Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tips on getting started

  • Always "Ask" permission from your baby before giving a massage. Do this by asking whether they would like a massage in a neutral tone and rubbing your hands together and holding them flat in front of your baby's face. Observe the body language.
  • Timing is everything. Choose a time that suits both you and your baby. It is important that your baby is happy to lie on the floor and receive a massage. For babies under five months it is recommended that bath time and massage time be separated by a nap or a night time sleep so as not to overstimulate.
  • Make sure you are relaxed and that you won't be distracted. Turn the TV off and put the phone on silent. For safety it is always best to massage your baby on the floor, as their skin can become slippery. Make sure you are comfortable by sitting on a cushion or leaning against a sofa.
  • Set the scene. Make sure there are no lights shinning directing in your baby's eyes, the room temperature is comfortable and that you have everything you need including towels, oils, music and clothing. Try and keep your hand on your baby at all times to maintain contact and ensure they feel secure.
  • Remove any jewellery that could scratch your baby.
  • Choose the right oil. Organic, pure cold pressed, vegetable, nut, seed or fruit oils are recommended for baby massage. These oil are easily absorbed into the skin and are not harmful if ingested.
  • Observe your baby's body language throughout the massage and stop when they have had enough, even if you haven't finished the sequence.
  • When massaging use long firm strokes. Light feathery touch can irritate or tickle your baby.
  • Never massage a crying baby. The only exception is if you are using specific strokes to relieve wind, colic or constipation.
  • Start the sequence by massaging your baby's legs. After the legs, move to the feet, buttocks, tummy, chest, arms, hands, face, ears, head and back. When massaging your baby's tummy massage in a clockwise direction (if they are lying in front of you) and only massage the lower half of their tummy. Avoid tummy massage if your baby has recently been fed or has the hiccups.
  • Maintain eye contact throughout the massage and speak in a soft soothing voice. Use the massage to observe your baby's body language, what they like, what they dislike.
  • Many parents use massage time as a learning experience: labelling parts of the body, singing songs and counting aloud.
  • Enjoy. Massage should be enjoyable for the giver as well as the baby.
  • For more information contact Alicia on 0458 682 518 or e-mail.