In addition to working on your baby’s physical tensions, massages allow you to spend quality, alone time with your little treasure. Don’t focus on the time, just take a few minutes to live and enjoy the moment. Here’s a very simple routine, dating back several years but still taught today. It’s Frédérick Leboyer’s Shantala technique.
A few basic tips
- Baby should be completely naked during the massage… no diaper!;
- The room should be properly heated;
- Use warm oil;
- Preferably use natural oils rather than mineral ones;
- Avoid doing the massage after breastfeeding or giving the bottle;
- To do the massage, you should be sitting on the floor, with your legs outstretched and your back straight;
- Put a towel on your legs, where you’ll put baby;
- Communication should not be done verbally, but rather visually;
- The room should be dark, quiet, and without any stimuli;
- Your baby should be at least one month old for this massage routine;
- Always keep a hand in contact with your baby’s skin;
- For each of the steps listed below, start by applying a slight pressure and keep the slow pace, but gradually apply more pressure.
Technique for every body part
Put some oil on your hands. Place them on your child’s chest, and move them apart. Each hand will move toward the sides, along the ribs. You then bring your hands back to their starting position and repeat the motion. Your hands are working together, but in opposite directions.
Now, your hands will work alternatively. Starting from the baby’s left side (which is on your right), your right hand moves up toward the opposite shoulder. In doing so, it makes its way across the small chest to reach the right shoulder. Your left hand then moves up toward the baby’s left shoulder, and your hands keep working like this alternatively.
You’re continuously making an « X » on your baby’s chest, going from the shoulder to the side, and vice versa.
With your left hand, gently take your baby’s hand to stretch their arm. With your right hand, grasp your baby's shoulder, meaning that your fingers will form a small bracelet that you will slowly move up along the child’s arm while doing little rotations. Once you’ve reached the end of the arm, your right hand joins your left hand. Your hands will alternate, always moving from to the shoulder to the end of the tiny arm.
With your thumbs, massage the small palm by going from the palm of the hand toward the fingers. Then take the fingers and simply bend them.
Your hands work alternatively. Starting from the chest, where the ribs open, move your hands down toward the lower abdomen. Bring your hands back to you one after the other.