Thursday, February 6, 2020

Baby Aqua Therapy Say What!

Water is such a beautiful thing; the adult body is made up of 60% water, newborn body is about 74% and the earth is 71%. It is something that is important for our health and has so many benefits. 

When I first read up on aqua therapy for children and infants, I was instantly intrigued by it. I started reading up and trying to locate a source here in Calgary, Alberta. No matter how much I researched, I was not able to locate any such facility. It seems like something silly to be fascinated by but honestly there is so much that aqua therapy could provide for children! 

Where did this all start for me?

I started worrying a little bit about Emilia because it seemed that for her age, she was interested in food and was already at pretty solid food by 5 months, but she had no interest in self-feeding or even putting toys to her mouth. I know for many parents it's like don't complain that she isn't stuffing absolutely everything in her mouth. I worried most because Emilia since about a month hold absolutely hated - and still does - tummy time. She developed acid reflex and that is what really caused her to not like it because it would cause her to feel the acidity more! I continued to put her on her belly for some tummy time, but within minutes she would grow irritated and would lose it. I started to look the value tummy time has for babies, especially with spinal development as well as arm muscle development from being able to lift themselves up. I would notice Emilia struggling a little bit to lift herself up even for short periods of time and when it came to lifting her arms some times she seemed uncomfortable. So I started to research and look for some support and this is when Aqua Therapy came up on my radar. 

Since Calgary did not have any such facility, I knew with my upcoming visit home to Toronto, I would find something there for sure. This is when I came across Little One's Aqua Therapy. I started to speak to Christina and it was like we were meant to cross paths. I was so mesmerized by her knowledge and her passion for what she does. 


Emilia's Experience

First off, when we walked in, right away the vibe of the facility was amazing. Christina has done such a good job of creating a welcoming and calming vibe. But the cherry on the cake was when we walked into the Aqua Therapy room and she explained everything to us. It is such a relaxing space, with simple decor that really does allow this space to be so amazing for therapy as it minimizes distractions and children/babies from being overstimulated. She has an amazing sensory table there and buckets of toys to make your little ones feel comfortable! 

My favourite part? Well they make sure to make the experience special so they greet your child by placing their name on the plaque by the tubs. It is something very small, but when it comes to a business, these little details really say a lot about the experience they are wanting you to have.


I was a little nervous as I was afraid to find out if there was anything wrong with E. Luckily through Christina's analysis of Emilia's movements it was concluded that everything was good and that she was likely just playing the lazy game! Go figure right! But I do have to say I absolutely loved our visit and Emilia I know absolutely loved this opportunity.

We started by introducing Emilia in the hydro tub. She was fitted for her neck floatie, we then placed her into the tub and added some toys. From there we gave her a few minutes to adjust and realize that she was in fact floating and could freely move. It took her a few minutes but eventually she figured it out and started to reach for toys. I could definitely tell she was still a little bit skeptical about the whole thing because she was playing the good old shy game but I know if we were to bring her more often she would end up ripping around in there!

Christina introduced things like cups with holes and would fill them with water, moving them from one side to the other to encourage Emilia to move from side to side, in hopes to encourage leg and/or arm movement to support it. I could tell how knowledgeable Christina was because she just kept encouraging Emilia and would try things in different ways to support her learning ability and style! It was amazing to see how quickly E would pick things up and felt the confidence through Christina's vibes! 

After we finished the hydrotherapy Emilia got a nice massage by the fireplace. Talk about the most relaxing scene ever right! I was so jealous! Through the massage Christina was able to pinpoint areas on Emilia that were tense - for example she noticed how cramped her belly was from being constipated and focused some of her energy on that. Again, through the entire massage Christina was explaining things as she did them to provide that sense of trust with us and also providing us some really great tips and information to better support us as parents to help Emilia!

Finally we got a chance to go up to the sensory room. It was like a candy shop! She had so many resources, it was absolutely amazing! Christina usually hosts classes for moms. She keeps them small which is nice and parents of course are encouraged to bring their babies to learn and play. Christina walked us through what a typical class would look like. The fee that is being charged is for the materials - which you get to take home the finished product - and the lesson that comes with the sensory or fine motor skill topic. Christina goes through the exercise of how to encourage certain sensory and fine motor skills to be developed. You then get a chance to make your own and then take it home. I know if I lived closer I would be going to every single workshop she offers because nothing beats gaining the important knowledge needed to better support the development and learning of your child(ren). 

I have to say I was so impressed with my experience! As mentioned previously, Christina is so knowledgeable and to beat she is the worlds sweetest woman! She is so personable and through her compassionate heart she provides nothing but an amazing, calm and relaxing experience for both children and families. I could tell how passionate she was about what she does, and the efforts she went to, in order to be fully knowledgeable so that she could provide a very unique and rich experience to families. 


About Little Ones Aqua Therapy

Christina started to research about hydrotherapy due to one of her clients who has Lissencephaly. Michaela and her family have been clients of Christina's for several years and through massage Christina felt there was more she could potentially do and offer Michaela to support her in her development. Lissencephaly if you don't know causes global cognitive delays because the folds of the brain remain smooth which in-turn effects development. Through research Christina was able to learn that through the use of water therapy it could actually compliment her existing treatment plan so she set forth with a big idea and made it come true! 

What does Hydrotherapy Support?

Having your baby or child exercise in water through buoyancy allows for free movement and encourages your baby or child to freely discover, interact, and exert energy with no impact on their joints.

Hydrotherapy is the act of doing exercise while being immersed in water. Since the child or infant is using a floating device, they are able to freely move without all the extra body weight. Through buoyancy it allows for a large array of things to trigger the brain and allow the child/infant to move and therefore with continuous exposure to the treatment they can encourage neurological and physical development as well improves muscle development, sensory development, coordination, balance and cardiovascular function. But that isn't it! Having your baby/child participate in hydrotherapy it is a form of exercise - in fact, just about 10 minutes is equivalent to about 30 minutes of a run for adults! - it also help to get things moving internally so it helps with relieving gas, appetite and improves sleep! 

Who can benefit?

This is designed for babies and toddlers ranging from 2 months to 6 years of age. It is also used and beneficial for all abilities. Each child is different so Christina and her team would assess your child and then provide you with a hydrotherapy plan to best suit your baby/child's needs. 

All in all, it was so amazing meeting Christina and her team and I would highly recommend her if you are looking for services like hers. There is nothing more important than finding a service provider who cares about your children’s well-being as much as you do!

Checkout my Instagram Page for a video!