Baby massage – a parents’ guide

June 16, 2014

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Smiling baby massageKnowing the basics of baby massage is a must for new parents. It’s a great way to bond with your newborn and it can help relieve some of the common ailments they might experience in their first year.

Baby massage involves three elements: touch, smell and sound, all of which stimulate your baby’s sensory and brain development. It also provides natural relief from the symptoms of teething, colds and congestion, and colic.

Here’s our three step guide to get you going:

Step 1: Setting the scene

Make sure the room is warm and free from cold draughts. Lay a soft towel on the floor for your baby and dress yourself in something comfortable.

Have your massage oil nearby. I’d recommend something made from natural or organic ingredients. Steer clear of anything containing Parabens, SLS, Mineral Oils or harmful chemicals.

Make sure your hands are warm and clean. Remove rings and other jewellery. Your baby can be massaged with or without their nappy on.

Finally, dim the lights and put on some calming music to complete the spa mood.

Step 2: Are you both ready?

Before you begin, decide if your baby is happy and comfortable to be massaged. It’s best not to try massage when your baby has been unwell, has a temperature, is suffering from a rash or an irritable skin condition. Also, if your baby is too full or hungry, they may not enjoy the experience as much.

Even if your baby is well, it’s important to check they are receptive to being massaged.To do this use your finger tips to create small circles on top of your baby’s head. Make good eye contact with them and smile to let your baby know there’s nothing to fear.

If they are ready they will be relaxed, they will make eye contact and smile with you. However, if your baby is restless or agitated, this is not the time for a massage.

Step 3: Let’s begin

Babies enjoy a ‘top-to-toe’ pamper experience, just like their parents.A good place to start is the chest and tummy.

Apply some message oil to your hands and warm it gently by rubbing your palms together. Place your hands across your baby’s stomach. Very lightly start to move your hands in circles.

After a short time, start to apply more pressure, just a fraction more than the weight of your hand. This massage should take 2-3 minutes.

Next move on to your baby’s arms and hands. Hold your baby’s wrist with one hand and place the other in a ‘C’ shape cup at baby’s shoulder.

Move down the arm maintaining a gentle grip. When you reach the wrist alternate your hands so your movements flow.

Take one of your baby’s hands and apply gentle pressure to the palm with your thumb creating ‘half-moons’.

Massage the fingers individually, rotating your thumb and index finger. Repeat on the other arm and hand. This massage should take 2-3 minutes.

There are also specific techniques for massaging your baby’s legs, feet, toes, back, head and face. To find out how to give your baby the full spa treatment and for tips on treating common infant aliments check out our step-by-step baby massage films.

The Tiddley Pom Organic Baby Massage Experience gift set is the perfect accompaniment to massage time with your little one. It’s exclusively available to purchase from selected Boots UK stores. Boots also stock individual Tiddley Pom products.

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