Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Massaging Babies and Toddlers

Evolving Massage

I teach infant massage, and have been massaging my own daughters since the day they were born.  They are getting older, and although they still get their bedtime massage, the touch they get during the day has changed. 

It is much easier to massage a newborn, as they really can't move around much, and you and baby get use to the same massage routine each time.   When they learn to crawl, it becomes a bit more difficult to give an entire massage routine.  So what can you do?   Play massage games!  Below are some examples of massage games to play at various stages of childhood. 

**Remember to get your child's permission before you massage them.

Crawling Around

Get on the floor with your child. If you were doing a belly rub, and your child decides it is time to crawl around, massage whatever is up and facing you.  If it is his back, then rub his back, if it is her side, then massage her arms or legs.  You don't have to go in any specific order. 

This Little Piggy

I'm sure you are familiar with this nursery rhyme.  It is a great way to give a massage for your child's toes.  Roll your child's toes, wiggle them, but don't pull/tug so hard on them.  Make sure not to tickle their feet!

Learning Shapes

My older daughter loves this game.  I stand behind her as she stands in front, and I draw shapes on her back with my hands.  She has to guess the shape.  Sometimes she lays down.  Just be sure that you don't have anything going on that can be distracting for your child, ie...TV on or radio on.  You can do any variation of this game that you find appropriate.  Learning Numbers, or Learning Letters, whatever you are focusing on with your child.

Do you have any massage games to add to this list?  We would love to hear what you do to incorporate massage into your child's life.  Let us know by leaving a message in the comment section.