What better way to bond with your little one than by giving them a massage!
Studies have shown that baby and children massages can have many benefits including calming colic, constipation, gas, and reflux, helping them sleep better, stimulating their nervous systems as well as helping boost their immune system. As long as you’re gentle with your baby and responsive to their reactions, baby massage is a wonderful experience for both parent and child.
Here’s a simple guide to starting:
- Always ensure a comfortable room temperature, a firm and safe surface, and that everything you need is within reach before you begin the massage.
- Always use a safe, fragrance-free oil. Any product used during a massage will be absorbed by the skin in even higher quantities so make sure the product you choose is as natural and nourishing as possible. Warm a little of the oil up in the palms of your hands before beginning, and let baby know you will be beginning (the action of rubbing your hands together will also be their cue).
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Allow your little one to lay down facing you
- With warmed oiled hands, start at the top of the baby’s leg at the hip
- Cupping her leg, gently stroke downward towards her foot
- Be careful not to put any pressure on the baby’s knee or ankle
- Moving down to the bottom of the foot and stroke it and gently hug each little toe
- Repeat on the other leg.
Introduce tummy massage only if the baby has not eaten within 30 minutes prior to the massage.
- Gentle clockwise motions with your hands on her belly button. This movement can help ease any discomfort associated with gas, constipation and has been known to ease colic
- Repeat the same soothing strokes that were used on the legs
- While doing massage, continue to make eye contact and communicate with the child in a soothing tone such that you both feel relaxed.
Now, move on to her back. Continue only for as long as you and baby are enjoying it. If not, feel free to stop at this point.
- Starting from the shoulders, stroke down her back, over her bum, and down the legs, showing extra care not to put any pressure on her spine
- Do this a few times
End with a hug and kiss!
A baby massage doesn’t have to belong to your baby and you have to reap its rewards! So why not make it a part of your daily routine? Post-bath and before sleep is a wonderful time, but any time of the day when the baby’s relaxed but alert is great too. It can be one of the most enjoyable daily experiences you have with your baby.