Baby Serenity UK

03/04/2020

Massage

We all know the benefits from a nice relaxing massage. How good do we feel? 

Whether we like a relaxing, gentle massage or a firmer, deeper massage, we usually benefit from this experience, because we have chosen the type of massage we like. 

When we think about massaging babies it is worth noting that what babies can get comfort and reassurance from is just being held. This can also be called 'containment'. Holding baby safely and securely, whilst containing the arms and legs is a hold that babies can often be calmed by. With the smaller baby, they can also be wrapped in a swaddle which helps keep the limbs contained. 

So how do we massage a baby? I suggest that the strokes are firmer rather than little butterfly strokes. These little strokes of the face or body can be overwhelming and overstimulating for baby and can cause them to become tense and restless. You may notice that baby, starts to cry, become stiff and tense. This is shown to be the case in premature babies, who generally prefer containment holding in the early stages of their life. 

It is important to observe your baby's body language and respond to what he is telling you. If he is finding the massage overwhelming then stop what you are doing. This is something you will learn over time and you will learn to become more confident in picking up on your baby's cues. This type of touch is therapeutic and aids with baby becoming used to being touched as well as finding it a way to relax. It is particularly useful to incorporate it as part of your routine prior to settling baby. However, if baby is showing tired signs and becoming overtired then I would just go ahead and settle baby.

I suggest that you start with the lower limbs as baby is used to having his feet held when having a nappy changed. There are  many strokes that you can use on the legs and feet. I then progress onto arms and hands, the chest, abdomen  and back and finally the face. Again, there are so many strokes to learn and you can choose which ones are more suitable for your baby and which ones they like.

This is just an overview of infant massage. Please contact me if you would like some lessons in infant massage as it really is a lovely thing that you can do for and with your baby.   

 

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West Felton, Shropshire, UK