Massage Your Baby: Head and Face
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 or a parent and receive their 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 only light strokes, you can stroke baby’s head, moving backwards over the crown of the head toward the base of the skull, or the jaw, moving hands towards each other from the ears to the chin.
- You can stroke the upper and lower cheek bones, placing your thumbs on either side of baby’s nose, moving them downward and outward from the cheek bones to the side of the face.
- 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 this cues and signals, and discontinue if your baby communicates discomfort.
- Touch your baby gently 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 her vocalizations
- Shows your baby that you enjoy their company
- Talk to your baby and tell them about their body parts, naming each part as you gently massage it (i.e. I'm going to massage your little nose now)
- Learn and discover what they like and don't like