The following is an interview with my friend, Katie Walkenhorst, C.M.T. (certified massage therapist) She is phenomenal at her craft and is the mama of one-year-old Evelyn. I asked her about massage techniques she uses to help get her baby to sleep. This is what she told me.
*you can massage over clothing (no oil) or use an all natural oil on bare skin.
*Adding a few drops of lavender essential oil to your base oil can help induce sleep.
*Before massaging, always ‘ask permission’ in a soothing voice.
3 DREAMY TECHNIQUES:
1. Begin with the upper legs and move down toward feet in a kneading/circular or ‘milking’ pattern. Be sure to include feet, toes and soles of the feet. Next, continue with the same pattern on the arms. Start by baby’s shoulder and knead toward hands. Again, be sure to include hands and fingers. Always work from the middle of the body outward.
2. Next place your hands in ‘prayer position’ over the upper chest and separate the hands moving them simultaneously in a ‘heart shape’ around and down to join together again at the naval area. Do several strokes like this. Always stroke the stomach from nipple line downward toward pubic bone, or in clockwise circular stokes, never use upward or counterclockwise strokes. Do this with firm pressure hand over hand.
3. Don’t forget the face! Any massage will help calm your babe, but the area between the eyes from the middle of the forehead down the bridge of the nose is the most effective area for inducing baby’s sleep. Do a few soft strokes downward in this area finger over finger.
*At bedtime don’t use any scents other than lavender as they can be too stimulating.
*Try not to use oil on the face and hands to avoid getting some in the mouth or eyes.
*Use only a few strokes on each area, too many strokes can overstimulate before bedtime.
*If you sense baby is becoming stimulated instead of sleepy, stop the massage and try again another evening.