Massaging your baby. Top tips from The Nurtured Nest
When and where should I massage my baby? Questions that I get asked frequently during baby massage classes. Every family is different so there isn’t a perfect time that suits everyone. Below are my top tips for finding the right time and creating the right environment for you.
Find an area for your massage where you are unlikely to be disturbed so that you can focus all of your attention on your baby.
Make sure that the area is warm and that there are no drafts. Young babies can get cold easily and wont enjoy massage if they are cold.
In class we find that no or very soft lighting helps to calm babies. Bright overhead lights can be very stimulating and can make it hard for babies to relax.
Its no essential but you might like to play a piece of relaxing music to help both you and baby relax. We play the same music in class each week to help babies relax and so that they begin to associate the music with a massage. After a while you may find that your baby starts to relax as soon as the music is played if you always play the same piece.
Would your baby like a massage?
Ask them! Massage is something we do with our baby and not to our baby.
If your baby is tired or hungry they are unlikely to enjoy a massage. If your baby has just fed and has a full tummy it might be best to wait an hour before massaging them as a massage on a full tummy can be uncomfortable.
The time of day
Some people like to massage their baby after a bath, just before bed. This can be a lovely part of your bedtime routine and can help to relax baby before bed. If your baby is keen for a feed straight after the bath or wants to go straight to bed massaging your baby will not be relaxing for either of you. If this is case then try a massage mid morning or mid afternoon and see if that works better for you.
You don’t need to massage your baby at the same time each day or massage your baby every day. Pick times and days that work for you.
How long should I massage my baby for?
Another frequently asked question. In class we normally massage the babies for around 30 minutes. In a group setting this allows time for all of the babies to relax and for me to guide you through each stroke. At home you don’t need to set aside 30 minutes every time you massage your baby. If you only have 10 minutes you could focus on massaging one area of your baby. For example you could massage your baby’s legs after changing their nappy or their tummy after a bath.
During our classes we teach some easy to follow strokes to help boost your confidence with massaging your baby. To find out more information please click here