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Toronto, ON (Erica Ehm’s “The Yummy Mummy Club!”) Jan 3, 2008 --
I know the first thing you're thinking - "When will I find time to massage my child?" You may have the time and not know it.
The benefits of massage for children last a lifetime. Children who receive massage score higher on intelligence tests and are healthier in many ways compared to other kids. Oh, and don't forget, massaged children sleep deeper and for longer periods of time. Imagine all that extra beauty sleep!
Do you have to find an hour everyday to massage your child? No! Often a little bit of focused time is plenty, and let's face it - do you have an hour of free time?
If you missed the popular Baby Massage period, don't worry. You can start massaging your child anytime, and its easy to do.
- Relax! Take deep breathes and turn off your cell phone.
- Before you begin - ask your child’s permission, make eye contact and ask out loud, "Are you ready for a massage?"
- You can massage over clothing (without oil), or by placing your hands directly on your child's skin. The warmth of the skin to skin contact is helpful for relaxation.
- Allow baby to move to different positions.
- Put oil in your hands, about the size of a small coin, (not a Looney) and rub together to warm. This will help baby recognize this cue as massage time.
If your little one is laying down facing you:
- Using warmed hands, cup the leg at the top, gently stroke downward towards the foot
- Do not put any pressure on the knee or ankle
- Stroke the bottom of the foot, gently hug each toe and give a big kiss
- Repeat these strokes on the opposite leg
The tummy should not be massaged right after eating (within 30 minutes)
- Place your hands at the belly button, move them in a clockwise motion
- This movement can eliminate gas, constipation and decreases symptoms of colic
Now the arms:
- Repeat the same soothing strokes that we used on the legs
- Continue making eye contact
And the back:
- Stroke baby's back, from shoulders, over bum, - showing extra care not to put any pressure on the spine
- Continue stroking
- End with a hug and kiss!
After all that hard work - go get your extra beauty sleep!
Liddle Kidz Foundation
Kristina Leone, Program Coordinator
asst2tinaallen @ liddlekidz.com