1. Why learn a particular massage routine?
To a baby, touch is talk. The routine taught in the video has been passed down from mother to daughter in India for centuries. There is a rhythm to it that is hard to duplicate in other ways. Why reinvent the wheel? It can be a daily ritual that lets you center yourself, and connect deeply to your baby.
2. Why follow a set routine?
The value of doing the same thing over and over exactly the same is that you can forget about "how" to do it and just flow with the rhythm. Following a set routine will help your baby know what to expect, and the massage will be deeply satisfying and relaxing for both of you. All loving touch is beneficial, and you must touch your baby in new and interesting ways, too, but at times other than during the massage. There may come a time when the child's life is disrupted. Perhaps a move, a hospitalization, some upheaval in the child's world. You will be able to use your routine to connect with, and settle the child.
3. Why every day?
A day is a very long time to a baby. Remember when you were 12, and time moved more slowly? That was because one year was 1/12th of your life experience. Have you noticed how time seems to move faster as the denominator changes? (When you are 28, a year is 1/28th of your life, for example). A baby gains a huge amount of life experience EVERY DAY. To a baby, touch is important for growth, and for developing an understanding; slowly, that they HAVE a body with arms and legs.
4. How long does it take?
20 to 30 minutes! A baby isn't very big, you can do a complete massage in that time. But give yourself, and your baby, time to learn the strokes. At first, you will be referring to the video, which covers 5 sessions worth of information. You will watch the complete massage, at the end of the video, to get a sense of the rhythm. Then, you will be referring to the grease-proof card, provided in the video as you practice. And finally, you - and your baby; will develop your own rhythm.
5. My baby doesn't seem to like massage, now what?
How to start slowly, with the legs, is discussed in the video. You may have to be persistent to get your child into a massage rhythm with you. This child needs it even more than others, it is worth persisting. A baby can't even turn over, or can't move about as we do if their muscles get sore and cramped. They may be uncomfortable, and at first, just as when you get a back-rub, they become MORE aware of the discomfort in their body. Follow your baby's lead, continue to offer small amounts of massage a few times a day.
6. What happens when they get older?
The two of you will modify the routine to something that works for you. You may find as they go through important developmental stages that they won't want a massage, as they are concentrating on whatever task they are trying to learn. When they have passed this particular stage they may settle into the massage routine again. It may depend on their personality. Some children never stop once they are up and running, others will still want the bedtime routine of the massage. Some mothers just massage whatever part appears in front of them as the child moves around (see this in the introduction of the video). They may act like they aren't noticing but they are. Toddlers like to rub themselves with lotion. Older children may want a back-rub or leg rub as part of the good-night routine.