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Infant Care (up to 18 months old) Message Board

Infant Care (up to 18 months old) Board Index

A few things I learnt at a Baby Massage class (though I'd recommend getting advice on the correct techniques from an expert, not my dodgy memory!):

They don't always like it at first, but they do get used to it and it can help to settle them.

You don't have to use a lotion, but it does help your hands to move along the body - he may be crying because the lotion stings. Try it on your face to see how it feels. I just use acqueous cream - you can get a large tub for next to nothing and it's very gentle on baby's skin.

Make sure he is nice and warm when he gets out of the bath and that the room is warm, dimly lit and quiet. Make sure your hands are warm as well. You can play soft music if you like, but I don't think they take much notice. If you nurse him before you massage him, don't massage his stomach, or at least if you do, be very gentle. Cover the areas that aren't being massaged with a towel to keep him warm and cosy when you are massaging other areas.

Lie him down on his back and cradle his head with your hands, then sweep your hands down his body, right down to his feet a few times. You're supposed to ask them if they want a massage, but I always felt a bit daft doing this, so I just tell my daughter or just start without saying anything.

Take each leg and arm in turn and do firm strokes from the top to the bottom and then back again a few times.

Make a circle with your thumb and forefinger and gently squeeze while moving from the top of the leg to the knee (or shoulder to elbow), then from the knee to the foot (or elbow to hand) - I think they call it milking. Then do the same in the opposite direction.

Do circular movements on the hands and feet and wiggle each of the fingers and toes, then pull gently. You can also do a zig zag movement on the soles of the feet with your thumbs, which is supposed to help to settle them.

With the stomach, put your hand on his waist and drag the fingers across to the other side, then put the other hand on the other side of his waist and do the same. If you massage his stomach, go round in a clockwise direction as this is the direction the food travels, and be very gentle if he has recently been fed (or leave it out altogether).

Don't continue too long if he gets very upset, but give it a go each night and he will start to get used to it. My daughter hated it at first, but eventually she started falling asleep when it was being done.



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