Head and Face
To complete the front of your baby’s body we come to the face and head. You can massage this area anytime of day or incorporate with other areas of their body. I used to gently stroke my boys faces as they fell asleep and even when they were asleep, especially if they were a little snotty. The sweeping out from the nose to the ears and down towards the neck that you will learn can help clear congestion in the sinus cavities.
You may notice once you get started that when you are massaging the cheek and lip area your baby turns their head side to side, mouth open towards your fingers. This is a response called the ‘rooting reflex’, and innate response that helps the baby find the nipple or bottle in order to feed. This involuntary response should mature after around 3 weeks with your baby turning their head naturally towards the teat or nipple to latch on.
The techniques I teach you in this video are the basics. Adapt them to suit your hands and your baby, You can incorporate ear massage and a gentle scalp massage, taking care over their fontanel.
You can also incorporate the game of ‘peek-a-boo’ while you are positioned face to face. Start slowly by covering your own face for a few seconds and then appearing with a smile, a laugh and it seems natural to say “boo”! With repetition and positive emotions shown by yourself your baby with learn that you haven’t disappeared and that it’s a fun game. Soon they will start to copy you and hide their own face. This simple game, aside from being a fun interaction with your baby, teaches them the concept of Object Permanence – the understanding that something still exists even if you can’t see it. An important aspect of building self-confidence in your baby as they grow.