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November 08, 2005

Newborn Massage for Dads

So the 3 of us went to a "baby's first massage" class yesterday. It lasted 1 and 1/2 hours, but it should have lasted 3 minutes. So here's the condensed version for you all.

1.Massage your baby daily, it will calm both of you down (also, imagine getting a free massage every day, now that's the life!)

2.Babies who get regular massages will ________ (insert great long-term effect here: do better in school, have better motor skills, be healthier, yadda yadda yadda, you know the drill)

3.Before you start, "ask permission" (you wouldn't like someone to just start massaging you all over when you least expect it, right?). This is how you ask permission: put one hand on the baby's belly, and stroke the whole side of your baby from head to toe with the other one, while saying "would you like a massage?". Switch hands and repeat with the other hand, while looking for cues from your baby. You'll know if the answer is yes or no.

4.How to massage the legs: one at the time. One hand holds one foot (put your thumb under the foot and wrap your hand around it) while the other hand massages the leg, like so: wrap your hand around the thigh, then using a back-and-forth rocking motion make your way down to the foot. Repeat 3-4 times, then do the other leg.

5.How to massage the arms: same thing as the leg, just with the arms (I know, shocking).

6.The belly, stroke #1: this is very light, with one finger (light touch, like you're tickling) makes an outward spiral starting from the belly button (important: go CLOCKWISE).

7.The belly, stroke #2: again, very light ticklish touch: use your hand to pretend there's a spider walking on your baby's belly (top to bottom of the belly)

8.The belly, stroke #3: good for gas relief. Right hand on the right side of your baby, left hand cupped at 90 degrees, rock it on your baby's belly as if you are kneading it (be gentle!)

9.The belly, stroke #4: also good for gas. Called "I Love U" stroke, because first you make an I with your right index finger along the right side of your baby, top to bottom (you're basically following the last bit of his intestinal track). Then you make an inverted L shape, left to right and top to bottom (again, if you know what an intestinal track looks like, this will make sense). Then you make an inverted U shape, left side bottom to top, then left to right, then top to bottom again.

10.The back: this is hard since babies don't like to be on their belly so much, so you can do these while holding your baby to your chest, like you're burping her. 3 basic strokes: 1.stroke the back top to bottom, 2.zig-zag your way down the back, 3.with one finger make little circles along the side of the baby's spine, top to bottom

11.The scalp: same as the spider crawl, but on the head. My baby and my wife love this one.

12.Quick forhead trick: with thumb, go from nose up to hair-line a few times. It's like one of those tricks they use to put tigers to sleep. ;)

13.Never massage when the baby is crying (unless you do it to help with gas)

14.Oils: not needed, but if you really want you should use something your kid can eat (when they put their hands in their mouths), so an Organic Sunflower Seed Oil or any other cooking oil is good.

15.Hands: obviously try to warm up your hands before you start.

There, I just saved you $35 and an hour of your life. You are welcome.

On a personal note: it seems to work, especially in the middle of the night when The Guids is as awake as I am sleepy. A few strokes and he's out, wicked!

Posted by patata at November 8, 2005 08:33 AM


will have to try this trick out when my turn rolls around. :D

Posted by: chhimi at November 8, 2005 02:28 PM