FAQ’s on Baby Massage

When can I begin massaging my baby?
Introducing touch can be started soon after birth. Start with skin-to-skin care (such as Kangaroo Care). This involves placing your baby on your chest to facilitate close contact between you and your baby. (Dads love this!) You can gradually introduce back and leg strokes and then involve other parts of the baby’s body. By following your baby’s cues, and looking for signs of being quiet and alert, you can begin massage during the first few weeks after birth and then gradually develop a nurturing routine that will last a lifetime. You will learn all this in your Babymassage.in class.

What if the baby cries or moves around during the massage?
Your baby may prefer to change position or enjoy a cuddle instead. Always take the lead from your baby in massage and respond to their needs.

Why are oils used during the massage?
Oil lubricates the baby’s skin and reduces friction.

What Oil should I use on my baby?
We recommend the use of vegetable oil, which is preferably organic and cold-pressed. Usually, it is best not to use nut-based oil unless you know whether or not your baby has an allergy to nuts; this would include any peanut oil or almond oil. We advise against using nut-based oils until your physician has cleared your child for oral consumption of nut-based products.
Before trying any baby massage oil, dab a little on the baby’s arm to see if it is compatible with the skin. If any rash develops, wash off completely and avoid using that oil. If the baby has eczema, it’s better to use medical emollient cream or ointment.

What do I need for a baby massage?
A favorite
cuddly toy or comforter for your baby. A warm room so your baby is comfortable in their nappy or naked (your choice). A comfortable towel or blanket for baby to lay on and some baby-safe oil.

Where should I massage my baby?
Preferably somewhere you and your baby can relax without other distractions. Somewhere warm with natural daylight or subdued lighting. Our instructors will show you different ways to sit and position your baby so that you can feel comfortable and your baby feels supported.

What is the best time to massage my baby?
Pick a time that works for both baby and parent. We recommend that your baby is in the “quiet alert state” to massage him/her. Your baby will look calm, gaze at you, and be happy to lay still, have an open body posture, or reach out towards you. As you learn your baby’s cues you will know when it is the right time.

Are there times when I should not massage my baby?
We do not recommend massaging a baby when they are not awake or say ‘no’ to massage. Safety is ensured by reading your baby’s cues. You will learn about cues when you attend the babymassage classes.

Why should I attend an infant massage class?
While there are many books and videos available on Infant Massage, learning along with other parents from a Certified Infant Massage Instructor (CIMI or CEIM) is a more hands-on, interactive, and personal experience. IAIM instructors teach each of the strokes one by one so you will feel comfortable and confident that you are doing them correctly. CIMIs also help you understand your baby’s responses and can help answer any questions you may have about touch, bonding/attachment, and other topics. During an Infant Massage class, you will also benefit from other parents’ interaction, knowledge, and experience.

Why does a class last 3-5weeks?
We like to introduce babies to massage at their own pace. We watch their cues and introduce new strokes gradually, week-to-week. During our Infant Massage classes, you will be introduced to new information each week and build on previously taught techniques. Classes are designed to build relationships between parent and baby to instill trust and create positive associations. Long-term training sessions also encourage engagement between parents fostering opportunities for ongoing support and friendships long after the classes are over.

Can both parents attend infant massage classes?
We encourage both parents to participate in Infant Massage classes. This gives your baby a chance to bond with each parent in his/her own way. Fathers and mothers often develop different styles and unique ways to interact with their babies, and these classes are a great opportunity for both parents to form a lifelong bond with their children.

How often can I massage my baby?
Follow your baby’s cues. It is wonderful to have massage be part of your daily family routine. Depending on your baby, she may be receptive in the morning, after a bath, or before bedtime. Or he may be only open to accepting massage on his legs at one session, may like tummy massage during a diaper change, and like the whole body at bath time. Many of the benefits are increased with regular daily massages. And some babies happily receive more than one message a day.

How long does the massage take?
As long as the baby wants it! Our classes are totally baby-led. As babies become more tolerant with age and experience they will want to be massaged for longer. Our instructors can help you to identify your baby’s unique cues, and then you can decide whether to continue or to rest your baby. In our classes parents are given expert status – you know your baby better than anyone else!

What if my child has special needs?
Infant massage can be very helpful for babies who have experienced challenges in their lives. It is a wonderful way to strengthen the communication between parents and their children. Your IAIM Certified Infant Massage Instructor will be able to guide you as you massage your baby, or refer you to another instructor who has more knowledge and experience in this area. You and your baby are welcome in IAIM infant massage classes

What should I bring to class?
Along with your normal diaper bag items, bring an extra receiving blanket and a pillow either for you to sit on or to prop up your baby.

Can I use essential oil to massage my baby?
A baby’s sense of smell is very strong. For that reason, we don’t recommend using any fragrance near a young baby. You can use fragrances to entice your older child to receive a massage.