Updated: Dec 30, 2020
Newborns and babies into their first year, have only one way to communicate and tell you what they need. They cry when they need something, such as: to be fed; to be changed; to be put down for a nap or for the night; and to be cuddled. Babies use different types of crying to express themselves and if you listen very carefully, you will begin to hear the differences in their cries and understand their needs.
Remember, it’s easier to settle and soothe baby if you respond to their cries sooner, than later. Often if you wait, baby will become more distraught, making it very difficult to console her.
Once you have used the traditional ways to help your baby to meet their needs, and baby is still not consoled, you may want to try Reflexology!
Reflexology can be very effective in soothing baby when she seems to be in pain or is uncomfortable and crying!
If you determine that your baby is experiencing any of the following, there is a Reflexology technique that you can use for each one, and you will be surprised how effective it can be for:
1) When baby is over-tired and won't settle
2) Trapped Gas
4) Infant reflux
6) Runny nose
7) Stuffy nose
When Reflexology Can Help
Reflexology is usually welcome on baby's feet. It's both calming and soothing and can be done easily in so many situations. It's gentle, effective and easily administered.
Your baby’s feet are soft, malleable, delicate and lovely and the best part is they are the windows to baby’s inner systems. As they do in adult feet, baby’s feet map perfectly to every tissue, gland and organ in her body.
Why is this important? Reflexology is the practice of focused pressure on 5 zones or pathways, in each foot, beginning from the bottom of the right foot, and ending with the top of the left. Unlike the pressure that you would apply to an adult’s foot, the pressure needed on baby’s foot is far less. Only a very light gentle touch is all that is needed. By simply sweeping a finger across an area on the foot, can bring about a calming, settling effect on your baby.
Does your baby have issues with colic? Is she pulling her knees up close to her chest, while crying? Obviously picking up and holding your baby close to your chest, allowing her to feel warm and secure, could be very effective in helping baby feel better, however, if baby is still uncomfortable, perhaps it’s time to massage her tiny feet. This is such an easy solution because it can be done while holding your baby in a carrier and you would simply reach down and caress the feet, or, it could be done in a baby’s sitter, a crib or on your lap.
Baby is colicky and/or constipated. Try this Reflexology technique:
If baby is crying with a high-pitched screechy sound, and if she is also pulling her knees up close to her chest and moving about uncomfortably, these are tell-tale signs your baby is in pain. Not always, but most often, her pain is due to colic or constipation. However, there are other reasons why your baby may be in pain. A teething baby can be very upset and uncomfortable. You will want to assess which one is causing your baby’s discomfort. Typically an older infant screeching, might be teething, especially if she is also drooling and her cheeks feel warm to touch and have a slight rosiness in color.
These issues, colic, constipation and teething can be relieved with reflexology.
Using either your thumb or index finger, gently sweep across the digestive area, referred to as the “lower abdomen” in the diagram below. Start the sweep at the outer side of baby’s foot (where the pink color meets the dark red color on the diagram - "Mother Earth and Lower Abdomen") and sweep with your finger straight up (to where the lower abdomen meets the upper abdomen) and then sweep across that line to the outer (medial) edge of baby’s foot. You can repeat this process until baby settles or until she lets you know not to continue
Baby is teething. Try this Reflexology technique:
Using your index finger and thumb, gently massage the tops of each of baby's toes in a circular motion. As you do this, recite the nursery rhyme, "This Little Piggy". Baby will enjoy the sound of your voice and the lovely touch of your fingers.
Baby has a runny nose or stuffy nose. Try this Reflexology technique:
Using your thumb and index finger, gently massage in a circular motion, the fat pads of baby's toes, which relate to baby's sinuses, and apply a very light squeeze to each one. Again, recite the nursery rhyme, "This Little Piggy", as you massage each toe.
Baby's nose is still stuffy. Try this Tapping technique:
With baby lying in her crib or in front of you, using the tips of your four fingers, and gently apply a feather soft tapping to baby's forehead, eyebrows, area between the eyebrows, cheek bones and chin. These are the facial sinus areas and the gentle tapping will help alleviate the stuffiness.
You can also lay baby on her tummy and gently pat/tap her back from waist to neck.
When you are unable to soothe baby, you will need to call the doctor or pediatrician:
IMPORTANT! Call your pediatrician right away if your crying baby:
Has been inconsolable for more than 2 hours
Has a temperature of more than 100.4 F
Won’t eat or drink anything or is vomiting
Isn’t peeing or has bloody poops, or doesn’t respond to anything
If you are interested in attending a Mom and Baby Workshop - "Infant Reflexology for Sleep and Colic", you can contact: Compass Rose Wellness, 29 Kilworth Park Drive, Komoka, ON.
This and many other services/workshops/self-care/holistic offerings are available.
Reach out in an email to: Info@compassrosewellness.ca
Visit the website to see all of the Pre-natal, Post-natal and Pediatric services at: compassrosewellness.ca
or call 1(519) 471-3773
This workshop will be led by me, Lori M. Read, Holistic Therapist with a certification in Reflexology and Indian Head Massage. I will guide parents through proven techniques to help infants who are colicky and have gassy and digestive issues, cold and sinus symptoms and provide soothing techniques for sleep. I would love to meet you and your baby!