Bonding is a mythical beast – to some it comes naturally, to others it grows over time and anyway it is impossible to define. Like love in the movies, parent and child bonding is often romanticised and dramatised and an image of perfection is projected out from magazines and television. Personally I found my small babies fascinating rather than feeling that immediate rush of overwhelming love (I mean, I got a rush of something when they were born, but I could be mistaking it for relief). They were more like small aliens who had landed in my pre-baby life of generally doing my own thing to my own schedule. Babies as a breed can be rather demanding and exhausting and well, a bit boring at times, as well as amazing and incredible and all the good stuff too. The early days can be quite one way – a lot of giving with very little back – until the first smile of course – suddenly it has all been worth it and the relationship becomes much more balanced. Following a simple baby massage routine gives you both exclusive one-on-one time and really gets you in tune with your baby as well as giving you more confidence in handling them. Over time they will come to recognise the signals for the start of the massage and become excited as they associate the good feelings with the rituals of oil, towel, asking their permission to start (verbally or silently is fine) and will be very responsive. The sight of small babies kicking their feet and waving their arms when they see the massage oil coming out is one to behold. Of course massage isn’t the only way to strengthen the bond with your child, it is simply and extension of the natural touching, stroking, comforting moves of everyday life.