infant massage colds

Baby Massage for colds, congestion and mucus

Baby Massage for colds, congestion and mucus

It’s common for babies to have around 7/8 colds a year which is miserable for everyone! Massaging your baby will bring comfort and relief and will help you to feel like you are doing something to lessen their symptoms.

What is Reflexology for Babies and Children

Reflexology is a non invasive gentle therapy suitable for babies from birth. Tiny babies, children and adults can all benefit from this ancient therapy that has been used for centuries to bring about healing, balance and a sense of well-being.

👣 What is reflexology

Reflexology is based on the principle that all our body parts and bodily systems are reflected on the feet and the hands. Applying gentle massage and therapeutic touch to specific areas will have an effect in the corresponding body part or to the whole child.

👣 How can reflexology help my baby or child

For Babies

  • Helps to alleviate symptoms from colic, reflux, teething, colds, unsettledness

  • Encourages bonding and attachment between baby and care-giver

  • Promotes calm, is soothing and relaxing

  • Assists the Immune system

  • Aids deeper and more restful sleep

For Children (including the above)

  • Helps with ‘Tummy’ aches, non-specific ailments, headaches, behavioural issues

  • Supports children with stress and anxiety

  • Helps to concentrate and focus

  • Encourages ability to relax

  • Promotes self confidence and self esteem

👣 Research into reflexology

Care-givers who have witnessed the impact of Reflexology on their baby or child or indeed even themselves, may not need to see research to know it ‘works’. However it’s great that there is always ongoing research into reflexology to help validate its credibility.

One large review by Kunz and Kunz (2008) summarized 168 research studies and abstracts from journals and meetings from around the world. Many of these studies originated in peer-reviewed journals in China and Korea. All of the studies had information about the frequency and duration of the reflexology application. Based on the studies they reviewed, Kunz and Kunz concluded that reflexology may:

✔  Impact specific organs

For example, fMRI readings demonstrated an increase in blood flow to kidneys and to the intestines.

✔  Improve symptoms

In particular, positive changes were noted in kidney functioning with kidney dialysis patients.

✔  Induce relaxation

Though EEG measurements of alpha and theta waves, researchers saw that blood pressure was decreased, and anxiety was lowered.

✔  Reduce pain

Twenty-seven studies demonstrated a positive outcome for reduction in pain; e.g., AIDS, chest pain, peripheral neuropathy of diabetes mellitus, kidney stones, and osteoarthritis.

Other systematic reviews are cautious in saying that reflexology may:

  • have a positive effect on type 2 diabetes (Song, 2015)

  • exert a beneficial effect on lowering blood pressure and incontinence (Song, 2015)

  • have a positive impact on blood pressure (McCullough, 2014)

  • be effective for tingling in MS (Yadav, 2015)

These reviews note that the quality of research studies on reflexology is generally low. 

Specific research into paediatric reflexology

Koc and Gozen (2015) note a statistically significant difference in pain scores of infants suffering from acute pain between the reflexology and control groups. The infants in the reflexology group also had lower heart rates, higher oxygen saturation, and shorter crying periods than the infants in the control group.

Gordon et al. (2010) compared the effectiveness of foot reflexology, foot massage, and regular treatment (control group) in children (1-12 years) with chronic idiopathic constipation over a 12-week period. The study design was a randomized control trial. The authors report that the reflexology group had the greatest increase in the number of bowel movements and the greatest reduction in constipation symptom scores. There were significant differences between reflexology and control groups; however, there was no significant difference between reflexology and massage for bowel frequency, and no significant difference between control and massage groups for bowel frequency or overall constipation symptom scores.

👣 Can I give reflexology to my child myself?

Yes. Reflexology is completely safe when the pressure applied is extremely gentle. The pressure used in a typical reflexology treatment for an adult is not the same as for a baby or child. My video tutorials aim to give you the tools to feel confident to try a little bit of Reflexology for your child and see if it can make a difference. It can be a wonderful opportunity to try something between being able to make an appointment with your GP, another Health Practitioner or indeed even a qualified Reflexologist.

Here’s a video explaining a little bit about reflexology. Get in touch with any queries!

I really hope this helps.  Please let me know if you have had any success.  Good luck! 

Love Lucy ♡


Fun rhyme to apply suncream!

If you have ever tried to apply suncream to a writhing and complaining baby or toddler you’ll need no explanation to why this will be helpful!

How does this rhyme help?

The actions and rhyme in the video are simply a great distraction! It’s fun and silly and your baby or toddler will get caught up in the ‘fun’ of it and forget that you’re actually trying to put sun cream on them!

Speech and Language development

Talking, singing, playing, touching, making eye contact with your baby is all helping to develop their speech and language.

Try the rhyme and actions for yourself with this video and let me know how you get on ♡ 

I really hope this helps. Please let me know if you have had any success. Good luck!

Love Lucy ♡

Massage oil for babies

Skin to Skin Massage has so many benefits for both you and your baby. Using oil ensures that your hands will glide over baby’s body without dragging the skin and will enhance the lovely sensations massage brings. We do however have to be certain that the oil we’re using is safe and good for baby.

Research from the Touch Institute in Miami into using oil:

Massage with oil has more positive effects on normal infants.

As compared with infants who received massage without oil, infants who received massage with oil were less active, showed fewer stress behaviors and head averting, and their saliva cortisol levels decreased more. Also, vagal activity increased following massage with oil versus massage without oil.

Field, T., Schanberg, S., Davalos, M., & Malphurs, J. (1996). Pre and Perinatal Psychology Journal, 11, 75-80.

When can I start to massage my baby with oil?

Under four weeks it is recommended that gentle massage strokes are given over clothes.

From four weeks onwards oil can be used. Plain unscented oil is recommended until baby is at least 8 weeks old so that your scent is not masked.

What type of oil is recommended?

Natural, edible and food-grade fruit or vegetable oil. Organic and cold-pressed is ideal but not imperative. Babies will end up digesting some of the oil by putting their hands in their mouths so as good quality oil as possible is optimal.

Which oils are considered safe to use?

♡ Sunflower oil

♡ Grapeseed oil

♡ Fractionated coconut

Precautions

♡ Do you, your baby or anyone in your family have a history of allergies?

♡ Does your baby have dry skin or eczema?

Patch Test

Before massaging your baby, take a little of our chosen oil onto your finger and then rub a little onto your babies ankle or wrist and wait around 15 minutes to check that they haven’t reacted to it. Signs of a reaction will be redness or bumps.

Commercial oils

A popular gift for a new baby is Massage oil which can be lovely but caution must be taken as they can contain undesirable ingredients. Do check labels and avoid using if you’re uncertain.

Scented oils

There are beautiful, organic and ethically sourced Baby Massage Oils that are scented. These oils are often approved to use ‘from birth’ but as stated above, under 4 weeks I would recommend to massage over clothes and up until 8 weeks I would suggest using a plain oil so as not to interfere with the bonding process by masking your scent. After 8 weeks could be a good time to consider using an oil with scent if you were confident the product was safe and high quality. Please do get in touch if you’d like to check a product with me.

Essential oil use

If you feel you would like to and feel confident using Essential Oils, they can be very relieving for coldy symptoms and wonderfully supportive emotionally as well as physically. Essential oils must be used with caution, sparingly and never ingested.. Safe oils for babies are Lavender Lavandula angustifolia, Roman Chamomile Anthemis nobilis and Mandarin Citrus reticulata. Lavender in particular is amazing for relieving sinus congestion and encouraging and promoting sleep. Roman Chamomile for relieving pain and Mandarin for ‘fractious babies’. Oils must always be very high quality and organic if possible. Here in the UK, I recommend Neals Yard to ensure safety and quality. Electric steam diffusers are also a fantastic way to diffuse the oils into a room safely. If you would like advice on essential oil use please consult a qualified aromatherapist.

Research from the Touch Institute Miami into Lavender Oil for Babies:

Lavender bath oil reduces stress and crying and enhances sleep in very young infants.

Very young infants were given a bath with or without lavender-scented bath oil. The mothers in the lavender bath oil group were more relaxed, smiled and touched their infants more during the bath. Their infants looked at them a greater percentage of the bath time and cried less and spent more time in deep sleep after the bath. The cortisol levels of this group of mothers and infants significantly decreased, confirming the behavioral data showing increased relaxation of the mothers and their infants. These findings support a body of research showing the relaxing and sleep-inducing properties of lavender aroma*

Field, T., Cullen, C., Largie, S., Diego, M., Schanberg, S. & Kuhn, C. (2008).  Early Human Development, 84, 399-401.

*I have included this research out of interest but please be aware that Lavender Essential Oil in the bath could be ingested by your baby and must be monitored with caution. If you would like to try a bath with lavender oil - One or two drops maximum of Lavender EO must be mixed into a tablespoon of milk before adding into the bath. The fat in the milk disperses the oil so that the Lavender oil doesn’t ‘sit’ on the top of the bath water.

Here’s a short video about using massage oil:


I really hope this helps. Please let me know if you have had any success. Good luck!

Love Lucy ♡

Baby Yoga for colds and congestion

Colds, coughs, snuffles, congested chests are so miserable for baby and carers alike! The beauty of practicing Baby Yoga not only brings relief to baby but empowers you to feel like you are doing something to help.

How does Baby Yoga help?

These movements and stretches really get the blood moving around the body. They get the circulation and lymphatic system going, activating the immune system and speeding up the healing response.

The actions and song are a fantastic distraction, gives you and baby some bonding time and communicates to baby that you know they feel unwell and understand.

Before you start

♡  Please make sure you have waited around 45 minutes after your babies last feed to practice this sequence of movements.

♡ Find a comfortable space on the floor, turn off the TV, your phone and feel free from any distractions.

♡  Feel confident that your baby is happy, well enough and ready to participate. Things to consider: Even though they are under the weather, are they making eye-contact, making happy cooing noises, do they seem playful?

Practicing the movements

♡  Make sure that you also feel happy and not stressed! Take a few deep breaths before you start. Shake out your arms and hands. Ask your baby if they are ready to try some fun yoga moves to help them feel better.

♡  Bring them close to you so they can see you and feel safe.

♡ Use a sing-song voice with lots of encouragement and praise. Try the song! They love to hear you singing.

♡  Only take the movements as far as baby wants to. If you come up against resistance, bounce the arms gently saying ‘relax’ and try again. All babies have different flexibility, if at any time they are uncomfortable please stop and try again another day!

Try this short baby yoga sequence and let me know how you get on ♡ 


I really hope this helps. Please let me know if you have had any success. Good luck!

Love Lucy ♡