Massaging a baby is a way to gently massage and spend time with your baby. Find out the benefits of massaging a baby and how to start it.
What are the benefits of a baby massage?
Research indicates that infant massage may have multiple health benefits. For example, a baby massage may contribute to:
- Stimulate interaction between you and your child.
- Help your baby to relax and sleep.
- Positive effect on the infant’s hormones; Which helps to control psychological stress.
- Minimize crying .
Although more research is needed, some studies also show that an infant massage that incorporates the effect of moderate pressure may enhance the growth of premature babies.
Baby massage methods
Massaging a baby immediately after feeding may cause vomiting in the baby, so wait at least 45 minutes after feeding, and pay close attention to your baby’s mood as well. If your baby stares steadily and appears calm and full, he may enjoy the massage. If your baby turns his head away from you or becomes stiff in your arms, this may not be the best time for a massage.
And when you start massaging your baby, you can specify the time of massaging him and the number of times you massage him, and you can massage your newborn baby daily, and your toddler may enjoy a nighttime massage as a kind of pampering the usual baby when going to sleep.
How do I massage my baby?
Baby massage involves a little preparation and a few basic techniques. How to get started:
- Create a calm atmosphere, make sure to massage in a warm and quiet place, if possible, whether inside or outside the home, remove jewelry. Sit comfortably on the floor or bed, or stand in front of the baby changing table and position your baby on a blanket or towel in front of you. Adjust the position of your baby on his back, then you can maintain eye contact with him and when you undress your baby, tell him that this is when it is time for his massage.
- Adjust your touches, when this is your first massage for your baby, take care to gently touch him, and in spite of that, avoid tickling your child, as you may make him irritable, and as your child matures, use stronger touches with him.
- Slowly stroke and massage each part of your baby’s body. You can start by adjusting your baby’s position on his stomach and spend one minute each time massaging different places, including your baby’s head, neck, shoulders, upper back, waist, thighs, feet and hands. Next time, adjust your baby’s position on his back and take a minute each time you flex and extend your baby’s arms and legs, then both legs at the same time. Finally, whether your baby is on his back or stomach, repeat the massage movements for another five minutes.
- Stay relaxed. Talk to your baby throughout the massage. You can sing to him or tell him a story. Try to repeat your child’s name and the word “relax (or calm)” as this will help him relieve stress.
- Watch how the baby responds to you. If your baby shakes his arms and looks happy, he is probably enjoying the massage and you can continue to massage him. If your baby turns its head away from you or appears uncomfortable or unhappy, stop the massage and try the massage again later.
Should you use massage oil?
This is up to you. Some parents prefer to use oil while pampering the infant to prevent friction between his hands and the child’s skin, but others find that this is very difficult to control. And if you choose to use oil, choose one that is odorless and edible, as your baby may put some of the oil in his mouth. And if your baby has sensitive or allergic skin, test the oil first by applying a small amount to a portion of your baby’s skin, and then watch for his reaction.
Massage and baby health problems
If your baby has underlying health problems, talk to your baby’s doctor before trying to massage him. Your doctor can help you determine if massage is appropriate. You can also ask your baby’s doctor for clarification if he or she can recommend help from a specialist infant pamper or other qualified expert who can teach you techniques that meet your baby’s special needs.
It may take a few trials before you and your baby get used to the massage. Be patient, and with a little practice, you can massage the baby in a healthy way that works for you and your baby to relax and strengthen the relationship between the two of you.