Health

Step by step: Massage for children

Legs

You will proceed exactly as you did with the arms, hands, and fingers. Position your baby across your legs, with their head lying on your left. You have access to their back and buttocks.

Back

Put your hands on your baby’s back at shoulder height. Your hands move up and down the back alternatively, in the same manner, and with the same pressure as if you were working some dough with a rolling pin. Your hands lay flat and you’re mostly working with the palm.

Now, only your left hand will work, moving down from the neck to the buttocks. And moving up, and down again, etc. It’s not a brush, there’s a lot of power in your hand. The slower and more continuous the movement is, the deeper it is. With your right hand, grasp the baby’s buttocks firmly to counteract the left hand’s push.

Finally, your left hand continues to travel on the baby’s back from top to bottom, but instead of stopping at the buttocks, it continues its movement down to the thighs, legs and eventually reaching the heels. Move back up and down again.

Face

Start by massaging the forehead. With the tip of your fingers, start in the middle of the forehead and move to the sides, following the top of the eyebrows. Do the same movement toward the middle, and repeat. Every time, your fingers go a little further out, to the temples, eyes, cheeks, etc.

With your thumbs, you now gently move up on both sides of the baby’s nose, then down, and back up again, etc.

Place your thumbs on the baby’s closed eyes. If the eyes are open, use your thumbs to close them. From there, move your thumbs downward, following the edge of the nose and moving toward the corners of the mouth.

3 Hatha yoga exercises to end the massage

Grab the baby’s arms and cross them over their chest. Open them up, going back to the starting position, and repeat the motion.

Grab a foot and a hand from the opposite side, and cross them over. The baby’s foot will touch the opposite shoulder. Bring everything back to the starting position and repeat.

Grab the baby’s feet and cross their legs by bringing them on their belly. Return to the starting position by opening and stretching the legs. Repeat the motion.

You can end the routine by giving your baby a bath. It’s not a bath to wash them, but simply to submerge them and allow them to relax before you bundle them up and put them to bed.

A massage routine varies from one person to another. You might only do a few steps of the massage, while others will spend more time on certain areas of the body. The duration of the massage or the choice of movements are not important; what matters is the quality of the movements, environment and time you’re spending with your child. You will establish your own routine and add your own movements. This technique is there to guide you and teach you some basic motions. It’s up to you, now, to develop your routine!

Inspiring Books
  • NEW BOOK OF BABY AND CHILD MASSAGE, Robert Toporek, Running Press, February 2001, ISBN : 0762402911
  • HEALTH & HATHA YOGA, Swami Sivananda, Integral Yoga Dist, June 1985, ISBN : 0949027030
Karine Bergeron
Doula

Karine Bergeron is a doula who studied nursing and is currently completing additional training in prenatal care. As mother to little Laurence, volunteer for L’entraide maternelle, breastfeeding godmother and prenatal class teacher, it’s with joy that she dispenses her wisdom for Motherforlife.com. Bergeron is passionate about prenatal care and ready to share all her knowledge to help you enjoy life’s greatest gift: becoming parents. To find out more or ask questions, go to mereetmonde.com and look for her in the “Équipe” section.


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