wind down routine baby

Children's Reflexology for Constipation

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.

👣 Here’s a video showing a lovely relieving sequence for your baby. Let me know how you get on!

👣 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 will it help my baby with constipation?

  • Your touch will stimulate pain relieving hormones and feel good endorphins

  • Massaging specific points will bring about relief in the corresponding body areas

  • Promotes calm, is soothing and relaxing

  • Assists the Immune system

  • Aids deeper and more restful sleep

  • Will help your baby to feel safe, secure, understood and comforted

👣 Specific points on the feet to help with constipation

  1. Solar plexus point is found underneath the ball of the foot in the centre. This point helps with inducing calm and relaxation.

  2. Lovely technique called a ‘Bowel Sweep’ encouraging flow into the large intestine.

  3. Points for the stomach to ease up a sore tummy and help to relax.

  4. Heel tap. Stimulating all the nerve endings.

👣 How do I give my baby reflexology?

Qualified Reflexologists are trained in very specific techniques and spend years studying, practising and seeing clients in order to qualify. Adult reflexology is completely different from treating a baby or child. The main and very important difference is that you barely use any pressure at all and are aiming just to give some therapeutic touch to your childs feet in the form of gentle massage. Let your hands and fingers make small circles, slides and and strokes with super gentle and soft hands.

👣 When is the best time to give my baby reflexology?

  • If your baby is in pain, unsettled and needs comforting you can try the techniques in this video whilst they are being held or whilst they are lying down elevated with a pillow.

  • As a preventative you can try this routine at a time when they are happy and settled and see if it helps lessen the symptoms.

  • Before going down for sleep may help for a more restful night.

👣 Are there times when I should not give my baby refelxology?

  • If your baby is sick, they may not want to be touched, but just held and comforted. Babies who cry and pull their feet away may be telling you that your touch is unwanted and to try again another time.

  • Premature babies or unwell newborns may have had blood drawn from their heels regularly and may develop an association of pain to anyone touching their feet. It would be lovely to help them overcome this association by persevering with therapeutic touch to their feet but great care and mindfulness must be taken on your part. You may want to start with gentle massage over socks or clothing at first and gradually graduate to skin to skin. If your touch is unwelcome, try again another time.

👣 Where can I give my baby a treatment?

It is lovely to find a space that is warm and comfortable for both of you but having said that, the wonderful thing about Reflexology is that it is so accessible, versatile and flexible. A treatment can be given anywhere, inside, outside, on the bus, in the park, at home. Your baby does not need to be undressed, you only need their little feet. Treatments can even be given over socks and clothing if necessary.

👣 What do I need?

Very little! If you are at home, it might be nice to use some oil, balm or lotion to allow your fingers and thumbs to glide more easily over their skin. Please read my short blog about suitable oils for baby here: http://lucysangels.co.uk/baby-massage-baby-yoga-videos/preparing-to-massage-baby-with-massage-oil

👣Last word before you try!

Reflexology must not be given in place of medical treatment. These videos are wonderful to try for babies and children with mild conditions that you feel comfortable to try and help with at home. They can also be fantastic to try in the time between being able to see a GP, Health Practitioner or a Qualified Reflexologist or Qualified Alternative Practitioner.

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.

Please read the blog about choosing an oil that’s right for your baby and here’s a short video about using massage oil


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.


I really hope this helps. Please leave a comment if this video has been helpful. Thank you so much!

Love Lucy ♡