by Rebecca Geiger
August 7, 2016
The children also go through a transition, and may need some extra attention (and we may need more patience with them). Transitioning from a lax bedtime throughout the summer to a consistent earlier hour may be a bit difficult at first; it is for Taylor. Although I did start an earlier bedtime routine mid-July, it is still sometimes tough to get to bed on time. Since sleep is very critical to the success of a child in school, it is important to me to make sure she goes to bed at a reasonable time and falls asleep fast. In order to accomplish this, I often give her my 5 on 5 in 5 Bedtime Massage.
The bedtime massage is a series of 5 gentle strokes on 5 general areas in only 5 minutes. You don’t need lotion, oil or music, and it really works. All you need is a few minutes, silence and a blanket covering your child’s body. The blanket allows for gliding and that is why you don’t need any products. Incorporate the use of Sleepylze as Cassandra describes below. To perform my 5 on 5 in 5 Kiddo’s Bedtime Massage, follow this simple protocol beginning with child lying face up:
Feet and Legs- both can be massaged at the same time, if you wish. Perform 5 compressions (gentle squeezes) while holding the feet in your hands. Then, while still holding the feet, use your thumbs and perform 5 circles on the heels. Perform 5 gentle strokes beginning at the ankles, moving toward the hip and then towards the feet; up and then down, slowly with firm yet gentle pressure.
- Arms and hands- Perform 5 gentle strokes to each arm beginning at the wrist, moving toward the shoulder and then towards the hand; up and then down, slowly with firm yet gentle pressure. Like the feet, hold the hands and perform 5 gentle compressions to each hand and 5 thumb circles on each palm.
- Have child flip over and turn head to one side for comfort.
- Back of Legs- may also do both at the same time. Perform 5 gentle strokes beginning at ankles, moving toward the hip and then towards the feet; up and then down, slowly with firm yet gentle pressure.
- Back- Perform 5 gentle strokes with both hands starting at the belt line, gliding along the spine towards the head (not directly on the spine, have your hands spread apart a few inches). Once you are about to round over the shoulders, circle both hands outward and perform 5 simultaneous circles as you move back to the belt line to start again. Perform 5 sequences total.
- Scalp- using both hands, cup the back of the child’s head with one hand and support the forehead with your other hand, gently stoke the scalp 5 times by spreading your fingers out and then back in while providing gentle yet firm pressure to the scalp.
Pat your child on the back and give them a kiss good night.
Giving massage to your children will relax them and increase their circulation. It improves their overall health and wellbeing just like it does for adults. More specifically, it really helps to alleviate growing pains, it improves quality of sleep, it improves school performance and behavior, and helps recover from injury quicker. Giving massage to your child can be a positive bonding experience for you and for them. This is a great way to show them love and to teach them about what is, and the benefits of, positive touch.