The Ultimate Guide to Baby Massage
Baby Massage Strokes
I’m well aware that I’m going against the trend with this one!! Many baby massages teach you complicated strokes and pressure points for colic and wind, and that is great :)
But I feel the main benefit of baby massage is connecting with your baby. Whilst a class is a great way to expand on your skills, increase your confidence and meet some other mums, it shouldn’t become a barrier to your touching your baby. The last thing I want you to feel is like you need to get it right. The only right is what’s right for you and your baby.
To be totally honest with you, it's really not that hard to learn how to give your baby massage. You shouldn’t feel like you need permission or lessons on touching your baby. You should be empowered to tune into your baby and touch them and hold them and massage them in whatever way works for the two of you.
The most important thing is staying is touch with your baby emotionally, your baby will tell you exactly what they like and what they don't. You should both really enjoy baby massage. If you aren't enjoying it you and your baby just won't get the benefits either!
Don't feel obligated or pressured to massage your baby, or do it just because the clock says 6pm and it's part of the prescribed bed time routine.
Many babies don't like massage at first. Maybe it is too stimulating or they don't like being undressed or unswaddled. If your baby just isn't into it leave it and try again tomorrow. In my experience most babies grow to love massage if you persevere, but don't force it. My middle son, now six years old still doesn’t like being massaged!
Always use long strokes, open palms, clockwise circles. Avoid pinching poking or any deep tissue work unless you are a qualified massage therapist. This is especially important when massaging a baby.
Just do circles with your open palms on your baby head. No pinching.
Arms and legs
Gently wrap your whole hand around your baby’s limbs and massage them all the way along their arms and legs.
Hands and feet
Rub palms of the hands and soles of the feet quickly to increase circulation.
Gentle clockwise circles on tummy will help digestion and release emotions.
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