When I was pregnant, I read a couple of books about infant massage and the amazing benefits for babies’ health and bonding. I was super excited to try it out, I imagined it would be softly backlit, lavender scented bliss with my baby cooing sweetly and smiling up at me. In real life, it was a bit more slippery, wiggly and complicated than that. Here are a few tips and tricks that worked for my family.
- I liked to massage my babies right after their bath and made it part of our bedtime routines. So much easier when they’re already naked and just about ready to snuggle up for bed.
- Turning on a space heater in the bathroom before the start of the bath keeps the room nice and toasty for babies who can’t regulate their own body temperature yet.
- A waterproof pad on the floor with a hooded towel on top was the most practical and safest surface I could find. It’s not so great on your knees and back, so you may want to keep a folded towel under your knees and be mindful of your posture.
- Try a few different oils and lotions to see what you like best. Do some research about the ingredients to make sure you’re comfortable putting them on your precious baby and keep an eye on your laundry; some of the oils might leave stains.
- Going from head to toe and starting on the scalp before putting oil or lotion on your hands will keep baby’s hair from getting all greasy or crusty.
- Rub your palms together quickly for a few seconds to warm them up before getting started.
- Start slowly, with gentle pressure and talk to your baby while you do the massage. Sing songs about parts of the body or ones that have fun gestures, talk about your day or just talk about what you’re doing.
- Listen to your baby. If baby is fussy or tensing up it’s best to stop and try again tomorrow.
Christine Marion-Jolicoeur helps busy parents find the joy in everyday moments so they can raise healthy, connected kids. She’s an Amazon #1 bestselling author, has been published in Huffington Post and elephant journal and is the creator of the Joyful Parenting workbook + ecourse. You can download the free Joyful Parenting ebook, your 6 step guide to confidence, clarity and connection with your kids when you need it most at ChristineMJ.com/freegift