To relax the legs, raise one of baby’s legs slightly from the mat and gently bounce the leg. Say to baby 'relax, relax' and as you feel the leg start to relax give baby a big smile, make eye contact and say 'well done!'. We are trying to teach baby that relaxing is a good thing and that it makes you happy when they relax.
Then secure the ankle with the thumb and first finger. Take a firm grip of the hip and then, using alternate hands, glide your hand from the thigh to the ankle with gentle strokes, taking the tension away from the body. this is great for the blood circulation and helping the blood flow reach the feet and toes.
Starting at baby’s thigh, gently pinch the muscle giving it a soft squeeze towards the outer leg. Take this motion all the way down the leg, gently squeezing as you go. Repeat up and down the leg.
Starting at the top of the leg, take your two forefingers or thumb and trace small circles all over the leg, moving down towards the foot. Repeat up and down the leg.
Continue the circles onto the top of the foot using one finger.
Gently support the foot at the heel and take your thumbs and draw them along the crease at the ankle joint, moving from the centre of the foot outwards. This is good for relieving tension in the joint and keeping it nice and supple.
Rotate each of baby’s toes. You may wish to say the little rhyme below. Fold your fingers around baby’s foot after rolling the little toe.
“This little piggy went to market. This little piggy stayed at home. This little piggy had roast beef. This little piggy had none, and this little piggy went to sleep...shhhhhhh”
To boost wellbeing using the art of reflexology, cradle baby’s foot in your hand and use your thumbs to walk around the sole of the foot.
To help relieve sinus congestion, use your first finger to put pressure under baby’s toes. Hold for 6 seconds. Repeat three times.
To help relieve digestive problems, use your first finger to put pressure in the arch of baby’s foot. Hold for 6 seconds. Repeat three times.
Again, raise baby’s leg slightly from the mat and secure the ankle with the thumb and first finger. Glide the hand from the ankle to the thigh with gentle strokes. This will help boost circulation back to the heart.
Give the muscles of the leg a gentle rub down to get rid of any remaining tension. You can do this to the rhyme below.
"Jelly on a plate, jelly on a plate, wibble wobble, wibble wobble, jelly on a plate."
Finish off the leg routine with a light, tickly touch, stroking up and down the leg.
Repeat these strokes on baby’s other leg.
By massaging your baby's legs you can help your baby to develop the strength and co-ordination they need for sitting, standing and walking. It will also help your baby to develop flexibility in their hip and knee joints.