Communication is essential to create or maintain a relationship with a person. Of all the relationships we might forge in our lifetime, the most important and special is the relationship between a mother and her child. As parents, we do a lot to maintain a steady and consistent communication with our children. We talk, we laugh, we sing, we play. But the most special and pleasant form of communication you can enjoy with your kid is by touch.
The most enjoyable part of my day I spend with Vayun, my 2-year-old son, is during our massage time. The time spent singing and playing with him, does not just make up for a fun time, but the bond between us gets ever strengthened. The mother-child time, the deep emotions that get evoked with the touch of the mother and the sight of your kid being completely relaxed and carefree in your arms are very satisfying. Children yearn for attention and care from their parents, and when the time is set aside exclusively for them, in a most special way, they reciprocate generously.
In India, the technique of massaging babies is not a new concept. The roots go well deep into history, and this technique has been followed down the ages. But, most of us make the mistake of delegating the task to a so-called professional baby massager. Most of us do this due to the fear of hurting the baby, or not knowing the correct technique. But in reality, a seamless method cannot be followed for all children. Every child is different, and no one but the mother knows what the kid wants. When we think about it, baby massaging should be a relaxing time, not a time for babies to kick their legs in the air and cry all-out war against the massager. But when the mother takes the initiative in doing this, the child feels the warmth, and not only does the child get to know the parent physically, but also socially and emotionally.
Even when Vayun was born, he was more comfortable in my hands than in the hands of any other stranger who sees this important process as just a mere job. Of our 2+ years of massaging time, here are a few tips I learned in the way.
Babies are very sensitive and attractive to smells. For their relaxing, I prefer natural smells and no artificial ones. Most mothers don’t know the difference and so they go ahead and use any ordinary coconut oil for massaging. That’s a mistake you want to avoid. Depending on the season and climate, use oils that seep easily into the skin, and which don’t feel sticky. Babies want to feel free during the process, and so use light oils and not any dense ones.
As mentioned earlier, the same type of massaging won’t suit all kinds of babies. So, give personalized massages your baby demands. If he is not comfortable with a particular spot, then avoid it. Comfort should be given first priority.
Massaging times is the perfect occasion to set rituals and teach lessons. Sing songs you would want your baby to remember, and talk freely to your baby. Remember, your baby is the most advanced learning machine in this universe. Even when you think that they won’t be able to pay any attention, or are too young to remember anything, they can, and values which you teach or practice in your life are carried with them into adulthood.
When a mother alone spends time with her baby, the baby gets overly attached to just one parent. Fathers usually have the added responsibility of taking care of the family financially, and so whenever he may be free, let it be the evenings or the weekends, don’t just let him indulge in the process, but allow the baby-father duo to spend time alone, as their bonding too, is as necessary as yours too.
Baby massaging should not be pushed to second place, as it is a memorable gateway to getting to know your baby and vice versa. Spend ample time, give enough care, and most importantly, have fun!