Whether you are comforting your little baby in a dream or soothing his bloated belly, a gentle massage can do wonders for them. We use touch to convey safety and comfort. It has become a way to build trust and contact with the baby. Within the first three months is the best time to start baby massage because at that time the baby begins to develop not just important physical but also intellectual skills, including motor skills.
The benefits of baby massage:
It may help ease your baby’s tummy troubles and calm them when they are being fussy, and soothe them to sleep. Baby massage also brings about real physical advantages such as:
- Improved muscle tone and range- By moving your baby's muscles, you are helping your baby develop the required strength and motor skills.
- Reduced gas in infants- An abdominal massage can help babies to ease up their digestion and get rid of any stomach discomfort.
- Improved mood- Your child smiles after a massage for good reasons: Endorphins- happiness hormones which are released with therapeutic contact, and the decrease of stress hormone cortisol. It is even said that a stressed infant who isn’t gaining weight may begin to thrive and put on ounces and pounds.
- Better sleep- Bedtime is a most appropriate time choice because massage is so relaxing and for babies to begin anticipating scheduled activities, which can lead to an understanding of the night time routine.
How to give your baby a relaxing massage:
Here are some techniques mentioned below to try on your little one :
Head- Take some oil and pat it on your baby’s head. Don’t forget to apply gentle strokes over your baby’s head. Move your fingertips in tiny circles on your baby’s head and do not apply pressure to it.
Face- Take some oil on fingers and tap your baby’s face from the forehead towards the chin and gently press the eyebrows. Gently stroke the baby's cheeks, chin and nose.
Tummy- Starting at the base of your baby’s rib cage, use your fingers to massage your baby’s tummy in circular motions and afterwards, fold your baby’s knees up to the tummy and apply gentle pressure. Try to hold this position for approximately 30 seconds, and repeat it a few times if needed. This helps in releasing gas.
Back- Make your baby lie on the tummy and by using both your hands, start the massage from the base of your baby’s neck to the buttocks, back and forth. Use your fingers to gently press your baby's spine in circular motions.
- Legs and feet- Hold your baby’s thigh and gently slide down both your hands by rotating in opposite directions. Then rub the feet with your thumbs in upward motion gently uncurling and stroking the toes.
Some additional tips:
Keep these few things in mind before giving your baby a massage:
- Incorporate baby massage in your daily routine. Make it a habit to massage your baby around the same time every day because sticking to the schedules will help the baby to get into a routine and will ultimately make them more comfortable and ready for the massage sessions.
- If you use massage oil, choose an edible, tasteless fruit or vegetable oil. You can use coconut oil because it is not only easily absorbed by the baby's skin, but it is also easily digested when your child sucks on their hands or fingers.
- Movements should be gentle and do not exert too much pressure because your baby is very delicate and soft. Make sure to not use much force during the massage.
Smile, giggle or talk to your baby during the massage sessions or even sing or hum to your baby as engaging your baby in talks will keep them interested and happy.