For some this will mean setting a time and/or day to build a routine. It can be hard to remember everything, so sometimes building massage into an existing routine can help - maybe a bedtime or morning routine.
I used to massage Isabella during the late afternoon, because this would lead us into when Andrew got home and help us avoid any afternoon upset. Different times will suit different people, so explore what suits you and your baby and have fun with it.
Before you begin the massage, make sure you have everything you need within grabbing distance. Oil, a towel or blanket, a cup of tea or water for you. Your handouts. This way you can relax and you won't be distracted during the massage.
Ensure the room is warm (around 26C). While you massage your baby, their skin temperature will go up. In turn, their body temperature will drop. If your baby feels cold during the massage, they will not enjoy it and the massage will have to stop.
Try and turn off your phone and other electricals. As your baby's tolerance to stimulation increases it can be lovely to play relaxing music during massage (though it is always better to use your own voice and sing). It is important to keep your focus on your baby.
Massage time is for you two to enjoy each other, to connect. This can sometimes involve taking the two of you to a different room than the rest of your family. Try an avoid over-head lights, so your baby's attention isn't on them instead of you.
Baby massage at home is great for sharing the strokes and experience with others. This will most likely be with your partner, or an older sibling. With siblings it can be great to have them massage your baby with you, if they want to. It can be good to start with the legs and feet, as this is where your baby is most used to being massaged and these areas can feel less sensitive than the chest or tummy. A sibling can bond with your baby in the same ways that you do through massage - eye contact, voice, smell and touch.
If you are sharing the strokes with your partner, remember as long as they are not doing anything that might hurt, the strokes can be adapted to suit you and your baby - positive feedback will encourage participation.
Finally, having said all of that - just enjoy it. Relax, spend time and enjoy the strokes. Enjoy the touch, enjoy the connection, the love, the experience. If you have any questions about any of the strokes as you do them at home - do get in touch!
Certified Infant Massage Instructor with IAIM
Cai Baby Massage
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