Baby massage routine
It is such joy to take care of your baby and baby massage can enhance the bond of trust between you. From birth babies love touch and the skin to skin touch from a loving parent is perhaps one of the greatest feelings a baby can have. During development in the womb, your baby was constantly rocked, soothed and nurtured – baby massage is a natural extension of this. Caring touch is important for growth and well being and massage can help your baby to relax, discover his body and develop his motor skills.
The timing of the massage is important because it should be when you are both as calm as possible. It’s not necessary to perform a full body massage every time but if you do choose to then post bath can be the best time. Sometimes it’s easier to fit in at nappy change time when you can massage your baby’s legs and feet.
It is important that you respect the delicate skin of your baby, using organic and natural oils only. Sweet almond oil, sunflower oil or olive oil are a good bet but must be reliably sourced and of therapeutic grade. You should warm the oil in your hands before massage and also make sure that the room you are using is nice and warm so your baby doesn’t catch cold. It’s a good idea to massage on the floor with your baby between your legs but you can also use any flat and stable surface.
Baby massage doesn’t have to have a complicated routine. Here are some simple ideas to get you going if you can’t make it to a class. Request permission to begin – “It’s time for massage”, show your palms, rub a tsp size amount of oil in your hands, “May I massage you now?” (What to do if your baby doesn’t want a massage? Most babies will calm down – if not try later!!)
To start the massage with your baby lying on his back place your hands on your baby’s stomach for a few seconds. With the flat of your hands use a slow light stroke smooth your hands down both legs to the feet. Repeat all strokes three times so that your baby can become used to the sensation. If your baby finds it ticklish then just add a slightly more pressure. You should never leave any red marks on the skin as this is a sign of too much pressure.
Massage his tummy in clockwise circles covering the entire stomach – using just two or three fingers on a small baby – then massage the chest with outwards strokes over the shoulders towards the tops of the arms and down to the hands with a gentle pull on the ends of the fingers.
You can include every part of your baby’s body including the face. This can be particularly beneficial for teething babies. Using your fingertips massage the cheeks in outward circles, the chin, jawline and ears also.
Turn your baby over and starting at the top of the shoulders stroke your hands down the arms, around the elbows and down to the hands, finishing with thumb circles in the palms. Continue, starting at the shoulders again, in outward circles down the back and around the bottom cheeks, then straight down the legs resting briefly on the palms of the feet. You can thank your baby for allowing you to massage them and then pick them up for a cuddle, reminding them that ‘I LOVE YOU’.
Baby massage brings as much happiness to him as to you and having the skills learnt in a baby massage class can give you the techniques to massage every part of your baby’s body with confidence. Of course dads, grannies and all the family can also be encouraged to join in too!
Baby Massage Course – Learn How To Massage Your Baby
All babies (from 6 weeks old) are welcome. During the class I will demonstrate massage techniques that you will practise and use yourself at home. Slow soothing strokes can comfort your baby before bed or more invigorating rolling massage with nursery rhymes, for example, can stimulate and interest your baby if you choose to massage earlier in the day. Daily baby massage can also help your baby’s digestion, immune system and muscle tone. I recommend a five week course but you are welcome to pop in and out as is convenient.
In your class you will be given an organic massage oil to take home. Please bring a waterproof baby changing mat. Tea and refreshments are available in the cafe afterwards.
Signs your baby is Ready/Receptive to massage and Behaviour States – Meeting Yours & Baby’s Needs – Benefits of Massage + Contraindications.
Tummy massage (clearing bubbles). How to treat colic! Songs, games and rhymes.
Chest and arms massage – techniques to release chest and sinus congestion.
Face and Back massage.
Recap on whole body and Baby Yoga