Before you begin, make sure the room is warm and quiet. Remove jewelry that could get in the way. Grab some baby oil, and strip your baby down to his diaper. Lay him facing up on a soft towel or blanket, with a pillow under his head. Begin by holding your baby’s hands and gently rubbing his palms with your thumbs a few times.
Gently but firmly wrap your hands around your baby’s leg and glide your hands down from thigh to ankle. Do this a few times; then repeat on the other leg.
Place your hands at the level of your baby’s navel. In a clockwise motion, rub your fingertips firmly and gently over her tummy in a circular motion. Repeat.
Gently roll your baby’s arm between your hands, starting at his shoulder and moving down to his wrist. Repeat two to three times, and then switch to his other arm.
Support your infant’s head and upper body with one hand. Place the thumb of your other hand on one side of her neck and your first two fingers on the other side. Then use your fingertips to gently rub your baby’s neck in a circular motion. Repeat these circles a few times.
First give your baby a belly massage. Then bend his knees up to his tummy and hold for about 30 seconds before releasing. Repeat a few times. Then place the edge of one hand on your baby’s belly, gliding from the belly button down in a rhythmic pattern, to help release pent-up gas. Repeat if needed.
Massage Techniques from Elaine Fogel Schneider, PhD, author of Massaging Your Baby: The Joy of Touch Time.
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