Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Infant Massage....Help

I am writing this post in a general state of overwhelm and sleep deprivation.

I was flipping through our Dr. Rightwing book today, and opened to the part about infant massage.* Oh yeah! I remembered. Infant massage. I tried that on Jo like three years ago! (Well. Maybe it was last week.) Then I forgot about it. I panicked and pointed out to Co that our baby was now at risk for decreased neurological function and psychosocial dwarfism from lack of touch. She pointed out that just yesterday, a friend's mom asked if we ever put the baby down; he is not really suffering for lack of touch.

But I really do want to learn infant massage. Oneofhismoms lent me the definitive book on the subject and another friend gave us a flip book with photographs. Unfortunately even these excellent resources leave me feeling tense and incompetent. Because a) I am really, really crappy at following written directions of what to do with my hands; I even have trouble following pictures or photographs that tell me what to do with my hands. (Yeah, that frigging Maya wrap is still unthreaded, and Co has to show me the baby signs from the books with her own hands before I really get it.) b) The books say you should do it daily, and for what seems like a really long period of time. We just tried some massage to see if it would relax him (he just wanted to nurse again, which is all he has wanted to do since about 5pm) and after 15-20 minutes of Co trying to interpret the photographs and directions for me, we were still on his feet. I would love for massage to be a special daily ritual for Jo and me, the way sucking Mommy dry is his special ritual with Co. Right now, it's okay if massage takes a long time. But I am thinking about going back to work and coming home to make dinner, write a lesson plan, feed the dog, change 57 diapers, and settle down for three hours of infant massage. The image is seriously stressing me out. (I don't mean that I don't want to spend time with my kid once I go back to work. I mean that maybe it shouldn't all be massage.)

So those of you who have used/are using infant massage, how does it fit into your life in a practical way? If you do it daily, what time of day seems to work? About how long is a session? Do you pick and choose certain "strokes" and if so, how? What other tips can you share?

It's 11:48, the kid is on the boob again, and I am going to try to go to bed. Maybe I will make more sense tomorrow.

*Every time I pick up this book, it automatically falls open to the page with the big orange box labelled "Disappearing P*nis." What is up with that??


Shelli said...

just slather the kid in cetaphil lotion, and it's all good. Pick up a leg with one hand, slather it with the other, rub up and down, keep it simple.

He'l love whatever you do.

Malka now looks at the lotion and says: "lotion, Eemah?"

Now, on to more important matters. When do I get to touch him? ;)

Anonymous said...

I gave up on books and methods, and just spend some time rubbing and stroking him all over. Before he goes to sleep, when I change him, whenever. My baby loves it!

FosterMommy said...

I agree with the above. The book can help give you ideas, but really, it's like massaging anyone - just grab a body part and do something that seems soothing.

Really, it can't take 3 hours. Chances are, in just a short while, Jo is NOT going to put up with that. He'll be rolling away and reaching for toys as soon as you open the lotion bottle. Can you believe it?!

Jude said...

Pick a body part/body area and do that. You don't have to massage his whole body, nor should you because he doesn't have that kind of marathon attention span. :) So one day do legs, the next belly, then arms, etc.

I never did infant massage with Punk and she seems pretty okay. :)

Anonymous said...


Seriously. Seriously. Just get some lotion and rub it on your baby. Look deep into his eyes as you do it. Talk to him. If he's cold, hold him in your arms while you rub.

We do it with Sassa after baths and before bedtime while changing diaper and putting on pajamas. Takes 10 minutes tops. When you're an infant, 10 minutes is a Looooooong time. A long time of drinking in your eyes and touch. Think of it in terms of percentage of time alive.

And stop reading so much. It just gives you more to worry about.

oneofhismoms said...

Oh! There's a woman in your neighborhood who teaches infant massage! Aileen something. She posts on the list. You know. The list. But I'll see if I have her email. I only did one session with Cakie. He screamed the whole time. I think he was cold. And maybe a little too new in the world.

oneofhismoms said...

Ha ha. Chicory just told someone to stop reading so much. LOL.