Infant massage is a long standing parenting tradition in many cultures that connects you deeply with your baby, helps you understand their nonverbal language and respond with love and respectful listening.
All of my children have benefitted from infant massage immensely, from reducing tension/ discomfort in the early days to their general well being and relaxation after a long day of running around. The adapted routine for older children is great to keep the massage alive even as they get older.
Through my own experience I firmly believe that infant massage enables you to better understand your baby’s needs, communicate love through nurturing, positive touch and apply massage techniques in a relaxed environment. It also empowers you as parent and provides invaluable bonding time which is often hard to find in our busy schedules, especially as they grow older.
I am a member of the IAIM UK chapter and maintain my continuous professional development within this field.
Baby massage classes offer parents an opportunity to learn infant massage techniques such as Indian & Swedish massage strokes, learn principles of reflexology and yoga). It also allows parents to spend quality time with their baby, increasing the parents understanding of how babies communicate through body language. The classes also offer a source of support and a place where no one is judged.
The classes are completely baby-led and parents are encouraged to feed, change and comfort their babies as and when they feel the need to do so. Babies are our teachers, their parents are the experts & I am there to support the parents. The atmosphere is calm and laid-back, so please don’t worry that you may upset the class if your baby cries, or is unsettled – it’s all part of being a baby and there is absolutely no pressure to perform in these classes!
What is covered:
The course consists of five classes (consecutive weeks) lasting between 1–1.5 hours. I provide detailed handouts every session, you will receive organic oil for the course to take home and mats will be provided. The course will cover the following:
- Background and history to infant massage
- The best time to massage and the types of oils to use
- Massage strokes for the Legs and Feet, Stomach (including the colic routine demonstration to parents), Chest and Arms, Face and back
- Gentle Yoga movements and touch relaxation
- How to adapt the strokes for your baby’s individual needs and the growing child
- Themed talks as requested by parents and an opportunity for discussion
The course fee is £75 and is payable at the start of the course in cash, cheque or by bank transfer. For private sessions (i.e. 1:1 and private group sessions) please contact me for a price. Discounts are available for group bookings, e.g. when you book together with 4 others (i.e. at least 5 in total). Discounts for twins & multiples also apply (you only have to pay for one baby, but you will need to arrange another person to come along as I cannot massage the other baby/babies for you).
Courses are bespoke are scheduled to fit around mothers. I can provide private 1:1 sessions within the comfort of your own home or provide group sessions (including NCT groups) at a location of your choice but please contact me for availability or arranging a class.
Can fathers/ partners get involved?
Yes. Massage can be performed by either parents or caregiver. Fathers are encouraged to attend. However the difficulty is that when the mother is the main caregiver, the fathers are usually back at work and cannot attend. Private 1:1 sessions can be arranged for parents or as part of a group booking where we set up a class (Saturday classes) especially for fathers to come and learn how to massage their baby and also provide an opportunity to talk to other fathers.
Is massage for all babies, including if they have a disability?
Absolutely. The IAIM approach is that regardless of whatever medical condition or additional needs a baby has; a baby still has a need for loving, positive touch and communication. We look beyond the physical condition and meet the baby with their emotional need for touch. Babies in hospital require the routine to be adapted according to their specific needs, but the specialist nurse will provide further advice around this. It may be helpful to discuss massage with your GP or health visitor. During the course we will cover massage and disabilities through our discussion sessions, you can bring along your queries to me beforehand or raise during the session if you feel comfortable.
What age can I start to massage my baby?
Massage is a lifelong parenting skill and the IAIM promote that it may continue within the family indefinitely. We encourage parents to acknowledge their baby’s need for nurturing touch right from birth. The course is taught to parents/ caregivers from birth to one year of age. You will also be taught how to adapt the positions and strokes for the growing child.
Should I massage my baby every day?
We encourage that massage becomes part of your daily routine, such as massage before bedtime or bath time. Find what works best for you, as what works best for other parents might not be ideal for your routine. You can massage daily or more frequently, but it is important that your baby is happy to receive massage; again you will learn this on the course.
How long does the massage take?
As long as the baby wishes, as our classes are totally baby led. Generally for the course we run for 1- 1.5 hours, but at home you may wish to take longer or provide shorter periods of massage. Do what works best for you and your baby. You may find that as baby becomes more tolerant with age and experience they may wish to be massaged for longer. In the classes the parents are the experts, you know your baby better than anyone else. They will certainly tell you if they’ve had enough!
Can I bring someone else along with me to the class, including if I have twins?
Yes. However you may wish to bring someone along to massage the other baby as I strictly demonstrate techniques/ strokes using a teaching doll. An extra doll can be provided for those wishing to learn the strokes (such as grandparents, partners, other family members). Please contact me if you wish to bring someone along with you.
A massage course I was proud to be part of:
we look forward massage classes. After massage she is more content and sleeps through the night. I have an evening at last!
Luique and 11 week old baby Franczeska
It was so relaxing.. Even for the parents- it was not rushed and tending to our babies needs whenever we needed to made it more relaxing… time to chat with other mums after was great!
Jen and 4 week old baby Macy
Sanita’s explanations and hands on approach made learning the differ techniques easy and enjoyable. I loved the poems and readings at the end of each class- a lovely way to end.
Lavinia and 4 month old baby Oscar
It’s just been brilliant to spend quality 1:1 time with baby and use the techniques on my son. It’s been great having a group of mums together too and watching the way the babies interact with each other
Jackie and 5 month old baby Amelie
Sanita is a natural and everything was extremely professional and warm at the same time- perfect!! It’s been lovely to dedicate the extra time to be in tune with my baby and I’ve enjoyed it immensely.
Nancy and 6 month old baby Eden
A relaxing and thorough course leader. Very easy to talk to, great explanations. Sanita provided comfortable extras- mats, cushions and the handouts were very helpful.
Larissa and 4 month old baby Amelie
Wonderful course, kind and relaxed instructor that you feel naturally comfortable in her presence. Lovely company, caring and compassionate presentation from the notes to the demonstration of the strokes to the perfect poems/ discussion topics at the end.
Allison and 10 week old baby Rosetta
A warm, nurturing and safe atmosphere. It didn’t feel too serious! Sanita understood if we needed to feed and settle our babies during the class. Recap of the strokes every week was great.
Louisa and 4 months old baby Isla
It’s been great to have time to bond on a 1:1 basis and learn a new skill which we’ve incorporated into the bedtime routine. I also found massaging him very relaxing.
Donna and 3 month old baby Joseph