Baby Massage Tips

by Maxine
Posted August 18 2010 11:00am
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Our experts have developed this list of tips to help you when you’re using baby massage. Remember, it’s best to learn baby massage techniques from a certified Baby Massage Instructor.

  • You can start infant massage at one month of age for only 10 to 15 minutes while watching your baby's cues. Be cautious with babies who are ultra sensitive. You may have to wait until your baby is older to start. A few babies may be so sensitive to touch that they will never be able to stand massage.
  • The best time to massage your baby is during the "quiet, alert" state which is when your baby is relaxed with his eyes open and making lots of eye contact.
  • Some babies may not enjoy massage the first time. Your baby may be tired or hungry, or may have a full stomach. Your baby may also be reacting to this new experience. Try gentle strokes, gentle tones or singing may help your baby relax. If your baby is still upset, try again later.
  • It's OK if your baby really doesn't enjoy massage. Some babies need to wait until they are older.
  • Know that not all babies will enjoy massage, no matter how wonderful your skills.
  • If you are using massage oil, make sure it is safe and edible as little hands and feet end up in baby's mouth. Oils, such as grape seed or safflower can be used. Oils and lotions made just for babies can also be used.
  • Often babies will spontaneously urinate the first time they experience massage, so be prepared just in case!
  • Don't wear any jewelry that may scratch your baby.
  • Your baby should be completely naked or wearing only a diaper when being massaged; make sure the room is warm enough.
  • Talk gently to your baby, or maybe sing her favorite songs as you massage, and listen to your baby "talking" back.
  • Establish a routine. Put aside 15 minutes every day for infant massage and try to do it at a more quiet time in your baby's day
  • Choose a time when your baby isn't too hungry and when you aren't rushed.
  • Ask your baby's permission before beginning to massage; this helps to promote healthy touch. For example, "Taylor, is it okay if I give you a massage?"
  • Look for cues that would indicate your baby does not wish to be massaged, such as turning their head away, stiffening or pushing away.
  • Have fun!

Sources: Tina Holden, Child, Youth & Family Consultant, British Columbia.
Jill Vyse, Massage Therapist, International Association of Infant Massage, Canadian Chapter.

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Your Baby's Sleep Patterns

by Maxine
Posted August 18 2010 03:32pm
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Babies sleep patterns are unpredictable, but here are some guidelines that might help.

Between birth and 3 months: Your baby will probably sleep between 14 and 18 hours per day. As well, by about 6 weeks, most babies will sleep one long period of about 5-6 hours. While you’d probably prefer something that’s similar to your old schedule, like midnight to 6 a.m., your baby will probably prefer something more like 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Between 3 and 6 months: Your baby’s sleep needs will shrink to 14-16 hours and then to 12 to 14 hours somewhere between 6 months and 2 years of age.

Remember, when it comes to babies and sleep, “normal” is hard to define. Even the experts sometimes disagree on what parents should expect. As long as your baby is fed and comfortable, don’t worry if they’re below average on the sleep scale.

It might help you to keep a sleep activity log for a 7 day stretch. It may show that your baby does have a clear sleep-wake pattern, which will help you to figure out with to be available for your baby’s ‘best times.” These logs can also be helpful to your health care provider, if you find your baby’s sleep patterns are a problem.

Click here to learn more about your sleep and your baby. 

How much did your baby sleep for the first few months? Share your experience and how you cope with other parents by leaving a comment below!


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by Maxine
Posted August 19 2010 09:37pm
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Babies are born with the need to form close relationships with caring and responsive adults, which are called "attachments." If children don't have the opportunity to develop close, uninterrupted attachments with nurturing adults during the early years, young children will find it more difficult to learn, to become confident and to trust others.

Infants and young children can form consistent attachments with the people who are around them most.
These few important relationships create a sense in your child of what kind of world this is and what her place is in it.

A secure attachment to caring adults helps your child learn to adapt to circumstances more easily, and to overcome difficult situations throughout his life. This kind of attachment helps your child to believe the world is a friendly and safe place. Having a parent or caregiver who understands and responds sensitively to a baby's signals, such as picking baby up and comforting him when crying, helps the baby form a secure, healthy attachment.

Relax, and don't worry about making mistakes.  All parents learn by trial and error. As long as your baby knows she can count on you most of the time, she'll be amazingly flexible and forgiving.

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The benefits of play and your baby

by Maxine
Posted January 3 2012 11:45am
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Children benefit from playing alone, with siblings, with other children and, most importantly, with you. Adults are special partners in play. You encourage your child to concentrate, to try new things and to deal with frustration. Parents are also partners in play when they make their home safe for play and provide a choice of things to play with that are appropriate for each stage of development.

Blocks, boxes, pails, water, playdough, dolls and ordinary things around the house, like pillows and plastic containers are wonderful stimulating playthings. These materials can be used in different ways and at different ages. Many toys advertised on TV have only one use, so they limit the imagination, rather than encourage it. Such toys can be expensive, may soon be forgotten and do little to help your child's development. On the other hand, some toys have many uses and "grow with your child" for a long time.

When playing with your children, let them choose what to play with. Children need to be leaders in their own play, so try not to take over their games or activities. Let your child tell you what he wants you to do, and very gradually add new stimulation, like more things for him to play with. Research has shown that giving a child too many new things to do or play with at once can be overwhelming, and can make learning more difficult.

Video Alert!
Watch our video for tips and ideas on how you can incorporate Comfort, Play & Teach into playtime with your baby. Watch the Playtime video now.

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