We read about baby massage right before our first child was born. I was so excited we bought a book/video kit and some fancy massage oil. How great can this be? I thought. A chance for J to bond with the baby, an easy cure for tummy troubles and a sweet bedtime ritual. Not to mention how this would boost our hippy cred...
Oh well. Sofi had other plans. Waiting an extra ten minutes between bath and NURSING was not her idea of a sweet bedtime ritual. My children tend to have distinct ideas about when they want their food. We tried the nightly bonding massage for about a month and then gave it up.
BUT. We did learn one super cool and useful thing from the video and book! A massage routine that has never yet failed to give relief (albeit temporary) to a gassy baby. Usually pooting or outright pooping occurs within the first two minutes of this massage. (instructions at the end of this post)
Fast forward six years to baby number two! I never even tried all the fancy "moves" on Judah as an infant. It never even occurred to me that (duh) being a different child, he might haves different likes and dislikes (*rolls eyes at self*).
BUT. I have just this week discovered that Judah loooves being massaged! My kids have really dry skin in the winter, so they get slathered up every night with lotion once we start using the furnace again each fall. As I slathered Judah he suddenly relaxed, his whole body went linp, his eyes kind of rolled a little and he started to hum! Pretty cute :) Yeah, he's his mommy's boy, all right. Loves him some ruuuuubs.... So now he gets some rubs almost every night!
You can buy the same kit we used here, or just google "Infant Massage" and find pretty decent instructions. If you get interested, I recommend the book and video. There are benefits to actually seeing someone else do it before you try it. And they have some really neat information about how/why all this works and exactly what kids of effects it has.
Massage to relieve a gassy tummy:
Lay baby face up on your lap. Remove diaper, but keep it under his rear-- you might need it to catch poop :) Slather your fingers with some thick lotion or natural oil. We used olive oil or apricot kernal oil. Using a firm, but gentle pressure and a slow stroke, trace a sideways "C" shape from baby's right thigh, above bellybutton (but below ribs) around to his left thigh. (Clockwise direction) This follows the direction that food moves through the digestive tract. GOING IN THE WRONG DIRECT OFTEN CAUSED OUR BABIES ADDITIONAL DISTRESS. If your child cries when you massage, be sure you aren't pushing too hard or going in the wrong direction.
Now go check out more stuff that works for other people!