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Fashion designer Ann Myers has created the Touch of Love Baby Massage Snuggie to help parents give their infants a gentle pressure point massage.

"I was going to a chiropractor-acupuncturist trying to get pregnant," Myers told GO Brooklyn via phone from her St. Louis, Mo.-based company Urban Baby. "We were discussing pressure points, and I asked if massage could help babies.

"He said, ’Oh my gosh, if parents only knew the healing properties of massage,’ and that’s how the idea evolved."

Since giving birth to the idea of the baby massage snuggie, Myers has discovered real success with stores around the country, reporting that her one-piece, footed garments are selling like hotcakes.

"The past six months we’ve had a lot of sleepless nights," she said of her young company.

"I worked with chiropractors for almost a year to make sure we got the healing points, the icons, correct," said Myers. "The first 12 months are so critical for a baby in terms of neurological development and weight gain."

The snuggies come in four sizes for a more exacting fit: small (0-3 months), medium (3-6 months), large (6-9 months) and extra large (9-12 months).

Packaged in handbag-shaped boxes, the soft, cotton-Lycra suits come with a sheet of simple directions and a key to the garment’s images. A very gentle touch applied in a circular motion on the purple swirls assists in aiding the overall health and development of the baby; the green leaves are used for respiratory assistance in the case of allergies, runny noses, coughs or ear infections; a red heart stimulates emotional wellbeing, used for insomnia and crankiness; and yellow stars aid in easing discomfort for colic, constipation, poor appetite and other ailments.

(The garment is recommended for use in conjunction with regular visits to the pediatrician, and parents should always consult their doctor regarding any health concerns.)

"The best time to use the snuggie is right before they are going to bed," said Myers. "It gives all the calming effects, or if they have any of the symptoms on the pamphlet - runny nose or colicky, it’s a really great tool.

"It’s great for use at appointments, because it will calm them in an environment they are unfamiliar with, or when traveling, especially on an airplane, it’s a great travel tool, too." In general, the snuggie helps new parents bond with their children.

Myers said the baby snuggie is such a hit, that she’s now developing snuggies for toddlers, too.

Touch of Love Baby Massage Snuggies ($33) are available at The Green Onion, 274 Smith St. at Sackett Street. Call (718) 246-2804 for store hours.

- Lisa J. Curtis

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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