Once upon a time when I was an Early On teacher I learned the wonderful technique of infant massage. I actually was able to go to a training and get certified so I could teach the parents of my students and hold classes. Infant massage is a wonderful tool used for lots of things such as bonding, attachment, getting rid of gas/constipation, relaxation, better digestion, better sleep, and the list goes on!
I have used infant massage from the very beginning when A. was just 5 days old in the hotel room waiting to take him home :) With each child that enters our home I do this and it is such a time of beauty between the child and me. Little Grape HATED it at first, but is really starting to enjoy it and becomes very quiet while being massaged. I use is several times a day for the gas issue alone. He calms almost immediately and falls asleep soon after the massage is done. It just relaxes him enough to let himself fall asleep and takes the pain away too!
Another tool we use in our parenting is baby sign language. I'm sure most of you have heard of it or use it yourself! When Little Man was around 6 months old I started using it with him and his GAL was absolutely in LOVE with this idea. She was so impressed by what he was able to communicate starting at just 10 months old! Last week she came out for his monthly visit and was telling me that she has a new family she is working with and told them about the sign language! The foster parents are all excited to start with the baby. I recommended some books/videos and gave them a handout that I had put together from my teaching days. How fun to get to pass on these great tools to others :)!