Infant Massage with Multiples

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Posted by vera | Posted in Health, Nannies, Twins or Multiple Birth Pregnancy | Posted on 12-06-2013


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Recently, I had the good fortune of sharing an evening of infant massage with two other families who had 11-week-old twins.

Infant massage is something I address in Class Four of our Twins Prenatal Course, and since it had been a while since I’d done it myself with newborns, I decided to offer a free class through our local twins club.

There is quite possibly nothing cuter than four little babies all lined up on the floor; the sheer sight of them brought a smile to everyone’s face before we even got started!

The benefits of infant massage are well-documented: From soothing fussy babies to helping relieve gas pains, to boosting muscle development and circulation, infant massage is becoming a more and more mainstream way for parents to support the overall health of babies everywhere.

One-On-One Connection with Multiples

One challenge with having twins, triplets or more is how to effectively bond with each baby. Incorporating infant massage into your daily bath-time or bedtime routine can help you connect with each of your babies individually. For the 10-15 minutes you massage your newborn each day, she’ll have your undivided attention as you look into her face and tell her how much you love her, with your voice and your hands.

For our “class”, both partners came with their twins, so there was one adult per baby. But going to a group infant massage session is a great way for single parents with twins, or two parents with triplets or higher order multiples to get an extra hand with the additional babies. Your instructor or class helpers or volunteers are often happy to take one baby while you take the rest.

Infant Massage & Language Development

There is some evidence to suggest that twins, triplets or more can exhibit language delays. Talking to each baby about what you are doing while you are doing it can help “front load” language input.

For example, while taking a little arm in your hand and rubbing oil on it, you can tell your baby, “Now I’m going to put some oil on your left arm, see? Doesn’t that feel nice? I’m going to rub it together to make it nice and warm first, then I’m going to massage your left arm, one – two – three, and now your hand, like this, and each little finger, 1 – 2 – 3-4 – 5…” and so on.

Consider how many full, rich sentences your little ones are hearing, in context, as you gently describe what you are doing, in a soft, soothing voice.

Grumpy Clientelle

It wasn’t long into our group infant massage session that most of the babies were fussing and crying, but we’re pretty sure that’s because they were hungry… Fortunately, both mothers were breastfeeding their twins, so that problem was quickly and easily solved!

Different philosophies exist about what to do when a baby complains during massage: Some people believe it’s best to stop the massage for now, and give baby a break, while others persevere, using gentle tones to soothe their babies while introducing them to this new and not-yet-familiar sensation. (The thinking goes that once they get used to it, babies will learn to anticipate and enjoy their daily massage routine; that was certainly true of my now-9-year-old twins.)

As parents, you know your babies best, and can decide if or how to proceed when one or both twins decide let you know they’re not yet enamoured with this massage business!

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