5 tips for infant massage

Massage can help you bond with your baby.

Spending just a few minutes each day massaging your baby can help to increase the bond, interaction and communication between the two of you. But how do you start? Tina Allen, an internationally respected educator, author and expert in the field of infant and pediatric massage therapy, shares her advice.

1. Choose the best time and place.
Creating the best environment for massage is an ideal way to give yourself and baby time to relax. Choose a familiar place that is warm, quiet and with few distractions. The best time for massage is when baby is awake, healthy and happy. Some babies prefer the morning, while others prefer the afternoon or before bedtime.
 
2. Be comfortable
. Relax, enjoy and have fun! Position yourself so that you are comfortable. Be sure baby is safe and placed on a soft area. Keep in mind that babies roll and become slippery when using oil. Be sure your hands are warm and clean before you begin.

3. Consider a massage oil.
While it is not required, using oil can help make massage more enjoyable for some babies and parents. Olive oil and grapeseed oil are some of the best choices for infant massage. However, if you choose to use lotions, be sure to choose a nontoxic option, like Seventh Generation baby lotion, which contains olive oil as a main ingredient.

4. Listen in. Infant massage can be a wonderful tool for increasing your communication. Massage is not something that parents do to their baby, but rather with their little one. Listen to your baby. He or she will give you the signals to let you know his or her comfort level.
 
5. Know when not to massage.
Never provide massage when your baby isn’t receptive to it (when sleeping, crying or fussy). Avoid massage when your infant is ill, has a fever or infection, or if your little one has broken skin, a rash or bruising. Wait at least 48 to 72 hours following immunizations, and for a tummy massage, wait 30 minutes after eating. If your child has any special health care needs, seek further guidance as to what would be the safest approach. 

Healing touch

Benefits for baby
   
Encourages healthy weight gain
Increases brain development and growth
Stimulates all systems of the body
Aids in digestion
Eases discomforts associated with gas, constipation and congestion
Helps baby learn to trust caregivers

Benefits for caregivers
   
Increases confidence in parenting and caregiving skills
Provides a special time to bond with baby
Encourages communication with baby
Provides an opportunity to learn baby’s cues
Promotes the release of nurturing hormones


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Former cop shoots wife in front of children…

Former cop Kevin Canty, 43, was arrested over the weekend after police say he shot and killed his wife in their Ozone Park home.

Local

Two young children killed in deadly Queens fire

Two 4-year-old children died after a blaze at their Far Rockaway home on Saturday night. The Queens fire injured three others, including a third sibling.

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

Television

'Orphan Black' recap: Episode 1, ‘Nature Under Constraint…

Welcome to your first Season 2 “Orphan Black” recap! Hopefully Tatiana Maslany can help Tatiana Maslany get through this, with the help of Tatiana Maslany,…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

NBA

Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Parenting

Is camp right for introverts?

We ask an expert for tips on sending your introverted child to camp

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.