If there is one piece of advice that I would give to new Mums (and Dads!!) on how to bond with your newborn baby it would be to do baby massage. If possible find out if there are any courses being run near you, I enrolled in a free 6-week course at my local Surestart Children’s Centre when Little Bean was just 6 weeks old and it was one of the nicest courses I have ever done. Not only did I get to meet lots of other lovely Mums and their babies but I learnt a skill which I still use today with Beanie Boy. If you can’t find a course with you then there are lots of good information sites online which can teach you the basics but then you don’t get to meet anyone.
There are endless benefits to massaging your baby; spending uninterrupted quality time with your newborn, great for bonding, helps to improve the stability of baby’s nervous system, giving baby massages regularly will mean that baby is more alert and sociable during awake time, great for relieving colic and constipation, baby will sleep longer and more soundly, reduces stress hormones in both you and baby, improves circulation which increases oxygen and nutrient flow to baby’s growing cells and finally massaged babies tend to be more relaxed and open. One tip I remember from my baby massage classes which I hadn’t considered, although I do it subconsciously with Little Bean is that you can continue massage as your child grows and use it to aid communication. If your child has something on their mind sometimes just rubbing their back or massaging their shoulders can be enough to relax them into opening up to you. Until writing this post I hadn’t realised that I do this with Little Bean and it does work (most of the time!), when she has had a bad day she will come and sit on my knee and I will automatically rub her backs, shoulders, neck or just stroke her head and I feel her relax into it at which point she begins to talk.
One of the most important things about baby massage is finding a good massage oil to make the experience perfect for you and your baby. I was sent a bottle of Organic Monkey Hello Mellow Organic Massage Oil which contains a delicate blend of nourishing organics oils to moisturise the skin. The oil is scented with a hint of organic sweet orange, lavender and roman chamomile essential oils which aid well being and helps to soothe restlessness and hyperactivity. Up until now I have only been using the oils on Beanie Boy because I hadn’t really considered going back to full on massage with Little Bean but bearing in mind recent events I think perhaps just a little back and shoulder massage with Hello Mellow might just do the trick in reassuring her that I am here for her and sending her off to bed for restful sleep.
The Hello Mellow Massage Oil provides a really nice aroma (although you can buy unscented if you prefer) and makes massaging Beanie Boy a dream, he always settles very well for his massage after bathtime and has a very peaceful smile on his face throughout, until I get to his tummy but then he is very ticklish!! The massage oil is so moisturising his skin still feels as soft as the day he was born and since you only need to use a small amount the bottle lasts a long time too.
Hello Mellow Organic Massage Oil – 125ml RRP £12.00