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Friday, July 10, 2020

Toronto just got its first spa for babies and it's as adorable as you would imagine

Giggling babies floating in water is the healing mental image we all need right now, and it's a reality at Snuggles n Bubbles, Toronto's first baby spa. 

The wellness centre for tots launched at 200 Consumers Rd. over the weekend, and it's the first place in the city to specialize in baby floats and infant massages. 

Baby spas might seem like a foreign concept — do newborns really need a de-stressing massage? The answer is yes, says Snuggles n Bubbles' owner Mehnaaz Bholat. 

While the science behind hydrotherapy and infant massage for babies is still sparse, Bholat points to how baby massage has been practiced by caregivers in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, and more recent studies that show a single treatment can do wonders for a baby's sleep patterns, digestion and healthy hormones. 

"We're really trying to get people to understand that there are benefits," says Bholat. "It's a concept that's really popular in Europe, China, and India...They believe that babies should get massaged from very early on." 

Built for babies between three months old and three years old, Snuggles n Bubbles offers a few services.

There are 20-30 minute massages from Registered Massage Therapists who specialize in infant massage (around $60 for a session) or a half-hour hydrotherapy session ($45), or both ($95). 

Hydrotherapy involves placing a baby in a tub of purified water (it's chlorine-free, says Bholat) with a Toronto Public Health-approved floatation device that allows the tot to kick around, all while strengthening their legs and neck. 

Bholat swears by it, especially after the effect it had on her second child, who was born with health complications that made walking difficult. It was water therapy sessions that fixed the nerve damage, she says. 

snuggles n bubbles torontoEven if your baby is perfectly healthy, there's no denying the amazing nap your toddler will have after a splash session in the hydrotherapy tub. 

A mom of two, Bholat says she understands the worries of bringing a baby to a spa during COVID-19. 

The 1,600-square-foot space can accommodate five families but is now only accepting one family inside at a time, along with implementing other health measures like pre-screening assessments before the appointment, mandatory masks for parents, masks for RMTs, and hand sanitation stations.

Tubs also undergo extensive cleaning and are never used on the same day, with half an hour deep clean sessions between appointments to ensure safety. 

snuggles n bubbles torontoSnuggles n Bubbles is also only open on weekends for now, though Bolat says she hopes she'll be able to turn the spa into the mom community — complete with a book club and mom-and-baby yoga classes — she'd envisioned in the first place. 

"I really struggled with both my pregnancies...I was missing a mom group, just somewhere to connect." 

The store has a retail section, which features local, handmade, and organic products from 14 different entrepreneurs who are also moms. 

by Tanya Mok via blogTO

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