Monday, February 7, 2011

Channeling calm, relaxed and sleepy.

One of my favourite times of the day is Stellas' pre-bed bathtime. The bath itself isn't the most calming of experiences...There are brightly coloured bath books, a floating squirting whale and ducks and fish galore!

She loves to splash, giggle and wriggle.
She'll drink the bath water and eat the bubbles.

But when I say the word 'up?' she puts out her arms ready for a fluffy towel. She knows what comes next.
I find that if we miss this part of the night, getting settled and to bed is all that much harder.

Operation relaxed and sleepy starts with a massage with natural lavender bodymilk. It's rare that Stella ever lays still, but she will happily lay for ten or so minutes during a baby massage.

Baby Massage relaxes her muscles, relieves tension and is amazing bonding time for us. She will lay in
complete silence and gaze at me and by the time I've finished we are pretty 'chilled'.

There is an entire association dedicated to baby massage and its' benefits. You can take infant massage classes, get private tuition and even train to become a certified infant massage instructor. If money and time are in abundance then these all sound fantastic...but to achieve quality bonding time and create a relaxing, calming atosphere all that is needed is
baby + lotion + hands.

No fancy-wancy techniques.

My favourite bath and body products for babies are the natural lavender bodymilk and massage oil with organic sunflower oil by MamaToo (These are so amazing I use them on myself!) the Buriti Baby collection by the Body Shop and gentle botty balm by Aroma Newborn. They are all gentle on sensitive baby skin and make Stella smell utterly edible.

To get started on Baby Massage This is the best readable, basic and down-to-earth information I've come across. But at the end of the day, just slathering your babe in moisturiser and rubbing from head to toe (well, toe to head) in a quiet room before bed is what its all about. No chanting, humming, special stroking or strategical rubbing required.

Another droopy, sleepy-eye inducing tactic we use after the Baby Massage is brushing her hair with a soft bristled brush. She gazes off into space and sways a little while I do it.
Its so fulfilling to see the effect that a good wind down routine can have on a baby. They learn to anticipate it and make associations with sleep, comfort and security.

After the big bath, the baby massage and a little time in the imaginary baby hair salon, Stella is in a total state of tranquility. She snuggles, smooches and snoozes like a dream! With the added bonus of some relaxation and time out for Mumma too!

Mission calm, relaxed and sleepy complete!

Happy baby pampering!

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