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How to Massage Your Baby

Try these massage strokes to calm and connect with you baby.

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-Baby massage is a wonderful bonding opportunity that benefits your child and you. To make sure she gets the most out of it, your baby should be in calm yet alert state. Sit in a room in a quite room and place and place her on a blanket. Ask her if she is in a mood for massage. When she looks at you and reaches out, she is giving your permission to go ahead. When you're both ready, rub a nickel size drop of natural oil such grapeseed or sesame oil on your palm. To massage the legs and feet, cup your baby's heel in one hand use the other to stroke her softly from the outside of her thigh down to her foot. Then start from the inside of her thigh and work your way down. Repeat each strokes several times. Then cradle her foot in both hands and alternate pressing your thumbs one at time from heel to toes. Now move on to her tummy. Stroke your baby's belly in clockwise motion to help move gas and food out of her intestines. For an alternative stroke, draw the letter I on her left side by guiding your fingers from just below her ribs down to her hip 3 times. Form and upsidedown L by stroking your fingers from her right side to her left below her ribs and down to her left hip. Then create an upside down U by starting at her right hip, moving your fingers up to the right side and then down her left hip. For her arms, hold her wrist in one hand. Softly wrap you other hand around the top of her arm and glide it from her shoulder to her wrist. Reverse and repeat the stroke several times, then switch to her other arm. Use the fingertips of both hands to make small circular motions on her cheeks. Next, place your fingertips above the middle of her lip and trace outward several times following the lip line. Then start above your chin and do the same thing. To massage her back, turn your baby onto her belly and lie her on your lap. Place the hand on either side of her spine below the neck and trace small circles with your fingers down to her buttocks and back up. It's okay if you don't have time for full body massage. Even a short session will soothe you baby and help the two of you bond.