Baby massage is a wonderful tool to use with babies, but as your baby grows and begins to roll, crawl and toddle it can become difficult. Even the most enthusiastic of parents may admit defeat in trying to encourage their child to stay still and they find their massage time vanishes.
I often tell parents that baby massage is actually similar to an adult massage, we’re just using less of the hand and a gentler pressure. Once your toddler passes over two and half you may find they can start to sit for a massage again. My encouragement for this is that they may want to massage you in return!
At this age it really is about your child owning the massage experience. When you ask them if they’d like a massage, if they say no, you don’t massage them. If they say yes you can make it a fun game, ask them which area of the body to begin with and which songs they may want to sing. If you already have songs you sing for the particular areas of the body and which your child remembers, then you may want to confuse the words or choose the wrong song, so it becomes more of a game.
My eldest child still continues to have massages, even at 10. Sometimes they’re frequent, sometimes they can be a few months apart. I am led by him. My youngest usually takes the lead from my other son, but he prefers a story massage. This takes place on his back and we read a story (or more, usually, several stories) to a massage routine. Both of my children still enjoy massage and I enjoy it as a time when we reaffirm positive touch, have a time when they may share insights with me, and relax.
So the next time you want to use a way to relax or connect with your child, consider using the baby massage moves you used on them before. If you didn’t massage your child as a baby, you’ve lost confidence and need a refresher, or you would like to learn story massage then you can book a one to one session with you and your child. It’s never too late to introduce your child to massage.
Louise is an holistic therapist who owns Therapy Centre, Bristol BS14 9HB, a clinic offering a range of holistic and beauty therapies. Louise offers reflexology, aromatherapy, aromatology, holistic massage, Indian head massage, reiki, baby massage and story massage. She is a mum of two boys and when she is not working she enjoys getting outdoors with her family. For further information about Louise you can visit her website louise-morgan.co.uk