When I teach my Comforting Touch for Babies classes, one of the first things I talk about are the 3 core steps of any good baby massage.
Step 1: Relax yourself.
Step 2: Ask permission.
Step 3: Touch them nicely.
Of course the bulk of our sessions are focused on all the wonderful techniques that amount to "touching them nicely". But in this era of #metoo, it is clear that this second step is so vitally important!
Obviously babies can't offer verbal consent, but we can start teaching them young, even as newborns, that touch is safe, that what they want and don't want matters, and they can trust they won't be touched against their will.
Babies give us permission when they are quiet, alert and engaged. Cooing, babbling, and smiling, are all good signs they're up for some quality bonding time!
Conversely, when they are sleepy, rooting, fussy or crying, for example, as lovely as massage might theoretically be, it's not actually what they want or need in that moment, so not a great time for massage.
The Me Too movement is teaching the world that abuses of power are unacceptable and no means no. "Listening" when our babies "say no" is a perfect place to start sending this message.
If you have a baby, or know someone with a baby I'd love to teach you all the most wonderful ways to bond with and touch your little ones with their permission. And you'll learn the most adorable baby massage sign language!
Learn more and register here.