After a hard day at work, we're sure you'll happily Experience More Together with a relaxing massage with your little one. After all, a day of exploring and discovering their world can really tire your child out. And there's so many ways you can make the massage better, from finding the best way to massage them to singing during the rub and even discovering how you can relax during the massage too.
Preparation is key! Before you get started, find a cool and quiet room that will relax your child. Lighten the atmosphere further with soothing music or even the sounds of the ocean! To keep your little one's skin moisturised, have a bottle of baby oil or cajuput oil ready. And don't forget to remove all your accessories and wash your hands thoroughly before you begin. Sing a song
At this age, one of the things that bring your child the most comfort is your voice. It makes them feel secure, relaxed and happy – and that's why singing to them while you massage them is such a great thing to do. You can sing anything, but songs like "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" would be perfect. Legs and feet
Now that you're ready to begin, start by resting your child face-up on a bed or cushion. Make sure they're comfy, then lift their little legs gently and massaging softly from the ankle to the thigh two or three times, using a gentle twisting motion on their calf and upper leg. After that, use your fingers to gently rub their soles, then squeeze their toes softly one by one. Arms and hands
Moving up to their arms, start by holding their wrists and tapping their upper arms lightly. This helps to relax your little one's arms. Then slowly work your way from their palms and all the way up to the shoulders, followed by a tender massage for each of their fingers. Do this a few times for each hand. Tummy
Tummy time! Rub your palms together to make them nice and warm, then place them on your little one's belly and massage gently to get them smiling!
Place your hands under your child's head and lift it a little. Rest your thumbs at the centre of their forehead and rub slowly in an outward direction. Keep this up for a bit, then change direction by rubbing from the centre of your child's forehead down to the tip of their nose and their chin. Steer clear of the top of their head though, as the bottom and top of their skull hasn't fully developed yet. You could even get dad to join in and massage your child together for a bit of family bonding. Whatever it is, don't forget to catch these precious moments and share them with us.
If your child has a bloated stomach or colic, Dr Sarah Audia Hasna – a general practitioner at the Eka Hospital – says that you can help relieve their discomfort and release excess gas by hugging them close and massaging in a circular, clockwise direction from the left pelvis to their tummy. Remember to consult your child’s paediatrician first and, even then, take extra special care.
There are more to massages than bonding with and relaxing your child. In fact, the massages help you unwind too. According to Natural Parenting, both of you release a hormone called oxytocin during massages. This stimulates peace and relief.
According to Dr Tiffany Field, director of the University of Miami’s Touch Research Centre, children who are massaged regularly are more active and cheerful. And on top of all of that, massages provide a good means for children to get to know their body parts better.