by Elizabeth Pantley
Baby massage has been practiced since ancient times. It can be as simple as a gentle rub with lotion after a bath or a more practiced infant massage. The benefits are many for both baby and parent.
You can massage your baby at any time and in any place. Most babies love to be touched -- and most parents love to touch their babies -- so anytime you feel like rubbing your baby, you should. In addition to casual touches, you can also plan for a more organized massage as well. A massage is a wonderful way to end a bathing session, begin or end the bedtime ritual, or start the day. Here are some guidelines to prepare for a peaceful baby massage:
Tell your baby what you are doing and ask for permission, "Would you like Mommy to give you a massage?" This sends a message right from a young age that your baby's body belongs to her.
Respect your baby's signals. Always watch your little one for signs of enjoyment (smiles, coos, relaxed posture) or dissatisfaction (turning away, fussing, closing arms, crawling away), and stop if she seems uncomfortable or restless. If your baby is having a colic episode, then attempt to calm him with massage before judging his response to the massage. Sometimes babies take a few minutes to adjust, or they may like the massage at first, but then have had enough and would like to stop.