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How do I give an infant massage?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Do it when she's quiet, yet not ready to fall asleep. And pick the same, soft music each time; she will connect the sound of the music with the relaxation of the massage. Sit on the floor with your feet together and knees apart (diamond-shaped), so you can lay her on a blanket between your legs. If that isn't comfortable, place her on your lap. Be sure she's warm, and use a pure, light oil to increase the glide of your strokes. Apply firm pressure and use long, rhythmic strokes.

Here are some tips for getting started from the American Massage Therapy Association: 1. Legs:Hold her foot with one hand and pat the length of her leg with the other. Stroke up and down from her hip to her toes and back. Then massage the soles of her foot and pull each toe. Use your thumbs to stroke the bottom of her foot from heel to toe and massage around her ankle using small circles. 2. Belly:Use your fingertips, massaging in small circles. 3. Stretch:While she's on her back, hold her feet and knees together and stretch her knees up to her belly (fair warning: this move might help her expel gas). Also, hold her legs together with her knees bent and rotate them in a circular motion, both to the left and the right, to loosen her hips (it also helps tummy ache). 4. Arms:Hold her wrist with one hand and pat the length of her arm with the other. Stroke up and down from the top of the arm to the bottom, and then massage her palm and squeeze and pull each finger. 5. Back:Lay her face down on the floor or across your legs and move your hands back and forth from the top of her back to her buttocks. Massage in small circles up and down her spine. Hold your fingers like a rake and stroke down her back. 6. Head/Face:Hold the back of her head in your hands and stroke her scalp with your fingertips. Then, rub her earlobes and stroke her eyebrows, her closed eyelids, and from the bridge of her nose across her cheeks. Massage her jaw in small circles.
YOU: Having a Baby: The Owner's Manual to a Happy and Healthy Pregnancy

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