Infant Massage

Nana's Massage

Nana’s Massage (Photo credit: jldavis_1)

Yes, it really is, totally  done everywhere now,it is safe and babies enjoy it!!

Not only my own babies, but recently, I have had the pleasure of observing students from Humber College during an Infant Massage session at the Ontario Early years Centre in Brampton.  I was happy to see  that both moms and babies thoroughly enjoyed the whole process.  Moms learning new techniques and their babies reaping the wonderful rewards.

I really was bowled over.  You see, I learned infant massaging techniques  from my mother, she from hers,and so on, and so on.

I have been taught that it was a necessity, but we when became aware that my daughter “was on the way”, my husband and I went into a panic and took to all the baby books that we could lay our hands on,  not too many of them mentioned infant massage so I deduce that it’s probably “old wives tale“.

After she was born, in comes the the fussy grandmas, bathing and “anointing” (massaging),  and chiding me for not caring about massaging their granddaughter.

“Their grandbaby will have bowed legs,” they said.

“Her fontanelle won’t close if I don’t ” annoint”  the skull” or “Her head would be pointy”.

I didn’t believe, for one minute!  that my babies would become severely deformed without being massaged.

They were appalled, but I was forgiven because I was young, they didn’t say it, but the word naive was ringing in my ears.

Well, it worked, I started massaging and we loved it.

I would spend about 7 – 11 minutes massaging my baby after her bath. Just enough baby oil in my palms, especially the pads of my fingers, starting at the hips, gently, but firmly massage in a circular movement, from inside to out and going down to the toes.

When massaging the upper body you start from the shoulders going out to the wrists for the limbs and the same firm, gentle circular motion on the chest.

Take the cue from baby. The key here, is to be firm but gentle on the touch and, observe your baby for discomfort or pain.Stop immediately if there are any signs.

You would want to talk to baby in soothing tones, ask permission or just let her know what you are doing or name the body part or make up a rhyme, whatever keeps the atmosphere light and stress free.

US Navy 100423-N-0641S-143 Mara MacDonald demo...

US Navy 100423-N-0641S-143 Mara MacDonald demonstrates different massage techniques to a group of new mothers and their babies in an infant massage class (Photo credit: Wikipedia)Take the cue from baby. Be sure to be firm but gentle on the touch and observe your baby for discomfort or pain.  You would want to talk to baby in soothing  tones, ask permission or just to let her know what you are doing or just name the body part or make up a rhyme, whatever keeps the atmosphere light and stress free.

Be sure to lay baby on her back and gently roll the arms outward, from shoulder to wrist in a gradual rocking motion,  if you are permitted.  Repeat the same process  with legs from hip to ankle and going outward.

Another technique is to gently take hold of his legs, just above the ankle, and move it so that the knees are bent going up to the stomach, remember, no pressure on the limbs or stomach. Arms go in and out from the chest, always gently.

For the face, you use the pad of your fingers, in tiny circular motions, always from in to out. Avoid your baby’s eyes and the fontanelle – i.e. the soft spot on the top of her skull where bone hasn’t united as yet.

Turn baby over onto his tummy and gently massage his back, firm, circular motions, beginning from shoulders to heels.

Relax, have fun and remember, as with every thing,  you and your bundle are partners on this journey.

Another bonding routine,  we made up  games,  shared laughs and had fun doing it. You know, it really boosts parents’  happiness to hear and see their baby’s toothless laughter.



Baby’s First Car Seat

Child safety seat image indicating the various...

Child safety seat image indicating the various parts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The other very important issue I would like to write about, is travel.

Whether you are taking baby home from the hospital, to the doctor for vaccinations & check-ups, shopping,  or that Sunday drive. Your little bundle of joy needs the special protection of the infant safety seat, this is the rear-facing infant car seat.

There are a few specifics for installing this type of car seat :-

  1. Facing the rear of the vehicle. This is because infants‘ spine, neck, head and pelvis is yet to mature,  and they are at risk of spinal cord and head injuries.  If an accident occurs, baby’s body moves back into the shell of the infant car seat and the head, neck and spine is supported.
  2. In the back seat. Away from airbags in the vehicle’s dashboard, this would prevent suffocation and other injuries that can be occur from an exploding airbag.
  3. Harness. Try the seat belt in your vehicle to ensure a proper fit,  not all car seats are made for every vehicle.The base of the infant rear facing car seat should not move more than an inch. When babies are in their rear facing car seat, the harness should be over their shoulder and should be firm against their body ( not tight). place the chest clip even to your child’s armpits.
  4. Safety Standard. Look for the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard label or Statement of Compliance on the seat. Look for the round sticker with the Maple leaf on it. And in the U.S.A look for the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s five star rating system or  the NHTSA.  The manufacturer’s manual would have step by step instructions on installation and use of your baby’s  car seat.

Here is a link that you will find very useful:-

Welcome Baby!

Each newborn baby comes with new joys for those around. At delivery, the nurses and doctor would smile widely and say ” Meet your new daughter”, or ” Meet your new son”.

Newborn child, seconds after birth. The umbili...

Newborn child, seconds after birth. The umbilical cord has not yet been cut. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You receive your little bundle of joy with wide smiles –

” Isn’t he/she the cutest?”,

“She is beautiful! She  looks like you honey!”

“Handsome little guy isn’t he?!”

Aaand,  the inspection commences!

” Oooh! look at these tiny toes”,

And then you notice the dark patches on your precious baby’s  foot from the big toe up, oh! it’s on the other foot too and went looking, tummy, back, etc.

Maybe they are birth marks….. better ask the nurse!

Here are a few things that don’t add up when you first set eyes on your baby.

  1. Your newborn is wet and and cheesy looking – this will be cleaned and dried off.
  2. Pointy head, this came from passing through the birth canal -this is temporary and would round off in a few weeks.
  3. Looks scrunched up, legs and arms were bent at the knees and elbows in the womb -this will grow out in a few months .
  4. Blotches, spots, a purplish tinge is normal -this would clear up in a few days.
  5. Some babies might be covered in a fine hair called Lanugo – this will come off in a week or two.

Sometime in the next 12 hours after birth the doctor will examine your baby to make sure that all the weird looks are normal.

Remember your baby will change a lot over the next few weeks of growing

In any case we all just have to be sure, with that in mind here are a few websites that I have been following.