Baby Massages: Good for Babies and Moms!
If you thought laying face down on a massage table was just for adults, baby massages are beneficial and healthy too!. As adults we think of a good massage as stress busting bliss. Ahhh. Mmm. Our overworked body and mind sinks into a euphoric paradise with aromatherapy filling the air. . The good news is a baby doesn’t need the massage table or vanilla mint. Your hands hold the magic to the ultimate baby massage.
Baby massages are relaxing for Mom and the baby. We tend to think that babies have no worries and they are stress free. Wrong. Babies cry and pout for a reason. When a baby enters a new environment it can be stressful. The comfort of home begins at a very young age, so when a baby is surrounded by new voices, faces, colors, and sounds-think of how you may feel when you enter a crowded room of strangers. Change Of scenery takes getting used to for adults, so yes, babies have stress too. Taking quiet time together and massaging your baby will bring a sense of calm to both Mom-and baby.
Baby massages also help with circulation, digestion and growth. If your baby is ill or is teething, a baby massage can relieve symptoms. Massage can help babies who are premature and those with disabilities too, improving muscle tone and stimulating growth hormones. It is a well known fact that the sense of touch between a child and Mother forms bonding. For some Moms, bonding isn’t an automatic sense. Some bonding experiences happen instantly, for some new moms it may take a little bit of time. The bonding experience can be encouraged through touch and eye-to-eye contact with you baby. Baby massage can play a vital role in this process particularly if you’ve struggled due to postnatal depression.
Remember, when giving your baby a massage- they are fragile; handle with care. Find a quiet area in your home, dim the lights, and add music. There is nothing better than the sound of your own voice singing a soft melody. Here are a few simple steps to follow while giving your baby a massage.
Choose a time of day when you’re both relaxed and baby isn’t too tired. Wait for about half an hour after feeding. The only oils you should use for a baby massage is baby oil.
Lie your baby on a soft mat. make sure your baby is on a safe surface.
Get yourself into a comfortable position, remove jewelery and pour some oil into your hand and then rub your hands together to warm the oil. Start by placing your hands on baby’s shoulders and gently stroke down from baby’s shoulders to the feet. Pressure should be light but try to make sure that the whole of your hand and fingers comes in to contact with baby’s body as this feels better. Do this stroke about 6 times.
Now places your hands flat at the top of baby’s chest and stroke upwards and outwards going over the collarbone, shoulders and then down the arms. Repeat this six times. Stroke down baby’s body again from shoulders to feet 6 times.
Very lightly circle your fingertips over baby’s tummy in a clockwise direction. Then massage the side of the belly by stroking hand over hand first from one side to the belly button and then from the other side to the belly button. Stroke down baby’s body again from shoulders to feet 6 times.
Add some more oil to your hands if you need to then hold one of baby’s legs at the top of the thigh and move your hand slowly down to the foot. Just as you’re about to let go place the other hand at the top of the same thigh and start to move down the leg. This is a nice rhythmic technique but remember to keep it slow, smooth and gentle. Repeat several times and then move onto the other leg.
For the baby’s toes, grab each toe between your thumb and forefinger and gently pull until your fingers slip off the end. Repeat for all ten toes. For the baby’s hands, trace tiny circles all over the palm of each hand with your thumbs.
Finish the massage either on the front or back by holding your hands warmly on either the base of the back or the shoulders for a few seconds and then remove gently.
Wrap baby in the towel to absorb any excess oil before putting baby clothing on.