From eczema and dry skin to diaper rash and irritation, our baby skincare products target and benefit skin concerns. Combined with the potent power of touch and opportunity for baby bonding, your little one’s routine can go from painful to pleasant with these infant massage tips. We’re thrilled to bring you guest blogger Kelly Carrington’s expertise for providing a relaxing infant massage. Kelly is a stay at home dad, runs a mobile massage company, and is a certified birth doula…in that order. When people think of massage, they usually think of adults receiving treatment for their everyday aches and pains. Those people would be correct, but it would be useful for them to also understand the benefits of how massage extends to those little people that bring joy to our lives. Even infants can benefit greatly from massage, and massage does not necessarily have to be done by a professional - parents and primary care givers can massage their little ones, too. Let’s talk about why massage is so good for these little humans as they start their lives. Infant massage is more about the connection between you and your baby than the technique. Here are a few helpful tips for giving your baby a massage:
- Create a routine that becomes consistent – Try to figure out when your baby may be in the best mood to receive massage and set that same time aside every day. Whether it be after bath, before nap, or mid-day, creating a consistent time will help you and your baby get used to the idea of “massage time”.
- Get comfortable – Find a comfortable place for both of you. A blanket on the floor, on the bed or outside in the grass on a nice summer day – both of you should be comfortable and warm to get the best out of the massage.
- Connect – Use massage time to look, talk to, and touch your baby. Being close to your baby and making the physical connection of gentle touch means your baby will feel safe and cared for. It also helps when dads are the massage givers so that the bond between dad and baby is strengthened (while mom perhaps gets a much-needed break from the newborn action.)
- Technique – Use warm oil or warm some cream/lotion up in your hands. Always tell your baby “we are going to start massage now” – the audio cue will become routine and will help your baby recognize that massage is about to begin. With your baby face up in front of you, lightly start with your hands on either side of their belly button. Moving up the midline of their body, make a heart shape finishing at their shoulders and down their arms. You can wiggle their fingers, toes, and chubby, little legs.
- Massage time together is all about being with your baby – Infant massage is about more than technical massage strokes, but if you would like more technique you can have a trained instructor run a class for you or a group. For information on finding a trained infant massage instructor, visit www.iaim.ws/canada.html or search your local area to find a class.