The first year old baby massage characteristics should be taken into account when massaging your child.
There are active and passive exercises.
Passive exercises are performed with the help of an adult, without any efforts of a baby.
Active exercises are the random exercises a baby performs herself.
1,5-3 months. At the age of three months, a baby’s muscle tone is increased– arms and legs flexors, as well as some innate reflexes elicit. So stroking massage is performed only, because it helps muscles relax.
3-4 months. At this age baby’s increased muscle tension disappears – hand flexors and balance is being established between the muscles – muscles flexors and extensors, making it possible to introduce passive exercises for the hands.
A child performs passive exercises with a significant adult’s help, but their effect on the body is great. Gradually passive exercises are replaced with the active exercises with an adult’s help, and then with totally active exercises.
After 3 months apart stroking massage rubbing and kneading massage techniques are introduced.
4-6 months. At the age of 4-5 months balance is being established between the muscles – legs flexors, as well as new random movements appear.
The neck muscles being strengthened to 4 months, some posture reflexes emerge more clearly: body extension and flexion when hanging. Within 4 months are simple active and passive exercises introduced for the body and limbs muscles.
6-9 months. When constructing a complex of gymnastics and massage, new baby’s motor skills are considered, as well as existing skills assimilation and retaining are being watched and on the basis of these data the complex is complicated and extended.
At the age of 6-9 months active movements are used. They prepare a baby for crawling, sitting and standing.
9-12 months. At the age of 9-12 months the active concerted movements are developed significantly. They prepare a baby for unaided standing and walking. In this regard, some exercises are performed from the departure vertical position. Some exercises a baby can do himself when asked by an adult.
In order to stimulate more activity and awake baby’s interest, simple devices like rings, sticks etc. can be used. At this age the basic kinds of baby massage are not performed already, but it is desirable to keep on massaging the tummy and the back.