Infant Massage is a voluntary approach for babies to relax. Babies are the experts on their bodies and they dictate if and when massage is needed.
This is why the first thing we do before attempting to massage a baby is to ASK PERMISSION.
Asking Permission: Why?
Asking baby’s permission first before starting massage is required. This teaches boundaries and respect for both baby and parents. It teaches baby what is appropriate touch and teaches parents to read baby’s cues, becoming more tuned into baby. If babies are not interested in massage, they will find a way to communicate it. When parents are tuned in and listening to babies, they will recognize the “yes” and the “no” answer.
Sometimes babies are not wanting massage because they are not in the right frame of reference or not feeling good or bad time of day. There are many reasons why they may choose to say “no”. Parents need to respectfully read their responses and honor that. Babies cannot speak in the same language like adults can but they have a powerful way of communicating that we need to listen to.
Whenever we enter someone’s office or room, we knock on the door for permission to enter. It’s the same concept of asking babies’ permission. It is their bodies. Massage is voluntary.
Typically when massaging a baby, we start in this order:
- Face, (ears, head)
- Back & Bottom