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Top Things to Know About Baby Massage in Vancouver 

Ultimate Guide about Baby Massage in Vancouver
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Fun fact: By age 3, about 80% of your baby’s brain is already active. Their little brains are like sponges, absorbing experiences, especially with parents or caregivers.

Speaking of experiences, a baby massage taps into your baby’s first sense: touch, starting right from the womb. 

If you want to help your baby thrive with your comforting touch, keep reading to be in the know!

What should I know about baby massage in Vancouver?

Baby massage is becoming popular in Vancouver and other places as a way to bond with your little one. But before diving into it, it’s best to understand your baby’s needs, learn the techniques, and use the right products.

Here’s the lowdown on all your basic questions:

At what age should you start with baby massage?

At what age should you start with baby massage

You may start giving your baby massages right from birth, as recommended by HealthLink BC, but many parents hop into massage classes around 4 to 6 weeks.

But while babies usually dig the loving touch, nurturing cuddles, or skin-to-skin contact, diving into a class might be overwhelming for them at first. 

What’s more, some little ones might not be ready for baby oil or lotion in the first few days of life. Experts suggest waiting around 10 days to 2 weeks before using these products.

Is it OK for a baby to cry during a massage?

Is it OK for a baby to cry during a massage

More often than not, it’s OK for your baby to cry during a massage. This is especially true if your hands feel a bit chilly on their tiny body. 

But when your baby starts getting fussier, Vancouver-based registered massage therapist Christina Sharma, RMT recommends using lighter strokes.

Begin with the face, hands, and feet, and slowly build up the time as your little one gets comfier. And if they happen to drift off to sleep, it’s probably time to wrap it up.

Why do babies cry during a massage?

Why do babies cry during a massage

Babies may cry during a massage for several reasons—discomfort, overstimulation, sensitivity to touch, or medical issues. 

Interestingly, a study suggests that Canadian, British, and Italian babies cry more than others. So when your little one starts crying during a massage, it might not necessarily be because of the massage itself.

Before you dive into the session, we advise making sure your baby isn’t hungry, tired, or in need of a diaper change.

Now, if this is your baby’s first massage, all those new sensations might be a bit much. It’s smart to keep an eye on your baby’s signals, and don’t hesitate to tweak the massage duration and pressure.

Also, babies have their own unique touch preferences. Your little one might not be a fan of certain textures or pressures, especially if they have some sensory quirks. 

But if your baby keeps crying during massages, it’s wise to check for any underlying health issues. To be sure it’s not something medical, we advise chatting with your friendly neighborhood pediatrician.

How do I massage my baby?

How do I massage my baby

Child Health BC points out that baby massage is all about nurturing attachment, bonding, and connection. But there’s no one-size-fits-all technique for how to massage your baby, and what works can vary.

Still, here are some easy-peasy things you can try:

Make Things Comfy

Make Things Comfy

Before massaging, it’s nice to create a comfy space for your baby, be it the changing table or bed. Dim the lights, play soft kiddie tunes, and let the ambiance signal to your little angel that something soothing is about to happen.

Ensure the room temperature is just right—neither too hot nor too cold. Later, make sure your hands are warm enough for them too. 

Now, spread a soft towel where your baby can lie with ease. Beyond being practical, we believe it creates a snug space for relaxation and connection. 

For us, this also sets the stage for eye contact—a wonderful form of non-verbal communication with your little one.

Begin Slowly

Begin Slowly

Lay your baby on their back. Start with a soft, gentle touch on each body part, crafting a soothing experience. Take it slow and steady.

Massage each body part, starting from the head and moving down to the toes. There’s no specific time limit, though the average can last from 10 to 30 minutes. 

You can also try a short massage with your baby on their belly. Just pay attention to their cues. You want to see signs of relaxation, like calm breathing or contented cooing. 

Overall, some babies enjoy it, while others may need more time. It’s about what makes them comfy and happy.

Use Oil, Lotion, or Neither

Use Oil, Lotion, or Neither

As you explore baby massage, the next step is deciding what to use—oil, lotion, or maybe nothing at all! Some cool Vancouver shops like Giving Gifts and Cémarose offer fun scents such as lavender, chamomile, and peach to help your little one unwind.

You may also go for an odorless and, better yet, an edible one—just in case your baby decides to taste it during the session. Also, note that olive oil isn’t recommended as it’s both sticky and slippery.

We think it’s smart to conduct a patch test as well. Apply a small dab of the chosen oil to a tiny patch of your baby’s skin, and observe for any reactions. This step is crucial, especially if your baby has allergies or sensitive skin.

Yet for those who prefer to skip the products, no worries! You can still have a wonderful massage session. Keep it simple with gentle touches, and enjoy the special bond you share with your baby.

Talk to Your Baby

Talk to Your Baby

Engage with your baby by saying their name and repeating “relax” in a soothing voice, even if they can’t understand it yet. This simple affirmation can still create a calming atmosphere.

You may even do a bit of “baby talk.” But no sweat! Studies show that this actually doesn’t delay speech development—ask your speech therapist! In fact, responding to your baby encourages them to talk later on.

Feel free to mix “baby talk” with regular adult words—you’re laying the groundwork for your little one’s first words.

As your hands move, you may also share a simple story or sing their favorite nursery rhymes, like “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” and “Humpty Dumpty.” 

What are the benefits of baby massage?

What are the benefits of baby massage

According to AIMB, Canada®, baby massage offers a bunch of amazing benefits for your little one. Think better sleep, less stress, relaxed muscles, improved breathing, better digestion, and even fewer tummy troubles.

Baby massage makes your baby feel like they’re in zen mode, with reduced levels of stress hormones. This helps work those muscles, making their arms and legs more flexible and ready for action.

Moreover, it promotes healthy breathing and helps your baby become more aware of their own little body. Or if you’re ever worried about your baby being a bit touch-sensitive, baby massage can help desensitize their skin.

And when it’s time for them to digest their tiny meals, baby massage also steps in to make it easier, reducing the chances of constipation. A real tummy-saver, we’d say!

For parents dealing with colicky babies, baby massage can be a real game-changer. It helps soothe their irritability, leading to improved sleep, better blood flow, and a stronger immune system down the road.

Just a friendly tip: As a parent, you deserve some TLC and relaxation too! How about treating yourself to a massage place or something quirky like a Japanese hair salon in Vancouver when you snag a bit of free time later?

What should I NOT do during a baby massage?

What should I NOT do during a baby massage

Now that you know the basics, let’s chat about some key “don’ts” to keep things safe and snug for your munchkin:

  • Don’t disrupt your baby’s beauty sleep.Let them doze off peacefully until they wake up on their own.
  • Don’t massage on a full stomach.If your baby is feeling peckish or fussy, wait until their tummy’s happy before starting the massage.
  • Don’t massage a sick baby.Should your baby not feel their best, skip the massage for now. Wait until they’re back to their chipper selves before giving them a soothing rubdown. You may ask your pediatrician for the green light.
  • Don’t put your baby in high spaces.Keep your baby safe by massaging them on a low, secure surface. Whether it’s the floor or a stable platform, make sure they’re cozy and grounded.
  • Don’t use just any lotion or oil.Be picky about what you use on your baby’s skin. Consult a pro to make sure you’re using products that are gentle and safe, steering clear of any potential irritants.
  • Don’t massage all areas at once. Let’s not overwhelm the baby. Go slow and focus on different body parts during each session. Start with the face, then move to the arms, tummy, back, and legs.
  • Don’t tickle your baby. Save the tickles for playtime! During massages, the goal is to calm your baby down, not get them giggling like crazy.

Who can I talk to about baby massages?

Who can I talk to about baby massages

There are plenty of folks you can talk to about baby massages. Notable ones include a pediatrician or a Certified Infant Massage Instructor (CIMI) who actually trained at a reputable massage school in Vancouver.

Your pediatrician is the baby expert who can tailor advice for safe and effective massage techniques. Feel free to switch if you’re not happy with your current one.

Then, there are Certified Infant Massage Instructors (CIMIs) who know all the ins and outs of soothing those tiny toes. Plus, they’ve got a stash of support materials you can use in the long haul.

And don’t forget about your fellow parents! They’ve been there, done that, and can offer real-life tips and tricks to make your journey as smooth as a baby’s bottom.

Moreover, you may reach out to a trusted midwife or the staff at community centers nearby. The latter might clue you in on available baby massage classes or workshops in the city.

Need to talk to a healthcare pro pronto? Just dial up HealthLink BC, a super handy free service provided by the Government of British Columbia. You can call toll-free at 8-1-1 or hit up 7-1-1 if you’re deaf or hard of hearing.

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