A lot is made of the bedtime routine in the various baby bibles. Under that heading I’d hoped to see the words ‘Martini’ and ‘bubble bath’, but alas, it’s all about relaxing your baby ready for
a night two hours of sleep. We start with a (bubble-free) bath, followed by some plinky-plunky music, but my favourite part has to be the massage.
It’s not only a great way to calm and soothe your baby, but also a true bonding experience that brings you both pleasure no matter what kind of day the two of you have had. I rub a healthy dose of Organic Monkey ‘Hello Mellow’ Organic Massage Oil £12 between my hands – a sound my baby now associates with the beginning of her massage – and work my way from her feet to her head. One bottle of the oil has lasted four whole months of nightly massages, and I’m only just replacing it now. It’s reassuringly natural, organic, not at all greasy and combines supremely relaxing Chamomile and Lavender to calm a
frazzled mother young baby.
Use a firm touch to knead up the soles of the feet from ankle to toes, gently squeezing each toe in turn. Place one hand around the top of the thigh, gently gripping, moving the other hand up from the foot to the groin, alternating hands so you have a rhythmic squeeze motion going. Trace a rainbow over the belly button with your middle three fingers – a great move for babies with colic or constipation. Cross your hands over the baby’s chest and move them down towards the belly in an ‘X’ shape. Massage the palms of their hands with a gentle circular motion, sweeping up the arm to the shoulder. Gently trace from the centre of the forehead to the temples with your index finger, then gently massage the scalp in a circular motion with the pads of your fingers. If you have to top up on oil or interrupt the massage for any other reason, place your hand, palm-down on the baby’s chest – a move called ‘resting hand’ that keeps them warm and reassured. At the end of this little routine I’m 2-Martinis-relaxed and we’re both ready to sink into a deep – albeit brief – sleep…