All things about baby massage

All things about baby massage

All things about baby massage

Baby massages have many benefits. With each gentle stroke, your baby will feel nurtured and loved, strengthening the bond between the two of you. Massages will also allow your baby to feel more relaxed, which may improve their sleep.

Here are few benefits of baby massage :

Bonding through baby massage - Baby massages are a great way to bring you and your little one closer. Trust and communication develop as you interact with your baby. Your calming touch will make your baby feel loved and cared for.

Your baby will also feel relaxed during a massage. Research suggest this relaxation may help improve their sleep.

The health benefits of baby massage -  According to the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM), baby massage may help to stimulate the circulatory and digestive systems. This may help some babies with the following:

  • gas
  • cramps
  • colic
  • constipation

Massages may also help ease muscular tension, growing pains, and teething discomfort, as well as stimulate growth in preterm infants.

If your baby has any health issues, you should speak with their doctor first to decide if you should massage your baby.

When should you start baby massage?

IAIM suggests that parents should introduce touch as soon as the baby is born.

Many parents love to do so by placing their baby on their chest, bare skin to bare skin. This is known as skin-to-skin care. While you’re holding your baby close, gradually start stroking their legs and back. Then move on to other areas such as the arms.

After the first few weeks of birth, you can start massaging your baby. However, make sure to follow your baby’s mood. Your baby should be calm, alert, and content when you’re ready to give them a massage. Never perform any massage technique that make your baby uncomfortable.

How to massage your baby

  1. It's important to make sure the temperature isn't too cold, since the baby's clothes will be removed during the massage. Lay the baby on their back on a soft towel or blanket placed on the floor or a safe flat surface. Put on some soft music if you wish.
  2. If you want to use massage oil, choose olive oil, avocado oil or another edible oil, since the baby's fingers might end up in their mouth.
  3. Head massage – Gentle strokes with your entire hand from forehead to back of head to neck.
  4. Chest and belly massage – Long strokes from shoulder to diaper 5-6 times. Then massage straight down over chest and belly.
  5. Arm massage - Gentle strokes from shoulder to wrist, hands and fingers.
  6. Leg massage – Gentle strokes from hip to ankle and feet. Try to cover as much of the leg as you can.
  7. Back massage – Gentle straight strokes down to hip. Finish with circular motion over spine.