Baby Massage Techniques
Babies like adults and adult babies love to
be massaged. Small infants should be regularly massaged as well
as adults and adult babies. There is nothing inherently sexual
about massage. A properly managed massage relieves tension,
promotes circulation, loosens tight muscles and promotes a sense
of well being and relaxation without engendering sexual arousal.
These techniques were developed for infants and toddlers,
however, there is no reason that they will not work just as well
on adult babies.
These techniques do not require forceful manipulation nor great body strength. They are based upon the body's need to be lovingly touched. As such, the size of the baby is of no consequence. For AB's coming home to their caretaker's after a long exhausting day at work and ritually disrobing before the AB's evening diaper, this is a welcome way for the caretaker to reestablish the parent-baby relationship via the important sense of touch before diapering begins. Also, since these massages relieve tension and stress, it is a wonderful way for your adult baby to shuck off the harrowing mantle of adulthood and accept the tender ministrations of his caretaker.
Note: Warmed baby lotion can be used to massage your baby.(Warm a pot of water on the range and place the plastic container of lotion in the hot water to warm before the massage. Shake well and squeeze a drop on your wrist to check the temperature before using! It should feel comfortably warm to the touch, [It should be just above blood temperature or approximately 102-105 degrees Fahrenheit ) Baby oil can be used, but it's messy! ( If you want to use baby oil, put a waterproof cover on the bed and cover with a clean sheet before the massage. The baby oil will substantially reduce the expected lifetime of any plastic it touches, including the waterproof cover in which it comes in contact.). .If you have a stereo in the room, play nursery songs while you massage your baby. Have a small nurser ready with either 1.) water, 2.) warm milk, 3.) warm formula, 4.) warm cocoa, 5.) your baby's favorite alcoholic drink (Do NOT fill with Beer! Beer does not work in nursers!).
Leg and Foot Massage
Begin with a Leg and Foot massage. Because the legs and feet are the least vulnerable and psychologically threatening areas of the body to touch, it is the perfect massage to start the session. For both big and little babies, the legs and feet can be the most pleasurable parts of the massage.
1.Alternating from hand to hand, stroke one of your baby's legs in an upward motion, moving from hip to ankle. This stroke technique is known as "Swedish Milking," and promotes blood circulation both to the feet and back toward the heart.
2.Next, reverse the direction and stroke down from ankle to hip.
3.Conclude with a foot massage by rubbing the bottom of the foot from heel to toe. Lightly squeeze each toe separately, then rub your thumbs across the top of the foot.
4.Repeat on the remaining leg.
A Face Massaging Technique
Stress from being an adult can cause a great deal of tension in an adult baby. An AB's caretaker can relieve the stress by simply massaging the little one's face. With small (less than 20lb. infants), it is used to relieve the baby's tension accumulated from teething, an unsuccessful suckling or simply interacting with too many people.
1. Use your thumbs to stroke your baby's face from the center of the forehead out to the temples and down the cheeks.
2. Draw your thumbs across your baby's nose and continue out across the cheeks.
3. Massage slowly around the mouth and jaw with your thumbs.
4. Use your fingers to stroke behind the ears.
A General Technique for Soothing a Baby
The next technique is a general soothing technique meant to extend the stress relief of step 2.), the face massage. Since the technique was only developed a few years ago, your AB will not be able to identify it with a sensation from his or her babyhood. However, at this point, your baby will not care, rather the baby will be luxuriating in his or her mommy's delightful massage.
1. Use two or three fingers to trace the letter "I" on the right side of your baby's abdomen with firm but gentle movements. Start under the ribs and go straight down to the hip joint.
2. Next, stroke from left to right across the abdomen, forming the long side of a sideways "L",
3. Use a short downward stroke on the right side of your infant's stomach to complete the "L",
4. To begin the last letter, the upside-down "U", stroke up from your baby's hipbone, on the left side of the tummy.
5. For the middle segment of the "U," move your fingers along the top of your baby's tummy.
6. To finish the massage, finalize the "U," with a downward stroke your baby's right side.
A Back Massaging Technique
hold your baby against your chest so his back, the area of the
body with the most accessible nerves, is exposed or roll him on
his tummy (if he is too large to hold).
2. Gently press down with two fingers on either side of his spinal column and run them from the base of the neck to the base of the spine.
3. Gently press down with two fingers on either side of his spinal column from the base of the neck to the base of the spine at 1/2" intervals for a small baby or 1" intervals for a large baby.
4. Gently stroke him from the head to the feet, alternating between stroking down each leg to his feet. Make gentle, maternal, soothing sounds as you stroke him while you softly rock him (if holding him).
An Arm Massaging Technique
The combined up-and-down motions of massaging a baby's arms are wonderful for both relieving stress and improving blood circulation. This is the final technique for the massage session, leaving the baby supine and looking up into the eyes of his loving caretaker. If desired, steps 1 and 2 can be repeated in order to leave your baby in a gloriously relaxed position on his back and ready to have his diaper changed or be dressed in his onesie for the night. By this time, the little one will have no fussiness left in him unless he is hungry.
one arm in an upward motion, moving from shoulder to wrist and
alternating your hands. This technique is known as "Indian
Milking," which helps relieve tension by massaging it up and
out through the fingertips.
2. Reverse the process, alternating your hands as you move from wrist to shoulder. This is known as "Swedish Milking," which benefits circulation by moving from the hand to the heart.
3. Open your baby's hand and gently roll each finger, one at a time. Rub the palm and back of the hand, stroking upward toward the fingers.
4. Repeat the process on the other arm.