Baby massage the baby’s way
You?ve probably read the literature on the ?proper way? to do baby massage. Or you might have attended baby massage classes with other new parents, excited to bring their newborns to class?baby oil, towels, nappies, and the whole caboodle stashed in an overflowing baby bag. Did your baby fall asleep during the session? Did the baby get hungry and need to be fed at that moment, thus rendering him ineligible for further massage? Did baby do number 2 or number 3, causing you to have to change her nappy during the session, much to your consternation and the amused yet compassionate smiles of other sympathetic parents?
You know what to do, you?ve been trained either mentally or physically for it by the endless barrage of books, articles, and classes you have subjected yourself to, but in the end, this fact always holds true: baby determines the best time to have his massage, and how.
If baby is too active or ticklish to be subjected to the time-consuming endeavor of getting a lovely foot rub, my pediatrician will tell you in a no-nonsense tone, ?Do it while he?s asleep.? It?s a beautiful tip. You can probe, stroke, press away with no struggling. No eye contact? You?ll get enough of those during baby?s waking hours, so no need to sweat this one loss.
Too busy to set aside time on a consistent basis to knead baby?s little feet and legs? Do it while baby is in the bath or shower. Stroke her calves and soles with the bath soap, press key points while drying her afterwards. Rub her gently while slipping on her PJ?s and warm socks. You?ll get your quota in somehow.
With my two sons, my eldest loves getting foot rubs and really buckles down for a clear-cut session of so many minutes, proffering his feet pointedly, knowing when to switch to the other limb when the time comes. My second boy absolutely detests such sessions, kicking me off when I start to lather on the baby oil. If he?s somewhat receptive, the moment is ruined because he is unbelievable ticklish; there is nothing I can accomplish in these conditions!
But as I?ve said, baby teaches you how and when he needs his massage time. Some will want it when you do, fitting neatly into your schedule of activities while others will stretch your imagination and creativity to find ways to give baby some TLC: touching loving care. You will find a way, as long as you know you want to do this and firmly believe that baby will benefit from the exercise. I?ve known baby massage to ease my children?s fever and colds and also to promote a more restful and lengthy night?s sleep, which says a lot about its health perks. All it needs is your time and baby?s cute little feet. Good luck!