You’re not the only one who enjoys a relaxing body rub now and then. A gentle laying on of hands is also highly calming — and possibly therapeutic — for babies. That’s because, among the five senses, touch is one of the most developed at birth, and there’s evidence that infant massage can help babies grow and thrive. Let’s follow us to find out what to massage a baby with in this post!
What are the advantages of baby massage?
How many newborn massages help your child? It may alleviate your baby’s gastrointestinal issues and teething aches, promote muscle growth, relax him when he’s cranky, and help him sleep. But the benefits don’t end there: all that stroking and touching helps you bond with your newborn.
Furthermore, massaging your kid can help you reach your own inner Zen (and who can argue with that?). You can begin these light massages the day your baby is born. You can also urge your partner to try their hand at newborn massage, which is a great way to bond.
What to massage a baby with?
Feet and legs
With one hand, hold your baby’s heel; with the other, begin at the top of the thigh and slowly brush all the way down to the ankle, gently gripping the leg as you go, as if you were milking a cow. Reverse the action and work your way from ankle to thigh. Then, with your thumbs, stroke the feet, softly uncurling and massaging the toes. Change legs. The same strokes can be used on the arms and hands.
Begin by placing your hands on both sides of your baby’s head, then move your hands down both of his body, from head to toe. Next, using your fingertips, draw little circles on your baby’s head.
On your child’s forehead, fold your hands together as if you were praying, then gently push outward from the center. Then, using your thumb, draw a smile on your baby’s face by tracing a line from one cheek to the other cheek across the upper lip. Continue with the lower lip.
Push out to the sides with your hands folded on your infant’s chest, as if you were smoothing the pages of an open book.
Draw an oval with your fingertips underneath your baby’s belly button. (Move clockwise to follow the normal digestive path.) Next, “walk” your fingertips diagonally from one side of your baby’s belly to the other, as if drawing an “X.”
Stroke his back from left to right, then up and down.
What to massage a baby with?
Use a blanket or towel and a non-breakable container for the massage oil. (Check for irritation by applying the oil to a tiny area of your baby’s skin and waiting a day.) Not right after a feeding or when your baby is tired, but rather when they are calm yet alert, is the best time to begin. Put your feet together so that they make a diamond shape while you sit on the floor. Put the blanket between your knees and over your feet.
Your infant should be placed on the blanket with their head resting on your feet after being stripped down to their diaper. Start by giving the infant a gentle “hello” brush from head to toe. Move on to another area of the body or stop massaging your infant for the day if they stiffen, fuss, or cry. Start softly massaging their body, part by section, if they react favorably.
Before starting a massage program with your child, don’t forget to check with your doctor. Infant massage is generally safe, although certain infants may have underlying issues that need to be considered.
General Tips for Baby Massage
Infant massage doesn’t have to be challenging to incorporate into your parenting routine, but there are certain fundamental rules you should abide by to make the most of your efforts and keep your baby content and secure. Here are some pointers to keep in mind while beginning to massage a baby:
- Do not massage your infant right after a feeding. Wait at least 45 minutes, or until your child is quiet and awake—possibly after a diaper change or before bedtime.
- Strokes should be forceful but mild, not itchy.
- Include massage in your infant’s everyday routine.
- When your infant signs that you should stop, heed them. Depending on the client’s mood, a massage may last 10 or 30 minutes. If your baby is crying, wriggling, or nodding out, they are not responding to the massage.
- Before using any massage oils, talk to your doctor, and stay away from any that contain strong chemicals.
- Remain calm and try not to stress too much over your technique. To show your infant that this is a caring, enjoyable activity you can do together, speak softly, sing or hum to them, and smile.
What time of day is ideal for massaging my infant?
Baby won’t experience stomach issues or spitting up if you wait at least 45 minutes after feeding. Observe how your child behaves. Watch for positive indicators like eye contact, smiles, cooing sounds, and relaxing movements with the baby’s arms and legs. Your baby will almost instantly let you know what feels good to them.
If your child turns their head away from you, stiffens, wriggles away, arches their back, flails their arms and legs, or cries, stop massaging them. These could be signs that your baby isn’t in the correct frame of mind for a massage or isn’t enjoying it. Try massaging in a different way the next time you try to see if it helps.