It’s International Day of Infant Massage and Nurturing Touch (7th June 2022), a celebration to promote and raise awareness about the importance of nurturing touch in the process of bonding and attachment. If you are expecting your first or have a young baby, find great massage tips in my Baby Massage How To Series. If it’s your second time around I’m going to share how it can help with the transition from one to two children.
You are likely to feel more relaxed about looking after a baby second time but the transition from one child to two can come with many challenges. From negotiating two different needs, coping with less time for yourself and your partner and potentially dealing with regression (my son, at age three, went back to crawling and asking to be carried when his sister came along) or even aggression from your firstborn. And all this on less sleep than before!
For your baby – quality time with your new arrival can often be side-lined by the demands and schedule of an older child – massage is a wonderful way to include this. Every child is different and this gives you the opportunity in all the busyness to slow down, focus and really get to know baby No2 and appreciate the milestones (it really does seem to go faster second time around). Ideally find some time when your older child is being minded by someone else or after they have gone to bed so you are undisturbed.
For your firstborn – baby massage is not just for babies! Introducing or reintroducing massage to your older child can be especially helpful if they are finding a new addition to the family challenging. You are giving them some undivided attention and close contact and you may even find them sharing some of their thoughts about having a new sibling in their life.
For both together – sometimes the older sibling can be a little rough with the baby in general play. Letting them help with the massage teaches them about gentle touch, being sensitive to the baby’s needs and gives them a sense of responsibility. Massage is about sharing and caring. Teach them one or two strokes and choose the legs, rather than the face if they are a bit heavy handed generally.
Massage doesn’t need to take too much time in your already busy day. You might only have two minutes or as many as twenty to spare but quality is more important than quantity. Whether this is your first, second (or more) find out more in my How To series on baby massage and take a look at Nom Nom organic baby oil made especially for baby massage.
Jayne Russell has over twenty years of experience as a pre’ and postnatal massage and nutritional therapist and is the founder of Nom Nom – award winning, certified organic pregnancy and baby skincare. Sign up for your free skincare guide “10 Steps to Super Healthy Baby Skin” at nomnomskincare.com