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    How to do infant massage

    By lizmcg | June 25, 2008

    Welcome back!

    Infant massage is absolutely awesome for newborns. It can be enormously fun for you and for baby, relaxing, and a great way to bond with your baby. It’s also a wonderful way to take care of baby’s skin.

    Many hospitals and pediatricians offer workshops in infant massage, and experienced moms are also always happy to share their techniques. If you have questions, I hope you’ll ask your pediatrician (or you can leave me a comment and I’ll try to help).

    My favorite times for a massage are after a bath as part of the drying-off process, or before bed as you change your baby into her pj’s.

    Here are my recommendations of how to get started. For more details, you can visit this expert on .

    1. Find a good, unscented or very mildly scented oil. Many massage oils that are formulated for adults contain lots of perfumes and even dyes. I’ve used baby oil (which works alright but is a little thin), and both scented and unscented oils from several stores. My favorite is unscented massage oil with the addition of a tiny bit of vanilla scent. Your baby will end up smelling just like a little cookie.

    2. To start, you’ll need a comfortable, slightly firm surface covered with a soft blanket or towel. Typically, I put the baby in the middle of our queen-sized bed, sat myself at the head of the bed with my back supported by pillows, and put the massage oil and baby’s clothes within easy reach on the nightstand.

    If you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding, be prepared to offer your baby a “snack” if she needs to take a break before, during, or after… don’t worry about trying to get completely done with the massage, there will be plenty of time for massage later.

    3. I strongly suggest you put a diaper on the baby right away, since urination in newborns is highly unpredictable and you don’t want a huge wet spot in the middle of your bed.

    4. Start with baby lying on her back, feet closest to you, so you can have eye contact and talk to each other. Starting with the arms, put a little massage oil on your hands and very gently rub it into the muscles. Remember, a little pressure for you is a huge amount of pressure for a tiny person, so start very soft.

    As you get started, just continue with the oil and massage the major muscles. Don’t forget the hands and feet. If you like you can listen to soothing music, sing a song to your baby (don’t be shy, only baby will hear!) or tell a story. “This little piggy…” and “Itsy bitsy spider” are good songs and rhymes that you might already know. The sound of your voice and the gentle touch are good for both of you as you learn about each other.

    5. Before you end, roll the baby over on her tummy and massage her back for a minute. You can very gently work the musles on her back just like you would for an adult, only much more gently. Many babies don’t like being on their tummies, but practice will help them develop their neck muscles and begin holding up their heads.

    That’s really all there is to it. You can add other things as you go along. Your massage may last a few minutes or only one minute, depending on the mood of your baby and how he feels that day. As you’ll learn, it’s often not the quantity of time spent but the quality. If you end up playing peek-a-boo instead, it’s time equally well spent in my opinion!

    For more information on infant massage, I also recommend you check out this resource, which offers really great instruction on how to help infants. The author goes into the issue much more in-depth, and also covers how to help your infant with areas of difficulty.

    Topics: Uncategorized, baby sleeping, infant care, infant sleeping |