Here, we give you general information (and some confidence) about baby massage to get you started.
Last Updated: Oct 22, 2020 11:29 GMT
Baby massage is a highly beneficial baby care activity for both the baby and the parents. If you think your baby is too delicate for you to try massaging on her, you are only one doctor consultation away from starting a healthy bonding time with your baby.Benefits of Baby Massage
Baby massaging is a structured activity which involves focused attention to your baby, her mood and her body. A regular massage can bring in a plethora of benefits to your baby including the following:
1. Helps baby sleep well
Imagine you are being massaged soothingly. Wouldn’t it make you fall asleep easily? If this is what a massage can do to adults, it can certainly help little babies to have a better sleep. Of course, babies can easily sleep often and longer. Massage adds to the quality of sleep by rejuvenating the body and brain in sleep.
2. Enhances baby’s physiological functions like digestion
Infants can be prone to digestion problems, colic, and constipation. In the first few months, a baby’s system is still getting adjusted to digestion, assimilation, and excretion of the infant food. In the process, accumulation of gas in the digestive tract or friction in the passing of stools through the gut can happen. Massaging a baby’s belly area can relieve her from the troubles, aiding better absorption and assimilation of breast milk or formula.3. Uplifts baby’s moods
Mood swings can keep babies fussy or crying. Most often, we are never going to know the exact reason why a baby cries. Baby massage is an effective way to make a baby feel warm and loved. Massaging is said to release Endorphins, the happiness hormones, which largely keeps a check on baby’s mood swings. It is an easier way to nurture happy infants.
Further Reading: Baby Skin Care Tips for your Newborn's Healthy Skin4. Boosts the quality of bonding time
During a massage, the baby faces the parent or the caretaker to make eye contact. The warmth of touch and feel from the parent lets the child know that she is safe and cared for. The few minutes of baby massage can equate to hours of cuddling a baby.How to Massage a Baby?
Let's read the baby massage tips below to massage your baby.
- Consult a baby massage specialist: For first-time parents, it is advisable to speak to your pediatrician or a baby massage specialist. Learn or do a course on baby massage before you try it on your baby. Discuss what oils are safe and healthy for infant skin massaging. Get confident with how much pressure needs to be applied to your baby’s body. Be aware of the sensitive points on your baby’s body that needs to be dealt with care.
- Pick an ideal time: Choose a time of the day when the baby is not fussy or crying. Choose a place which is comfortable and free of distractions and sounds. Make sure it is not too soon since your baby had the last feed. Baby must neither be hungry. An ideal time is before or soon after baby’s bath when the baby feels and calm.
- Find a perfect place: Lay your baby on the bed or on the floor with a soft blanket underneath with only the diapers on her. There are different methods to massaging a baby. Some start with the head and go up to the toes while some begin with the foot and focus only on a few parts of the body. Understand the intricacies involved in both and choose what you feel is better for your baby.
- Start massaging: If you are beginning with the legs, take a few drops of oil in your palms. Gently press the oil on to her thighs and slowly go on up to the ankles while mildly stretching her legs. Don’t squeeze just like you would do to an adult. Be your gentle best to the baby. Repeat with the other leg.
- Massage on your baby's little foot: Next, get to the foot. Gently hold one of her little feet in your palms and with the other hand, make smooth, slow rotations on either direction. Apply oil and massage the feet, heels, and toes.
- Massage baby's palms: When coming to the arms, repeat the stroking motion from the armpits to the wrists. Rotate the arms at the wrists on either direction and gently slide your palms through baby’s palms and the back of the palms.
Further Reading: Tips to help your Baby to Crawl
- Gentle Massage her whole body: Continue the gentle massaging movement on baby’s chest, abdomen, and back.
The entire session for a day shouldn’t last for more than 15 minutes. Too much of sensory stimulation isn’t good for their development. At any time, you sense your baby is not responding positively, stop the massage and let her relax. You are the best judge of your baby’s emotions and allow your intuition to guide you when to do and what to do during massaging your baby.