As with the legs, start by gently bouncing the arm to relax it. Say gently ‘relax’ to your baby as you do this.
Once you feel the arm relax smile and say ‘well done’ to your baby. This tells baby it is a good thing when they relax and again gives a cue association.
Hold the arm gently but firmly at the wrist with one hand. Place the other hand around the shoulder and move out towards the hand in a fluid motion.
This is an Indian massage technique which focusses on drawing tension away from the body.
Gently squeeze and release the muscles of the arm working up and down the arm several times.
With your thumb massage in small circles over the upper arm on top followed by underneath. Gently stroke over the elbow then do small circles over the lower arm on both sides.
Draw little circles with your thumb on the back of the hand then into the palm, gently stretching the hand open as you go. Repeat several times. Massage each finger between your thumb and forefinger, squeezing gently as you release.
Stroke back up the arm towards the shoulder. This helps the blood flow back towards the heart.
Give the muscles of the arm 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 by stroking up the arm several times with a light, tickly touch. Repeat for the other arm and hand.
By massaging your baby's arms you can help increase flexibility, suppleness & co-ordination.