid any movement and excitement.

• 4) Mini-swing - All infants enjoy rocking movements, and benefit from their eye control, back strength, head correcting, and balance. In the same position, rotate your baby very slowly from side to side in a rocking movement, gradually increasing it to your child's liking.

If your child has a medical condition such as congenital heart defect or atlantoaxial instability, contact your child's physician for recommendations on appropriate activity levels. Children with Down syndrome who move with the correct posture, coordination, and position will eventually do other things that other children can do, such as climbing, running, and playing. 

Your hard work with your child and children will be rewarded. Just remember that your child is first and a child is at the forefront. With your tenacity, encouragement, and most of your love, that child is about to blossom.


Thanks for reading!

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