Massaging your little one has a variety of benefits. Your baby will feel nurtured and loved with each smooth stroke and it’s going to build up a strong bond between the mother and your baby. Massages make your baby feel more relaxed, and also improve their sleep pattern.
Some research studies have revealed that baby massage might even contribute to the healthy growth of your baby, although further research is required for confirmation of a direct link.
Here we have highlighted a few handy points on the benefits and techniques of massaging your baby. It will help you to know more about baby massages.
Strengthening bond through baby massage
Baby massages are an incredible way to strengthen the close bonds between you and your little one. It helps you to develop trust and communication as you interact with your baby. Your smooth touch will cultivate the awesome feeling of being loved and cared for.
It will make your baby feel relaxed during a massage. Anecdotal reports recommend these massages to improve your baby’s sleep, but more research work is required in this area.
How to Do a Baby Massage
Just follow the simple steps given below to massage your baby
1. Set a relaxed mood
First, switch off the light in the room and turn off your phone. Put on some soft music and make sure the room temperature (About 75 degrees F) is warm.
2. Place your baby on a smooth and safe surface
Always prefer a comfortable, flat and smooth surface such as your floor, your bed or even the baby’s changing table but please make sure your baby is not left unattended.
3. Remove the clothes of your baby
You can remove your baby’s diaper so that the baby feels airy and relaxed. If your baby is diaper-free just slide a towel or two under the baby. The fold inserts for cloth diapers work incredibly during the massage.
4. Gentle touch
Now make the room atmosphere calm and peaceful. Give soft, gentle massage strokes smoothening your baby’s skin and avoiding rubbing it.
5. Target the right body parts
First, give a gentle massage to your baby’s feet then massage the baby’s legs and thighs. Then gently move to the arms part, making sure to massage the baby’s hands, too. For the baby’s stomach part, always offer the massage in a clockwise direction. Avoid massaging in the head area if you discover soft spots.
6. Know when to stop massaging
If the baby starts fussing, then stop giving massage for a while and resume it later. The reasons behind babies’ fuss during a massage are that they are hungry, too cold, or even bored. So it is better to give them a break during that time.
How often you should give a baby massage
The massage of your baby completely relies on you and your baby. Some people prefer to give their baby massages on a daily basis while other people follow different schedules for massaging their little ones.
The best time to give a massage to your baby is during the morning to relax the baby during the entire day or at night before bedtime to ease your baby’s sleep smoothly. Also, focus on your baby’s cues to help decide the best massage time.
Benefits of Baby Massage
Let’s dispel some of the incredible benefits of baby massage:
1. Massaging the baby facilitates weight gain
A baby who gets a massage every day gained more weight and is more aware. It also increases their motor activities in their brain area and their bone density.
2. Baby massage reduces the chances of jaundice
Research studies have revealed that massaging a baby can decrease the bilirubin level component in the blood that causes jaundice and facilitates the bowel movement frequency, which helps to eject excess bilirubin from the body and prevents constipation.
3. Baby massage reduces stress
As per recent studies, human touch lessens stress and blood pressure levels in adults. Massage therapy for babies could be life-saving and improves heart rate variability (HRV) and also facilitates the maturation of preemies’ immature nervous systems.
4. Baby massage reduces gastric problems
A gentle massage helps to reduce gastric problems. Infant massage helps to calm a colicky baby.
5. Baby massage promotes sleep
Baby massage lowers the levels of cortisol component, (the stress hormone) and enhances the production of melatonin. Melatonin’s function is to regulate sleep patterns. Baby massage helps to induce faster and longer sleep in the baby.
Do You Need Baby Massage Oil?
Using massage oil can make the baby more comfortable and the massage more enjoyable, as it reduces friction.
According to an Indian Pediatrics journal, the type of massage oil you use will impact the overall baby’s health and development. Researchers’ studies reveal that using coconut oil during massage helps a baby to gain weight.
The use of olive oil and sunflower oil accelerates the breaking of a new born baby’s skin barrier function. The use of these oils for massaging oils could be risky and enhances the chances of developing skin conditions like baby eczema.
Best baby massage oil
- Coconut oil: Using a small drop of coconut oil for massaging purposes is good for your baby’s skin. It acts as an antimicrobial, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral
- Whipped Shea Butter with Coconut oil: It is good for babies having dry skin as shea butter hydrates skin and is good for moisturizing purposes. This whipped cream when blended with coconut oil gives immense benefits to the skin.
- YL Seedlings: If you want looking to add something to the therapeutic value of essential oils, then this oil works wonder for nourishing baby skin.
Using essential oils
It is highly recommended not to use essential oils directly on your baby’s skin as they are too concentrated leading to allergic reactions, skin irritations, or a detox response. Always apply proper dilution ratios of essential oil on your baby’s skin.
Baby massages are an incredible soothing therapy that soothes your baby and facilitates strong bonding. However, the idea of massaging your baby doesn’t come naturally to all parents. Don’t be disheartened if massaging your baby doesn’t work well.
You have to practice several times to become a pro in learning the right way of massage to your infant. Every single practice will help you to develop a deeper, loving bond with your baby. Keep this practice consistent as you may not get the hang of baby massages the first time but your baby will surely get relaxed and you will get better with time.
Massage your way to build deeper bonds with your baby.