Daily massage with baby makes a calming addition to any routine and is a soothing way to bond with your little one. All you need is a blanket on the floor, massage oil and your loving hands.
The best time to try massage is when your baby is alert, try and avoid before or after a feed or when he is sleepy. It can be a lovely after bath ritual as part of your evening wind down. Daily massage is said to help promote better sleep, relieve colic and can aid your baby's development, but the feel good connection between baby and parent is reason enough.
Here are a few of our favourites:
Start with a gentle 'hello' stroke from baby's head to toe.
Wrap your hands around one of his thighs and pull down, one hand after the other, squeezing gently, as if you're "milking" his leg. Then use your whole hand to stroke the bottom of his foot from heel to toe. Stroke the top of his foot. Gently squeeze and pull each toe. This can also be done on arms, hand and fingers.
A lovely massage to calm an upset stomach is to lay him on his back and gently place you fingertips on his abdomen, rotate in a clockwise direction. Then place one hand flat across your baby's chest, stroke down with one hand, then the other, in a paddle-wheel-like motion. Make your strokes rhythmic, gentle but firm, and not ticklish.
Cradling your baby's head in both hands, gently massage the scalp with your fingertips, as if you're shampooing (avoid the fontanel, the soft spot on top of baby's head). Then trace a heart shape on your baby's face, bringing your hands together at the chin.
Totally focus on your baby, reading baby's mood is the most important part of massage, he will tell you what he likes and dislikes. Keep going for as long as baby seems to be enjoying it.