We all love a good massage after a tiring day…or whenever…
Well, our babies are no different.
Of all their underdeveloped senses, the sense of touch is the first that blooms and used to connect with the world.
Instinctively as a mother, you would know how powerful touch is, with every soothing cuddle perform its miraculous effect as soon as your baby cries or gets cranky.
What is baby massage?
Baby massaging is the procedure when your baby is held tenderly and stroked with baby oil or a moisturizer. Parents follow a sequence of continuous soothing strokes and holds while keeping eye contact with to the baby. Simultaneously, they can hum, talk or sing to the baby.
What are the benefits?
There are numerous benefits for your baby and you to incorporate baby massaging into your daily routine.
- It helps relieve pain.
Your baby may live like a royal sleeping whenever they want, being bathed, fed and cherished, but they go through milestones as part of their growing up which entail significant amounts of pain.
A gentle massage will alleviate your baby from all the above.
The best thing about baby massaging for both parents is the bonding effect it has.
A 2 year old study has showed that the attachment between the baby and the mother had a significant increase for the group that massaged their babies. Interacting with your baby in a loving way while you’re humming or singing to them, can certainly be one of the best ways to come closer to your baby.
Another study showed how beneficial it was for the mother herself and her attitude towards motherhood.
We may not have a study (yet) for this, but baby massaging is also a great way for dads to get involved and bond.
- Unblocks nasal congestion during a cold
There is a special kind of massage you can perform on your baby, to help him release mucus.
To help your baby unblock their nose, place your thumbs on the sides of the nose, and massage up and down. This will help open the nostrils, and clear mucus.
- Helps preterm newborns gain weight sooner
A study showed that preterm newborns who were administered massage, gained more weight and had shorter hospital stay.
When and how do I do it?
Well, the great news is that you may start from the very beginning; yes, right after birth. Your babies are massage ready right after they come out of the womb!
Regarding the “how”; firstly, choose a quiet place where you can only focus on your little angel.
Place a blanket or a towel underneath your baby.
Choose whether you’ll use a baby oil or hydrating lotion for your baby.
If it’s a new product you’ll be using on your baby, try the patch test with them first; apply a tiny amount on their skin to check for potential irritations.
Then, you can begin little strokes and holds; every baby is different, so you want to look for cues your baby gives, especially the first time.
Timing is also important; ideally, you will not start its massage after they’ve just been fed or before the time, they usually get hungry; you want your baby to be as relaxed and calm as possible and eliminate triggers of irritability.
Extra tip! If for the time being, your baby suffers from Colic, try using a specialized massage relief gel for even better results. In this case, you’re focusing on their tummy, while bending the baby’s knees up to their chest for a few seconds to relieve any gases and continue with a gentle clockwise massage.