The parents or carers of the baby/babies coming to the class. It is not advisable for other family members to bring the baby/babies as baby massage is an intimate technique which helps with bonding between parents/carers and baby/babies.
If a Nanny, Child Minder, Grand Parent (unless they are the sole/main carer) or another carer wants to come along to the baby massage class with the baby they are looking after then I would need to speak to the parent/carer of the baby who would be attending and get written permission that they are happy for this to happen.
The course is designed for babies who are between 8 weeks (I can take babies as young as 6 weeks but it is advisable to have your 6 week mother & baby check before starting the class) and 6 months (not crawling).
If you have any further questions about this please speak to the teacher.
There are no set health guidelines regarding the minimum age for when to start baby massage.
I recommend attending a baby massage course or workshop from around 6-8 weeks old as this has allowed baby’s skin barrier to develop and has given their nervous system a little longer to also develop. Unfortunately I cannot have crawling babies at the classes and would therefore be unable to take babies after 6 months old if they are crawling. If you do have a crawler and want to learn baby massage then I would recommend booking a 1:1 course in your home or waiting a little longer and attending the toddler course which I hope to have up and running by the end of 2018.
There are benefits for premature babies and babies under 8 weeks old but it is advisable that you contact a qualified baby massage teacher who will guide you through the appropriate strokes & routines for your baby and point you in the right direction of any help or support. New-borns are so small and their nervous systems are not fully developed so I would recommend either attending a massage class for new-borns or have a 1:1 lesson even if it’s just demonstrating the strokes for one or two areas of your baby’s body. Getting proper support and guidance in the early days is so important as you don’t want to hurt, cause any damage or cause your baby to feel stressed which will in turn all have a negative effect on what you are trying to do and achieve.
You also need to remember that your baby’s skin barrier is not fully developed straight after birth and you could make their skin vulnerable to becoming very dry or reacting to the oil you are applying. Some experts recommend waiting 10 days to two weeks before using oils. By waiting for this period of time you are also giving the umbilical cord stump time to dry and fall off naturally (this can take 5-15 days to happen). Any oil left on the baby’s umbilical stump could increase their risk of infection to that area so it is advisable NOT to use oils until the stump has fallen off completely.
If you really want to give baby a massage in the early days then gentle strokes over their clothes is fine but stay away from the umbilical cord stump during the massage. You must wait until the stump has naturally fallen off before starting a full body massage. It is however always advisable to seek advice from a qualified teacher before carrying out any massage routines.
The best thing to do is find a professionally trained, experienced and fully insured baby massage teacher who can teach you the strokes and techniques for baby massage.
You should never ‘just give it a go’ as you may use a stroke or massage an area which will hurt or upset your baby.
Many parents/carers massage their babies daily but you need to judge when the best time is for your baby to have and for you to give a massage and try to incorporate it into a routine a few times a week to fully get the benefits.
The best time for baby to have a massage is when they are alert, quiet, happy and well-rested. Introduce massage slowly to allow your baby to become familiar with it.
Two minutes of massage is more beneficial than ten minutes with an unhappy baby. Choose a time that suits both of you (parent/carer and baby).
Most parents/carers enjoy giving a massage to their baby after their bath and as part of the bedtime routine. Other people enjoy doing the massage in the afternoon as part of a playtime routine everyone is different and every baby is different.
There are a few times when you must not give your baby a massage and these times will be talked through during the baby massage class.
The massage will typically last for 10-20 minutes however some babies may enjoy a 30-40 minute massage. The most important thing is to keep an eye on your baby and understand their cues as to when they are enjoying it or have had enough.
If your baby only enjoys a massage for 2 minutes that is fine and far better than a 10 minutes massage which they do not enjoy. You can build up the massage as your baby gets used to it.
Yes there are areas you should NOT massage and they are:
Front of neck & throat, eye area, back of neck and directly on the spine, under the arm, front of elbow and back of the knee, directly on navel, groin area and the skull.
You should never give your baby a massage if they have any of the following symptoms/conditions:
Has a rash, Acute infections, Fever, Generally Unwell, Sickness , Diarrhea, Undiagnosed lumps and bumps, Immunisations given in the last 24 hours, Recently bruised or broken skin, Contagious Disease, Serious Skin Complaints, Inflammation, Recent Hemorrhage, Jaundice, Meningitis, Childhood Leukemia, Brittle Bones
You may need to seek GP advise or consent to do baby massage for many different reasons.
However the main four reasons you would need to get GP consent are:
(1) if your baby has a congenital heart condition,
(2) if your baby has had a recent operation or is due to have an operation,
(3) if your baby has a dysfunctioning nervous system
(4) if your baby has some form of special needs.
The best oil is organic sunflower seed oil, grape-seed oil or coconut oil.
The most common signs of teething are: drooling, teething rash (this is usually caused by the drooling and will leave a redness or rash around the mouth, chin or neck areas), coughing or gaging (again caused by drooling), biting (chewing and biting often helps with the discomfort in the gums), crying, irritability, refusal to eat, night waking, pulling at their ears or rubbing their cheeks. Sometimes babies will have diarrhea, fever or cold/flu like symptoms all babies are different and teething symptoms can change at any time.
By using reflexology on the feet we can help relieve teething pain as we are focusing on the area related to the teeth, which are the toes. So by applying gentle pressure to the toes we can help soothe and comfort our baby. Baby massage done on the gum line and around the jaw can also help to soothe baby.