A Father's Guide To Infant Massage
Baby massage for beginners
Babies simply love to be touched. In fact, they thrive on it — it's a critical part of growth and development. All that skin-to-skin contact not only helps you and your baby bond, it can comfort your baby when he's upset and ease colicky behavior.
This simple six-step "I Love You" massage can help you get started. Then check out our more complete step-by-step slideshow on infant massage.
Find a warm, flat surface to lay your baby on — a blanket on a carpeted floor is fine. Pour a little baby oil or pure vegetable oil in your palms and rub your hands together to warm them and the oil.
Try to look into your baby's eyes, and sing or talk to him as you do the massage. Pay attention to your baby's response: If he doesn't seem to be enjoying himself, try a lighter touch, or simply stop.
How to massage your baby
1. While facing your baby, use two or three fingers to trace the letter "I" on the right side of his abdomen with firm but gentle movements. Start under his ribs and go straight down to his hip joint, using the oil to smooth your way.
2. Next, stroke from left to right across your baby's abdomen, forming the long side of a sideways "L."
3. Use a short downward stroke on the right side of his stomach to complete the "L."
4. To begin the last letter, the upside-down "U," stroke up from your baby's hipbone, on the left side of his tummy.
5. For the middle segment of the "U," move your fingers along the top of your baby's tummy.
6. And for the final part of the "U," stroke down your baby's right side.
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