One of the most important things to know about baby massage is to know when it is not appropriate to massage your baby.
Babies are very sensitive to touch and it is important to let them know what you are going to do. Give them options of saying no. Infants can easily recognize cues. You have no doubt seen your baby respond to cues from a very early stage in their life. thinking about feeding time. Many babies become impatient and fumble looking for the breast when Mum sits down and prepares to feed. In this situation the baby has recognised a predictable situation.
With Infant massage, we use this same principal to teach infants a permission sequence using a cue to indicate that massage is going to occur. When your baby learns and recognises this cue they will use body language or vocalisations to communicate whether they are happy to receive a massage or not. Infants take different amounts of time to learn this cue. An average length of time seams to be 2-8 weeks of daily massage.
The Permission sequence is a learned response the basic principal is to teach your baby to say yes or no to a massage. Start by rubbing your hands together and hold them above your babies head and ask do you want a massage. This may seam very simplestic at first glance, after all why would you ask a child who cannot possibly understand, whether they would like a massage or not. How can your baby be expected to respond to a verbal question.
What your baby will respond to initially, once they have recognized the permission sequence and what it means is your hand signals. It is important for your child’s language development that when physical cue are used, verbal communication accompanies them
When your baby starts to respond you will see when they want a massage their cues maybe things like
- Happy and smiling when you ask them do you want a massage
- They will have good eye contact with you
- Playfully bouncing their legs
If however they are not happy to receive a massage you may notice things like
- No eye contact
- Pushing you away with their hands and kicking and waving their hands rapidly in an agitated manner
- Arching their back and wiggling or twisting their body
This is list is just a glimpse of what your baby may do. If you feel it is a positive response go for it if you feel that there is a negative response respect your baby wishes. It is important to note that whilst your baby is learning the persimmon sequence try to find a good time to massage your baby for example:
- when your baby is rested and content
- Look to see whether they are happy to receive a massage, if you feel the answer is yes massage.
- If you notice any cues saying that they have had enough stop the massage .
It is very important to respect your babies cues. This is all part of teaching your baby how to say yes and no in response to the permission sequence and massage and touch in general
Filed under: Babymassage