Recently Saimone from Mid North Coast Baby Massage hosted an ‘Introduction to Baby Massage’ class for me.
Saimone is a fully qualifies Infant Massage Instructor, and a Mum herself. Here she shares her basic tips to getting started with infant massage.
If you’d like to learn more about how baby massage can help you connect and bond with your baby, please contact her for further information.
Basic things to remember about Infant Massage ~ Saimone Fergusson
Always seek permission.
Your baby may be too small to communicate with words, but seeking permission to massage them is an important step to helping them realise body autonomy and respect for personal boundaries. Seeking permission is as simple as showing baby your hands and asking baby “Would you like a massage?”. ‘Yes’ cues may be cooing, smiling, pulling your hands towards them, becomes still and pays attention to you.
‘No’ cues may include avoiding eye contact, grimacing, crying, or starting jerky movements. After just a few sessions, you will begin to recognise your baby’s personal cues of ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
Pick the right time.
Remember newborns get tired really quickly and massage time should be at a different awake time then bath time. Perhaps try offering the massage at one end of day and bath time at the other end. (Eg: Bathe baby in the morning, and offer a massage in the evening). Find a time of day that works for you.
Pick the right massage oil.
I love to use organic coconut oil. It’s perfect because the molecules are tiny and can soak in to the baby skin and it’s antibacterial and antifungal, and leaves no greasy feel on the skin. Cold pressed organic sesame seed oil is great too, it’s just a little more expensive. Essential oils are not recommended.
Pick your correct environment and position.
The environment should be warm and inviting, with no breezy drafts. Soft music if you feel like it. Set yourself and Bub up on the floor, never on a bed. Go with the flow of what baby is comfortable with, either lying on the floor, or laying on your legs or sitting on your lap.
Wins for mum and baby!
Mums who massage are less stressed and less likely to become depressed. Plus they get to understand babies cues a lot earlier than mums that don’t massage.
Face to face time is super important for babies brain development. The tiny movement of mums face create neurological responses in baby’s brain, helping them to store away important understanding, ‘like knowing when someone is happy or angry’. Skills that we use to interact with each other. If face to face time is limited (because mum is depressed, or addicted to her phone) baby may miss this important behavioural brain development. I’m truly passionate about mums and dads putting down their mobiles and interacting with Bub.
Babies that are massaged cry less. And sleep better. They often have reduced instances of reflux. The vagus nerve is stimulated which switches on the digestive system, respiratory system and circularly systems.
There really are so many benefits to massaging your baby!