Massage your Baby: Chest and Tummy
Emotional Development means the development of a full range of emotions from sad to happy to angry, and learning to deal with them appropriately. Newborns begin to express emotion from the moment they are born. Over the next few months, your baby will be able to show sadness and happiness.
Your baby will develop intimacy with you and feel content with your full attention.
You will need:
- A warm room
- Sufficient time
- A quiet atmosphere with few distractions
- A soft towel
- Fold a towel to create a thick mat for your baby to lie on and place this on the floor.
- Lay your baby on her back, with her feet closest to you. Make sure you are comfortable, whether you kneel, sit with legs crossed or have your legs stretched out on either side of your baby.
- Using the index and middle fingers on both hands, massage both side of your baby’s chest moving your fingers in a circular motion. Increase and decrease the size of the circles you make.
- To massage your baby’s tummy, place the fingers and palms of one hand horizontally just below the chest. Alternating your hands, move them in downward strokes across your baby’s tummy.
- You can also use the index and middle finger of one hand to make circles around your baby’s belly button and abdomen.
- If your baby is unaccustomed to being massaged, allow time for him to become comfortable with it. Over time, massage could become part of a regular routine of spending enjoyable and relaxing time together. Pay attention to his cues and signals, and discontinue if your baby communicated discomfort.
- Gently touch your child and speak to them in a loving manner
- Feel loved and valued and build their self-esteem
- Smile at your baby, make eye contact and imitate their vocalizations
- Feel loved and see that you enjoy their company
- Talk to your baby and tell them about his body, naming each part as you gently massage it (i.e. I'm going to massage your chest now)
- Learn what they like and what don't like