It is a cold morning and the world is buzzing outside. It has been a disrupted night with many seemingly endless feeding times, winding and changing our newborn baby.
The emotions are so many and so different that I can hardly name them. In any case, I don’t seem to have time to analyse my feelings as I seem to have changed my priorities and now the word is ‘just do it’.
Not an easy task, but now I have decided to let the world go around, forget about the dust accumulating under the bed, the many teacups piling on the kitchen sink and switch to silence the messages coming from so many social platforms.
My time is now! and somewhere inside god-knows-where, I sense that it goes by so quickly, or at least that’s what they all say:
-They’re babies for such a short time! or
-They grow so quickly! or
-Make the best of it, they’re babies only for only a few months’… so, there must be something about it if everybody says the same thing even if it is the first and last time they see you and your baby!
So, I decide to breathe in deeply and start making the room warm and cosy, I get the high quality vegetable oil, put the phone in airplane mode and, oh crumbs! forgot to prepare the relaxing music! Never mind. Cooing and humming will do.
So, I sit down comfortably with my baby and take in those beautiful eyes, get very close and ask her/him if baby would like a massage, knowing that it is a matter of two; not ‘me wanting to massage you because this is when I can do it’, but rather ‘Hello baby, would you like a lovely massage?’ I ask this as I rub my hands next to baby’s ears and warm up the massage oil.
Baby is awake and alert, makes eye contact and seems to respond to my question.
I soothingly place my hands on my baby and start the ritual: the warming of the oil in the palm of my hands near baby’s ears, the rhythmic strokes on each area of baby’s body, starting with the legs so baby does not feel so invaded, the knowledge that this is a sequence that has been developed over many years, the attention to the response and the cues given by baby, the respect to his/her response so that baby trusts that I will only massage as long as she likes it and the unfolding of the wonderful experience and special time to communicate both verbally and non-verbally…
Also the confidence in my ability to care for and nurture my baby grows. And so, my baby feels securely attached, increases her/his levels of relaxation and achieves longer sleep. And so, I gain a deeper understanding of baby’s behaviour, the different ways of crying and the body language…
–Oh! is that a little wee that has escaped? Never mind, that’s because you are very relaxed now. I’ll put a dry nappy underneath if you want to wet it too.
-And that reminds me: you had a bad night with colic or something like that, something I don’t understand, you don’t understand but gosh, doesn’t it make us worry? It’s ok. You know that I am always there with you, I will hold and listen to what you want to tell me.
-I will massage your tummy very gently with the ‘colic routine’ I learnt in my Baby Massage classes and you will see how it helps you to move your bowels, how I will dissolve those gases with my fingertips… Yes, I know, sweetheart, all these functions are so new to you tiny body!
-You will see how quickly it matures and I’ll be there to help you all the way through.
My baby turns her head away and starts looking at something else, even pushes my hand away gently… My baby has had enough and I know it. I did not do her toes, did not do her face nor chest… my baby had enough.
So I make the goodbye contact, thank my baby, thank myself, life and everything that comes to mind and start dressing baby again.
Something deep inside has happened. Is this what they call bonding?
Find out about Baby Massage classes at: Flourishing Baby