Infant Massage Basics

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 47,161
    Massage expert Linda Storm provides tips on the basic of infant massages.

    Linda storm: Hi, I am Linda storm, Executive Director of Infant Massage, USA. Today we are going to be talking about infant massage basics. Infant massage is a wonderful idea to get in contact with your baby and get to know them better. That can be categorized over benefits in four different ways like, it's stimulating, relaxing, the most bonding and attachment and gives relief.

    Stimulating meaning that we are going to stimulate all the systems of your baby's body through your nurturing touch. Elimination, respiratory, immune, all are going to be stimulated, while hardly enough is going to be relaxing them. Just like you go and exercise, infant massage is a way of stimulating your baby and afterward they feel so wonderful and relaxed. So, the hormones of Oxytocin and other Endorphins are in your baby's body helping them to relax to your loving touch. It also helps bring that bonding and attachment together. You are looking at your baby in the eye enjoying this wonderful time together and they feel so connected, they love you, they trust you, and you are building that lovely, intimate relationship that will last for life time. Relief, absolutely, it brings relief from the pain of growing, their muscles are growing, over those bones as they are growing. Babies grow so quickly, and your nurturing touch is going to help them relax, help alleviate those growing pains, help swift better congestion if they are a little bit sick, can help at teething as well.

    You may not realize it, but as you are massaging your baby, you are actually benefited as well. Your hormones change and a kind of hormone comes through to help you bond and attachment your baby, to help you feel that love and connection. It helps alleviate the stress, you might have had a very busy day and coming in and having that nurturing time with your baby helps alleviate your stress and anxiety.

    Researchers also have shown that it helps with post parting depression. It's not uncommon to have a after baby blues. What a wonderful way to spend time with your baby. As you nurture your baby with nurturing touch, you are going to relax and your body's natural hormones will come through to help alleviate some of those baby blues. So enjoy your time together. There are many benefits that help you and your baby will last a life time. The strokes that we are going to be learning today are a few of the many strokes that you would learn while in a class. These are also strokes to help you get started and we hope you look for a class to enjoy the wonderful benefits that you will gain from with an educator. So, what does it take to get started massaging your baby? Not a whole lot, just find a natural place in your home or where you feel comfortable. May be, put a blanket on the floor, gather a diaper and an extra blanket and just sit and comfortably relax with your baby. A little of oil is all you need and that is something that you can get right from your kitchen. A natural vegetable or fruit oil, as safflower, or sunflower or even olive oil are wonderful for your baby skin. If you have got a grape seed oil or an apricot oil, that's good as well. The baby will frequently put their hand in their mouth, so you want to make sure that it's an edible oil, not a petroleum based product. Sometimes babies need a little bit of support or boundaries, so you may want to roll up the towel before you put a receiving blanket over it, that gives your baby a natural boundary and feels comfortable cozy on the floor between your legs or nested on your legs, many different positions come into play. Little guys are happy normally on the floor but sometimes they want to be up on your lap, so position to where you feel comfortable and your baby feels comfortable as well.

    Some parents feel more comfortable having their baby on a surface such as the changing table, their table in the dining room or even on their bag or the couch. Wherever you decide to do the massage, make sure that if your baby makes a sudden move, they don't fall off and unexpectedly injure themselves. Remember that as you are massaging that at anytime if your baby gives you several clues which help make you think that they don't want to continue, that's fine. We don't have performing standards. So, if we want to have your baby in a quiet alert, we don't want to over stimulate. It might be that they just need to be swaddled for a second or just need your resting hands so that they can collect themselves and then continue. Other times they may need to have a little cuddle or they may be done for right now. They are happy that they will have a massage later.

    So before we move on, I thought, I share a little bit more about myself. I am a Certified Educator of Infant Massaging and I have been working with families since 1998. Since 2002, I have traveled around the world and around the country certifying people to teach parents to love their babies with nurturing touch. So now, let's get started with more infant massage basics.