Charlotte Braithwaite and Monty share their experiences on this popular massage course
My son was four weeks old when I visited a health visitor and told her how he seemed to be uncomfortable, pained and was finding it difficult to burp. The health visitor recommended baby massage so I signed up for the next available course with Bath Baby Massage. The course is five weeks long and focusses on a different area of the body each week, plus a sixth session which is just for the partners so they get to experience the course too.
Set in a relaxing environment, the group was nice and small (five of us in total), making it a lovely opportunity to meet other mums with similar aged babies.
The first week focused on the legs and feet, and the so-called ‘poo buttons’, which are several pressure points on the feet to help things along. Sure enough, it worked! Two hours later there was a nappy explosion. One of the mums on the course started with her little one only going once a week, to having at least one every day.
The stomach techniques in week two are aimed at relieving trapped wind, and specifically a sequence of massages that have been proven to relieve colic symptoms. Practising both the legs and the stomach techniques at home have alleviated those initial symptoms, and while Monty is still difficult to burp, he no longer lets out the pained cry and seems much more content.
Week three concentrated on the chest and arms, and week four on the face. Since learning these techniques, I practised them on my five-year-old daughter when she got her first cough and cold of the year. I rubbed decongestant onto her chest instead of oil as part of the massage before bed, as well as the points on the face, and it worked well to clear the sinuses. She now insists on a massage whenever she sees me doing it to her brother and is looking forward to me learning the back massages as part of week five!
Polly and Mel who run the course share their knowledge with the help of Jackson, their baby doll. We talk about problems and discuss how baby massage can be used to help. Each week ends with a cup of herbal tea and a biscuit or home-made protein ball, and not only is my son relaxed, but I leave feeling relaxed and energised too.
We have built the massage into our daily routine; some mums do it as part of the bed time routine but I find the late morning, just before nap time works best for us. My son now recognises the sound of the oil being rubbed in my hands and will give me the biggest smile. It’s an amazing feeling to put down your phone, block out other distractions and concentrate for half an hour on him, looking into his eyes and responding to all his visual cues showing me that he is enjoying it. The best bit is that he sleeps beautifully immediately afterwards.
For more information on the Bath Baby Massage course, click here