Who doesn’t love a good massage? Massage therapy can be such a useful tool, ranging from deep tissue massage for sore muscles and joints, to light massage for soothing and relaxation. Babies and children can enjoy massage too. Using gentle massaging techniques on babies and young children can help to promote, relaxation, bonding and even movement and play. Did you know that simple massage techniques can also be used to aid in digestion for wee ones? It’s true, that’s why today I would like to share one of my favourite musical massage exercises with you. Combining both gentle abdominal massage with lower limb massage, this is a fun and entertaining way to help your little ones improve digestion and release gas pains. I like to sing “The Wheels on the Bus” while performing the exercises below.
Lay out a clean blanket on a soft but sturdy surface. I like to use the floor or change table. You can either undress baby or perform exercises while baby is fully clothed. Sit or stand at baby’s feet.
If baby is undressed, you may want to use your favourite moisturizing lotion. Rub it in your hands first to warm it up then gently rub on baby as you sing. If baby is dressed your hands should run smoothly over baby’s clothing while singing.
Step 2: Perform the following actions
The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, round and round
The wheels on the bus go round and round, all through the town.
Action: Gently rub baby’s belly in a circular motion going clockwise.
The people on the bus go up and down, up and down, up and down,
The people on the bus go up and down, all through the town
Action: Gently hold baby’s feet together and bend knees in towards abdomen then straighten out and repeat
The wipers on the bus go swish swish swish, swish swish swish, swish swish swish,
The wipers on the bus go swish swish swish, all through the town
Action: Place your hands on baby’s lower abdomen and gently rub side to side in an arching motion
The horn on the bus goes beep beep beep, beep beep beep, beep beep beep
The horn on the bus goes beep beep beep, all through the town
Action: Playfully touch baby’s belly button on the words “beep beep beep”
This exercise can be done one on one at home, or in a group class or play date while seated in a circle. Either way, you are sure to elicit some smiles and giggles and enjoy bonding with your little one.