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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

How to massage a baby

At three and a half months old, Toby is already a little bon vivant and loves full-body massages. Here's how we do it...
Depending on how luxurious we're feeling, we use pure vegetable oil (which our doctor suggested, funnily enough) or nothing at all. I start by softly rubbing his forehead in circles and tracing his eyebrows...
Then I rub his chubby belly and down his arms...
Next I give him a double foot massage (his fave!)...
And pull up his legs for a satisfying stretch.
Next I flip him around onto his belly and rub his back...
And finish with some light karate chops! It's become a sweet bedtime tradition, even though he is the wriggliest massaged person I've ever met. Do you guys have any other moves you'd recommend? xoxo

P.S. In other baby news: I'll be posting our birth story this coming Monday, September 20th. Thanks for all your sweet notes about it; I'm excited to (finally) share.

(Photos by Brookelyn Photography. Thank you so much, Brooke!)

95 comments:

Gabby / Gypsy*Diaries said...

Toby is probably the sweetest baby ever!!! What a little bundle of jo... I bet he's enjoying his massages, I'd for sure... :D
xxx

http://gypsy-diaries.blogspot.com/

Diana Mieczan said...

I've just read it on the Highchair Critics and I love it so much...Toby is such a great little guy and I can see that he loves those massages...Love the relax sign...so cute!!!!
Kisses,Joanna

Ps: I am so excited for your birth story and I am going to forward this post to my friend who just had her twins...I bet she will make notes for future:)

Gabby / Gypsy*Diaries said...

jo = joy :)

nikaela marie said...

so so so so sweet! perfect. My mom is a psych prof and she alwasy talks about how important touch is before two years old. It can completely change personalities....

Aura said...

This is so precious. When my little nephew was a newborn, I would give him massages. Especially on his little legs, because they were still so curled up from being tucked away in mama's belly.

esdelope said...

I love that top photo! A lot of studies are showing now that the amount of loving touch a child receives at an early age has a direct impact on nutrition as an adult. Toby's off to a great start!

Becca

Joanna said...

A full body massage?! What a lucky baby boy he is (and what a thoughtful mama you are for doing it!).

Deanna (Silly Goose Farm) said...

Sorry for the long comment, but...

I make baby pizza -

1. Knead and form the dough (give baby little massage, like you detailed).

2. Spread the sauce (gentle rubs on baby's belly).

3. Sprinkle the toppings (little tickles all over the body).

4. Bake (give baby a big hug/squeeze).

5. Eat (lots of kisses!)

My kids love this, and my son (5 months) goes absolutely bonkers and laughs SO loud!

I love the "RELAX" blocks you propped next to Toby. You're a cleaver one, Joanna!

Hollie said...

Toby is so, so cute. He has such a perfect little face. I've always given my little one massages, and now that she's talking she asks me "You wanna rub my back?" It's the cutest thing ever. :]

Kelly said...

my eyes actually started to close reading that. it sounds sooo relaxing! and yes, i too enjoy my hair being played with.

The Neo-Traditionalist said...

What a lucky little guy! These photos are beautiful. Can't wait to read the birth story. I think it's fantastic you're sharing all of this with us : )

xx Katie

wonderchris said...

Super sweet!! Love those pics!

I also loved a good back scratch - still do! :)

Annie said...

oh my gosh, he just must be in heaven every time. To continue that throughout his early years - wow, he's going to be one happy and healthy little man! The physical and mental benefits are just so wonderful. I definitely plan on referring to this post once I'm a mom :)
~Annie
AllNaturalAnnie.com

Melanie's Randomness said...

If I had a baby I would give him or her this lil treat! Aww he looks so cute & like he is enjoying his massage!! =)

tenner said...

Do you heat the oil? My grandma used to heat the oil and massage me when i was a baby. I guarantee that Toby will sleep better.

Joanna Goddard said...

wow, nikaela, how fascinating! i totally believe in the power of touch.

Joanna Goddard said...

pizza dough, i LOVE that!!!

Joanna Goddard said...

ooh, tenner, we don't warm up the oil, but that's a great idea...

the chirpy bird said...

Oh i just love this! My mum used to do something similar for me when I was a baby and now anytime someone rubs my back or my feet, no matter how much stress I am under I am instantly calmed. So soothing!
xo tash

Melissa Blake said...

that is too cute! I love the "relax" touch! :)

Melissa said...

So sweet. We use Burts Bees Apricot Oil and olive oil too. Also this http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P7275&categoryId=B70 product makes our little guy smell amazing and people always comment how good he smells. I spray a little on his hair to keep it from sticking straight up. :) I'm so looking forward to the birth story.

Deanna (Silly Goose Farm) said...

whoops! Jo, you're a clever one, not a cleaver one - that would be weird.

meg manion silliker said...

I massaged Annie as an infant and still do as
a 4 yr old - she now likes her back scratched/tickled
pure bliss for her! Your babe is precious!

jadelees said...

oh daily massages! To be Toby!

So excited for your birth tales! I've been looking forward to it!

M. said...

looks like he is having a blast!!!
so lucky to be pampered like this by his mommy :)

Anonymous said...

Adorable!

Michelle Parks McCourt said...

I love massaging Gus and he really loves it. he can't get enough of it.

Lillian Chang said...

Toby makes the CUTEST little model!! His eyes, his expression...so adorable :)
These are good tips! I'll pass these on to new mommies!!

Mackenzie {Design Darling} said...

This is so cute!!! You're such a great mommy.

Esther (Babyccino) said...

Baby Ava loves massages too! I always start with her little feet and work my way up. The baby-pizza comment above is so cute, I'll try that! x

Annie said...

Toby is too cute! And I love the massage idea. My guess it that it makes Toby feel very safe and cozy before bed.

Kristin Hjellegjerde said...

Absolutely gorgeous:)

Dancing Branflake said...

In college as a dance major we studied a bit of baby exercises and it's so sad because there are many infant conditions that could be alleviated if a baby was properly exercised and massaged shortly after birth. The effects are life long.

Anonymous said...

gorgeous baby! I want a baby massage!!!!!!!

Jill Wignall said...

oh that's cute!

Anonymous said...

So cute! Toby is such an adorable little boy.
And I agree, I like having people play with my hair too.

Jen said...

I remember loving these little massages when I was a kid! My mom's touch was so comforting :)

Monica said...

So adorable!

Colleen said...

I like having my hair played with too. I just love the way I feel when someone plays with it. I may have to bookmark this information for when I eventually have babies.

Kelsi said...

Oh my, my, my! He is the cutest little baby I think I have ever seen. And he is definitely living the life... a massage every night? I would die of happiness.

Bre said...

I LOVE this! Infant massage is so important it helps babies on so many levels (growth, bonding, sleeping, eating etc.) Babies love routine so if you make this a regular occurrence after bath time and before bed or naps Toby will associate it with relaxation and sleep. I definitely recommend all natural vegetable based oils (mineral oil is the devil). Keep up the great work! :)

monica said...

toby is one very pampered baby! i'm happy to hear that we will finally get to read your birth story! :)

Bridget said...

okay this is too cute.

Theresa said...

He is so adorable, I love his perfect little head

Kim said...

too cute! can't wait to hear your story.

Sasha {Everything Fabulous} said...

Joanna, thank you so much for stopping by today and your lovely comment!! You made my day!! Toby is growing up so fast.. he looks adorable in this picture! My yoga teacher taught how to do the rocking move for a baby and basically you grab his left arm and left foot with one hand and then the right arm and foot in your other hand and you rock them side to side..very gently... my boys used to love this! Looking forward to the birth story!!

carina said...

Daily massages? Can I come and live with you guys? Toby is one lucky baby!

Baby pizza - SO funny:-D

Samantha said...

Toby is soo adorable :)

Ashley said...

love ur blog!! following you!! follow me back!

ASH! Xoxo

My Face Hunter | BlogLovin

Virginia. said...

You are such a lovely person. Your blog is a breath of fresh air!

chelsea said...

so cute!!

Elle Vee said...

I taught Mom and Baby Yoga and part of the course was to teach moms to massage their babies. Always massage from torso out to limbs, gentle but firm. At the tummy, little circles moving from their lower right, up and over to the left and back down faciliates the movement of the bowels (rubs in the direction of the intestinal movement).

If Toby loves the footrubs, as many babies do, try the hand rubs. Gently rub his palms with your thumbs, and then roll down each finger between your fingers. It builds neuropathways, increases sensory information in those areas. Plus, they love it!

Gentle joint squeezes are also great!

It's so nice to see moms enjoying this practice with their babies. It helps them in so many ways, not to mention the connection with the parent! (adding some nice lavender essential oil to the mineral oil or baby oil is also very calming!)

BethanySusan said...

ahhhh, so cute! love the pics of the foot rub and when he's lying on his tummy!

amynicole said...

I just love a good massage and hair playing! This sounds weird, but have you ever slapped or patted someone's feet when massaging? It is kind of weird, but feels good. Toby is darling and I'm in love with his name!

Stephanie said...

Jeeze louise. If he were any more adorable, you'd have to worry about someone coming to visit and sneaking him home in their suitcase!

shisomama said...

I gave both my kids massages when they were infants, and they loved them. My mom loved to wrap one hand around each thigh and pull down the entire stretch of their legs, ending at their toes while saying, "Grow! Grow!" in Chinese. I still do that with my daughter though she's almost 2 and a half, and she still gets a huge kick out of it.

Carissa said...

Toby looks like he loves his massage! can't wait to read the birth story. really, I can't wait!! :)

Anna said...

I love your baby pics! Toby is adorable! Congrats for having such a lovely son!
Can't wait for the birth story!

Love the blog too!! and been reading you since day one in Glamour. :)

Hugs.

Charity said...

oh wow can't wait to hear your birth story! i'm exactly the same as you - i love my hair getting played with.

Mrs. Vizy said...

I can't wait to finally read the birth story!!!!!

ciupa said...

gosh, I could use one of those! I love getting my hair stroked, too.

littlewinterbride said...

precious. toby is so cute and looks like you are having the best time with him little mama : )

kelly said...

ha, these are cute! my best friend just had a baby, i'll have to show her this!

ps. toby is so adorable!

hazel and hunter said...

so adorable!! I love this, I'm going to start massaging my little Coco tonight! thanks for these great tips :)

rikshaw design said...

he is precious precious precious! and what squeezable legs!! love it!

Michelle said...

Oh dear, that chubby little bubby is so cute, I wanna eat his little feet! Ok, hormone induced crazyness over...mostly. I love the idea of giving him little massages, and I too like to have my hair played with, all 1.5 inches.

Ashley Lynn Fry said...

So darling! You can also gently pull on his lil' ear lobes or just gently rub his ears along with the back of his neck while he is face up during your lil' face piece that you do. We did that in massage school all the time & it feels fabulous & I noticed that it really soothes babies.

You could also do some small circles with his feet or hands you know to move the ankle/wrist joints... just real gently hold his hand or foot & do lil' circles. Plus if Toby loves his feet you could massage his hands & lil' fingers too... he'd probably love that is well!

Bravo, Joanna... massage is so beneficial for babies & parents! It really helps to soothe baby & it is such a great way to bond.

xoxo

emily said...

Martha Stewart, of all places, has a full photo illustrated description of infant massage, which is where I first heard about it. Seems like such a nice idea - I'm excited to try it on our baby when she comes. Here's the link: http://www.marthastewart.com/article/baby-massage

lealou said...

these are the sweetest photos!!! thanks for sharing!

Maria Ana said...

This is so sweet! He must love this:)
www.thebeautylover.blogspot.com

Julie said...

Absolutely yummy. Such great photos!!
www.celebrityowned.com

Wahzat Gayle said...

How wonderful a baby massage guide. need to try it on my two.

He is such a cutie and he has grown a bit as well... filled out as they like to say in the Caribbean :D

Arielle I. said...

This is the cutest post ever, Joanna! lol I love it. :]

Elise said...

I can't wait to massage my baby one day! What a cute, fun post!! And little Toby seriously keeps getting cuter and cuter every day. Adorable!

{lovely little things} said...

I never knew you could massage a baby, you learn something new every day!

Lydia said...

he is so precious!!! i LOVE LOVE LOVE the photography too :).

Sarah said...

I'm the same as you Joanna, all I ever want is my hair played with, especially as I fall asleep.

Charlotte K said...

Your baby is divine.

That is all!

chelsea lee aka spicklebee said...

what a cutie pie you have there!

when mine were wee ones, I always made sure to do a tummy massage for digestion. I can't remember exactly right now but there is a direction you should flow it to aid in their elimination and get rid of those gassy bubbles!

Aisha K said...

I am a sucker for having my hair played with. It's so relaxing. Sadly, more people did it when I was in high school, not so much now. If only it wouldn't be so odd to ask my friends to play with my hair!

Ticiana said...

Love your blog. Love your tips. My baby is 3 months old (some weeks younger than Toby).

TheSundayBest said...

I think my heart just exploded.

Maura said...

i'm with you on the hair-playing!!!!!

Maura said...

i'm with you on the hair-playing!!!!!

ellyy said...

He is utterly adorable. Ugh and those little feet and adorable cheeks... cuteness overload!

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babies said...

Baby massage
Massage is a very pleasant ways of communication between you and your child ..
Start with snapped drops of baby oil and soft touches, and caring at your baby feet ,. Then gradually moved it to the feet whole ,. Then moved it to the upper part of the body of a child ,. And do massage like this image ,…

http://little-babies.blogspot.com/2011/05/important-for-new-mothers-newborns.html

Ryan Rusty said...

It is very good to provide how to massage a Baby? It is very help full for every mom's.

Regards,
Pregnancy Massage Kelowna

Suzanne said...

yum, right? the new moms i teach always say, "it's as good for ME as it is my baby..." as massage helps their babes sleep more and cry less. thank you for encouraging others to massage their babies by sharing your experience. xo Suzanne @ MyMommyManual.com

sathyam shonkho said...

Doctors are prescribing massage chair for anxiety and similar mental problem because. Massage chair can deliver Indian Head massage and hot stone massage and these two massages are 10 times better then normal medication we have nowadays. For anxiety you can click the Thai massage, this massage will also help you.

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