How old should my baby be to start baby massage classes?

Classes are suitable for babies from newborn up until they’re crawling. Basically, whenever you feel you are ready to leave the house and join an activity – it’s a great starting class to venture out with your baby. Normally mums feel they’re ready to face the world at around 6 weeks, especially if you’ve not been able to drive following birth. Once babies are crawling, it’s difficult for them to keep still and just want to be off – but baby massage is something you can continue for a long time.

What can I use to massage my baby?

A scent-free vegetable oil, preferably cold pressed and organic. This is because baby’s hands often end up in their mouths and they can ingest it. One example of a readily available and acceptable oil from your supermarket is sunflower oil. Olive oil is not recommended for massaging infant skin – however it is known to benefit babies when used sparingly, for example when treating cradle cap. If you book onto the baby llama baby massage course, you’ll receive a complimentary bottle of organic sunflower massage oil, which is yours to keep and will last you throughout the course and beyond.

What do I need to bring to class?

The room is set up so that each baby has a mat and a cushion for mum/dad to sit on. When you come to your first class all that you need is yourself, your baby and a towel – plus what you would usually take on a trip out of the house (nappies, wipes, a bottle etc). At the first class you’ll be given a complimentary bottle of organic sunflower massage oil, which is yours to keep and will last you throughout the course and beyond. Please do make sure that you are wearing comfortable clothes that you can easily move in.

How are the classes structured?

The course runs for 5 weeks and each week we will massage on one area of the body and gradually introduce new strokes. The first week we’ll massage legs and feet. The legs are the least sensitive and babies are used to having their legs touched from nappy change. We’ll then work our way up the body each week. We shall recap the sequences each week, so don’t worry if you miss anything. You will also be given handouts every week with simple diagrams and instructions to follow. There are sing songs and rhymes to some of the sequences which the babies will enjoy. I do most of the singing…so you don’t have to join in, only if you feel comfortable!
We sit on the floor, on a rug, and your babies will lie on a mat with a towel, which I provide. You are provided with a bottle of organic sunflower massage oil, which is yours to keep and will last you throughout the course and beyond. To massage, you will need to remove the baby’s clothes, but the room will be warm and you only need to remove the clothing of the area we are massaging. The room is warm at the optimum temperature for massage. We finish the class with a cuppa, cake and a chat.

What will I gain from the baby massage course?

Baby massage is much more than simply relaxing with your baby, it is a way of communication with senses of smell, touch, sight and sound. There is much benefit from massage. It will teach you an enjoyable routine which you can cherish and do together for years to come. You will learn the principles of baby massage in a social environment, and you will learn from an instructor how to apply the strokes in a structured easy to follow process.

How much is a course?

The 5-week baby massage course cost £50. This includes a complementary bottle of organic sunflower oil, detailed course notes with diagrams, instructions and songs and refreshments. I provide mats, but please do bring a towel for your baby to lie on. This will also act as a comfort if needed, as it smells of home. We end the class with a cuppa and some lovely homemade cake. Please see what to expect in class, to read more about one to one sessions at your home and also massage parties, if you know a group of other new mums.

When do classes run?

Classes will run on the same day for 5 weeks, and the course must be booked in advance. Please check the course dates page for the latest information. If you want a private one to one class or group class, this can be at a time convenient to you. Please contact me to discuss.

Can I just turn up to a class without booking a course?

I’m afraid the classes are not drop in classes, as they are structured and it’s essential that you book a course, as the classes run as a course of 5 week sessions. The number of people in a class is also limited, so it is advisable to book as soon as you feel ready to do a course.

How many are in each class?

The maximum number of parent/babies for each class is 8, which makes it easier to get to know other mums.

How long does each class last?

It last for an hour and can sometimes over run slightly, depending on how long the discussion at the end is.

I have twins, can I still attend the class?

Yes, definitely! Being a twin mum myself, I know it can sometimes feel daunting to attend a class at first. However, I will be more than willing to help with one baby – carrying from car seats and prams etc. It is possible for you to massage two babies at the same time, however if you can bring along another caregiver, such as Dad or Grandparent then you can massage each baby separately. I always found that one was asleep anyway so they took it in turns! Cost for the course is per family, so one twin goes for free!!

What do I need to bring?

Please bring anything you would normally need for them away from the house, such as bottles and nappies. I will provide a mat for them to lie on, but please bring your own towel so the baby is familiar with the smell. I provide massage oil, so no need to worry about bringing your own.

What if my baby cries?

Babies do cry, it is perfectly normal! Massage should not be performed on a baby that’s crying, so you should comfort, feed, or walk around with your baby if they’re upset. At a baby llama baby massage session, parents are always given expert status – you know your baby better than anyone else! Once they have settled and have given you the cue that they’re happy, you can continue. We will recap on the sequences each week and you will be given notes, so you will not miss out.

What if my baby is asleep?

My son Finnian was often asleep when we arrived for the massage class! I would suggest not to wake your baby when you arrive, we shouldn’t massage a sleeping baby. You can sit and observe and perhaps use the demonstration doll to practice the strokes. Again, we will recap each week and you will be given notes.

How often should I massage my baby?

The massage could become part of your daily routine, such as combining a leg and stomach massage with a nappy change or giving a massage after a bath. Ideally a daily massage would be great, but find what works for you and your routine.

How do I know whether or not my baby is enjoying the massage?

As part of the course, you will learn how to observe your child’s body language, facial expressions,
movements and sounds. Over the weeks, you will begin to recognise the cues that tell you whether or not baby is enjoying the massage, or if your little one needs a pause or change of activity.

What if we cannot make a class one week?

Unfortunately, I cannot offer a refund but I will recap each sequence each week, so you will not miss out on any of the strokes and you will be given detailed notes of the strokes.

Can I can bring the Dad or Grandparent along to massage them too?

It is best to only have one adult performing massage on the baby. The point is to bond with your baby on a one to one basis and an additional caregiver massaging may provide too much stimulation for the baby.

Can Dads do the massage class?

Of course! It’s not just for mums. Dads can certainly take the class and it is a lovely way of showing their affection and nurturing your baby. If there is a demand I can offer Dads only classes…watch this space.

Can I continue the class once the course has finished?

The classes give you a social activity as well as learning a skill with your baby. Once you have completed the baby massage course, you can come along to the refresher classes where I will recap the whole body massage. I keep mums, who have completed the course, posted with dates. Also posted on my Facebook page.