Giving a good massage to your baby has always been recommended by the doctors and also by our elders. It is not only elders, who need a good massage when they are tired, but, babies also need a good massage. Actually, babies should be given a good massage daily before bath and before bed time. This helps strengthen baby’s muscles, helps in soothing the baby’s colic tummy, helps in strengthening the baby’s bones and above all helps in bonding well with your child. This also helps in the early development of babies developmental stages like crawling and walking. You can start giving massage to the baby anytime after you bring your little one home from the hospital. In order to achieve good results for baby massage, there are two main things to be kept in mind
- Effective way of giving massage to the baby
- Correct time of giving massage
- Massaging different body parts
Effective ways of giving massage to the baby
There are several points to be kept in mind in order to give a good and effective massage to the baby they are as follows
- Comfort zone of the baby
- Which oil is to be used?
- Rubbing motions
- Direction of massage
- Milking Massage
- Rolling massage
Comfort zone of the baby
The child should be totally comfortable and happy. Put the baby on a proper flat surface on a soft towel or bed sheet. See that the room temperature is not too cold or too hot as the baby’s clothes have to be removed for massage. Put the baby on its back. If the baby loves, you can play some soft music.
Which oil is to be used?
It is always a question Which Oils Are Best For Your Baby Massage? Use only edible oils like olive oil or avocado oil for massaging the baby. The reason behind this is that the kids tend to put their hands in their mouth and other oils like mineral oils are heavy on baby’s digestive system. Hence it is safe to use edible oils only. Before using any kind of oils, please apply a little amount on baby’s feet on a small area. After twenty-four hours, please check for any red spots to see if the baby is allergic to the particular oil or not.
The baby should always be massaged using gentle and small rubbing motions. Remember that you are not massaging an adult; it is the baby that you are giving a massage. Your motions should be gentle and soft circular motions. Most important thing about giving a massage to the baby is that you should handle all the body parts of the baby with utmost care and attention.
Direction of massage
The direction of the massage depends on the time of the day you are giving massage to the baby.
- If it is day time and you want your baby to feel more energetic than give massage in the direction of the heart
- If you want to calm and put your baby to sleep than massage in the direction away from the heart
The most common practice is to give massage in the direction away from the heart.
It is an excellent and efficient way to massage your baby’s limbs. In this, you need to form a c with your thumb and forefinger around your baby’s limbs. Then pull and massage towards the fingers of the limb. Repeat this motion several times. But, be sure not to hold the limbs to be tight.
The baby might also enjoy a rolling massage. In this, you have to gently roll your baby’s limbs back and forth against the blanket or the bed sheet on which your baby is lying.
Correct time for giving massage
The daily routine of massaging a baby should be followed at one particular time in a way in which you want to develop your baby’s routine the important things and factors that are to be kept in mind are as follows
- Bedtime massage
- Massage to calm a fussy baby
- Baby’s mood
- Half hour massage
As I have discussed earlier, giving a good massage before bedtime always helps soothe a baby to sleep. You should make this a routine to develop kids sleeping pattern.
Calming down a fussy baby
Babies always want to stay connected with their parents and sometimes they cry to gain the parents attention. At such a time massaging lets the baby know the presence of the parent and feels connected with the parent. But, be sure that the baby is not crying due to other reasons like hunger or sickness. If the baby is fed wait for about 45 minutes, so that the baby can digest the food properly.
Give a massage to the baby only if he or she is in the mood of getting a massage. If not, then save it for another time or day.
Half hour massage
You can start by giving a short five minutes massage to the baby. So that the baby gets a hang of the feeling of massage and then slowly work towards longer massage period. The best period of giving massage to the baby is a period of half an hour.
Massaging different body parts
There are different ways to massage different body parts of the baby they are as follows
- Legs and feet
- Chest and tummy
- Head and face
Legs and feet
Massage by using circular milking massage technique. Then move towards the feet of the baby and then rub the feet with your thumb and curl and uncurl the baby’s toes.
Chest and tummy
Massage the chest in a circular motion from the center and away from the heart. Massage the tummy in a clockwise circular motion.
Head and face
Massage gently by making small circular motions with your fingers with your fingers from the forehead to the cheeks and chin. Then make smile on the baby’s face with your fingers. Avoid eyes and nose area as the baby might not feel comfortable
Turn the baby and put the baby on his or her tummy now. Massage the back from the center in an outward circular direction.