How to continue massage with your child beyond Baby Massage
Did you do a baby massage course when you’re baby was first born? Maybe you massaged your baby every week and you can look back on that time with fond memories. However maybe that all stopped when they hit that age when they really didn’t want to lie still or be on their back anymore, even for a nappy change ….. ‘Hey Mum I can sit now, lying down is for little babies!’
But you still have those skills, and I bet your child, whatever their age, will really, really enjoy a massage from you. You could tell them all about the class you went to and how much fun it was. However, don’t be put off if you didn’t attend a baby massage class you can still very effectively massage your child.
Touch is very therapeutic and massage really fulfils our need for tactile stimulation, we all need positive, good touch in our lives to feel wanted and cared for.
When is the best time?
Find a time that suits both of you, bedtime is usually a great time for this. Hopefully you may already have a routine to touch base ‘so to speak’ with your child before they go to sleep, you may read a story together, ask about their day, or even like down for a cuddle with them for a short time before lights out. With an older child this may be the only time when you can catch up on their news.
Start with something really simple, you can massage their backs over their pj’s. Get them to lie on their front and tell a story with touch. A great favourite is a weather massage.
- Circle you hands over the back for the warm sun or a full moon
- Rub your hands vigorously over the back for the wind
- Patter your fingers for rain
Alternate the above and include a story. These are just a few suggestions, make up your own moves too.
If you are feeling more adventurous suggest that you could massage their feet. Foot massage is really good for relaxing the whole body. They might find your touch tickly, so make the moves firm and not too light. Ask them how it feels and if you need to be more gentle or stronger.
Maybe they are into sport big time, so a foot massage or calf massage might be ideal after footie, gymnastics or swimming.
You will need a little vegetable oil, you don’t need to buy anything special, just use what you have. Place a towel down to protect your clothes and bedding and just start by warming a little oil in your hands. Mould your hands to the body area you are working on and squeeze and rub over the area. You can also use your thumbs to draw circles over the sole of the foot or up the back of the calf muscle.
Kids also really enjoy having their tummy rubbed. Again use vegetable oil and warm it up a little in your hands. You can then, with the palm of you hand, draw a circle around their belly button in a clockwise direction.
Any of these moves are great even if you haven’t done any massage before. If you did do a baby massage class, you can do all or just of the some of the moves you learnt, the routine you mastered isn’t just for babies. Offering a massage can open up communication and gives you a chance to connect with your child in a way that you haven’t done for a while. Give it a go, I promise you’ll both love it!