Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Special Times with Touch

When Boo was an infant I bought this infant massage book. We rarely got through an entire massage when he was an infant and I wasn't overly consistent with it, but it was always very special when I made time to do this with Boo.

As Boo grew older, massage kind of fell by the wayside and I kind of forgot about this special way of connecting with my little man. Enter pregnancy and third trimester fatigue and irritability. I know I've written a lot of posts lately about this fatigue, struggle to be a loving mom, and associated stress. So pardon me another such post please!

In my brainstorming efforts, massage resurfaced and beckoned to me. I got out my Aromatherapy and Massage for Mother and Baby book and made up a basic pregnancy massage oil. The recipe called for Almond, but I didn't have any almond oil in the house. So I used apricot oil for mine instead. I added my tangerine and lavendar essential oils, which were the suggested ones. I must say that it smells a bit on the heavenly side!

Starting this past weekend and several days since then Boo and I have had special massage times during which I attempt to massage his feet or "footies" as I like to call them in the moment. He's very ticklish on his feet, so sometimes this works and sometimes not. But he's always pretty eager to try. Then he gets very excited to hold his little hands out for a bit of oil and rub it on mommy. He loves to massage my preggo belly for me. This feels great on my stretchmarked belly and we talk to baby while we massage. It's been wonderful to hear Boo talk to his sibling while he rubs my belly and it's such a relaxing time for both of us.

This all made me very curious about massage with children. The book that I have is pretty specific to infants, so I decided to do what I always do when I get curious. I googled. Here's an article that talks about the benefits of massage for children. I thought it was pretty interesting anyways. I guess it's just one more resource that links human touch to positive outcomes.

Here's another one. This isn't specific to massage. But it's about human touch. This is a blog written about skin to skin touch for siblings. It made me cry - not hard to do when you're in your third trimester of pregnancy, but whatever!

Skin to Skin Bonding

Isn't that the sweetest thing you've ever read? I admit that I'm a huge believer in skin to skin bonding. When Boo was a baby I gave up on the baby bathtub - I HATED every single one that I tried. So into the tub with mommy he went. And he LOVED it and so did I. It was so relaxing to settle into the warm water with my little one. He would often nurse during this time when he was an infant. It was much more relaxing to me not trying to hold up a squirming baby in an akward position in a baby bathtub contraption. As he grew he eventually started taking baths on his own. But even now we still enjoy the occasional bath together and it's still a wonderful bonding experience. In fact, last Saturday we had one of those dreaded meltdown moments where nothing seemed to work. I had just arrived home from a pampering session at a salon and was resting on the couch when Boo woke up from nap. He came downstairs and sat on my lap and just cried. And cried. And cried. And cried. I tried everything under the sun. Are you hungry? Still tired? Have a bad dream? You name it.I know that he really really had not wanted me to leave earlier that day and so I suspect that may have had something to do with it. Finally I said, do you want to take a bath with mommy? He cried for another minute, then hopped up and ran to the bathroom and started stripping. Crisis over. We happily reconnected and both of our stress levels plummeted. It will be a bit bittersweet when he outgrows this kind of connecting, so for now I will attempt to delight in these special times.

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