When can I start Baby Massage? I always say that labelling my classes Baby Massage & Nurture isn’t really an accurate description of what you learn during the course. The reason being is that massage isn’t necessarily what you think it is.
Massage is positive touch. Every time you touch your baby you are making a physical and energetic connection with them. This happens every moment of every day. When you pick him up to respond to his cry; when you touch her skin whilst changing her nappy; when you bathe him; when you just want to hold, to baby gaze, to cuddle, to make time stand still. The intention is to consciously attend to your baby’s needs and that, my loves is massage. Not necessarily what we expect from a massage as an adult- effleurage, pettrisage, tapotement, kneeding, manipulating, stretching, stroking. All of these words are used as a description of the techniques used in massage, but I’m not focusing on this in my classes. I’m not interested in your technique or how long you do the massage for. I’m interested in your response to your baby. Does he want a massage right now? Does she appreciate being undressed at this time? Would he like to be soothed through the gentle, yet confident touch that you can offer him through massage? Are you just ploughing through the strokes because you want to learn them and you paid 60 bloody quid for this course?!
No, what I’m looking at is how you ‘dance’ together. Not in the disco sense. I mean that constant call and response that you have with your baby. If you come to every class every week and your baby is asleep then you can rest. I had a wonderful mum come every week and she would rest and watch in the corner while her baby slept. Sometimes she did too. You may have got your baby undressed, oiled your hands and she then decides “NO!” so you wipe your hands, pick her up and give her that much needed cuddle. What if you’re massaging your baby and she’s loving it, then….”WAAAHHHHHHH!” You pick her up, quietly, confidently and giving her assurance that you are here and responding to her needs. Not “Oh, I’ll just finish this stroke”. So what if you didn’t do anything in the space of that hour and a half. You take the knowledge home with you, it’s a lifelong skill, not something you do for just a 5 week term.
Anyway, I digress. To answer the question,When can I start Baby Massage? you can start baby massage from birth. Very young babies benefit from a contained hold, resting hands and hearing your breath in relation to your touch Perhaps you have just done one stroke that you learned today in class or from my e-course. Being undressed for a long period of time may not suit a newborn, or maybe it will. He is unique. Coming to classes as soon as you feel ready means that you will learn ways of managing your own experience as a new mum; you will learn breath work to help with anxiety and rest; you will learn how to calm your baby through different holds and positioning; to help her with wind and gas; to share your feeling with other mums and offload.
As your baby gets older, the window of opportunity for massage gets bigger. Your baby will start smiling and interacting with you and he will accept more massage. You will learn to see what he likes and this in turn gives you confidence as a new mum. Coming to classes when your baby is older gives you ways of interacting and entertaining her. Sometimes we don’t know what to do with a baby and this gives you ideas and confidence.
I look forward to welcoming you into my Baby Nomad classes very soon and if you aren’t close to Stamford, then my e-courses are there to help you at home. Leave me a comment, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’ve got any questions.