Touch is a natural source of pleasure and at the same time gives us an understanding of our body systems. A special kind of presence can arise when we become conscious of ourselves in the body and of our limitations in the body.
Expectations: The main benefit of applying massage to your baby is the healing touch that you create, and the increased bonding between you and baby. Your child will absorb and remember this special time of healing massage. If you find some initial resistance or difficulty in the beginning between the two of you, persist through any small hiccups and you will be grateful to have mastered this. You can expect your child to ask for more massage or healing touch, when they are no longer a ‘baby’, wanting that loving mum and child time again. ♥ It doesn’t have to be complex, just trust your instincts.
Benefits: improves infant-parent/carer bonding and communication, one-to-one attention builds parent’s/carer’s and baby’s self-esteem, helps with baby’s body and social awareness.
Relief : from wind, constipation, teething/teeth grinding, of sinus problems, growing pains, release of emotions and toxins, helps with development of reflexes. It is useful as a pain reliever and has a calming effect for better sleep patterns for both parents and baby.
Stimulation: of growth; muscle tone; improve skin condition; of systems such as respiratory, digestive, immune, nervous, skeletal and blood circulation; production of oxytoxin (hormone produced in both males and females during massage.
Finding a routine: ideally choose the same place at your house and same time of the day to help your baby both recognise and become familiar with the bonding time through environment, smell of the oil and the quiet time of this special bonding routine.
A warm place is essential because any kind of cover makes it more difficult.
Postures: 2 are preferable, the are typical sitting postures in India
BaddhaKonasana and Dandasana
Initially the posture is a gentle sloping ramp where the head is highest and then the heart, then the pelvis. At the middle way of massage if the baby is receptive, you can invert the position to lay baby on his/her tummy (use straight legs to support him/her) and slowly invert the ramp elevating the legs. At the end bring baby back to the first position and finish with a good but not too long cuddle.
Oil: baby vegetable base oil with calming and soothing essentials. Warmed up in your hands.
Baby massage is suitable for babies from 1 month old or at the stage their parents are confident enough to handle the newborn reflexes which are very strong at the beginning of their lives.
Once a day is perfect or at most, twice a day is recommended.
Remember: Cue baby with your eye and body contact. Avoid too much talking or noisy background. Instead pleasant and calming music in the background can help cue baby that it’s time for their special massage time. Or use silence and teach your baby the value of silence