Newborns need your care and love for comfort. Massaging them can help them soothe and sleep better. Massage can also benefit you as the oxytocin hormone gives warmth to you both.
What is Baby Massage?
Baby massage is a way to gently stroke your baby’s body by rhythmic movements. Baby oils and moisturizers are available to be used for the delicate skin. It is easy to glide your hand over the baby’s smooth skin with a baby moisturizer. A massage should be done using your wrists and fingers in a gentle way.
How is Baby Massage Beneficial?
A baby massage has benefits for you, your partner, and your baby. Babies will develop healthy mental, social, and physical abilities, stay relaxed, cry less, and sleep better after the massage. Newborns have huge benefits of massage as they feel more empowered. You get to spend quality time when you bond with the baby during the massage. A massage can be given at bedtime to help your baby sleep better and your partner can enjoy this time with the baby.
Premature babies have weaker immune systems and massage can strengthen their system. It can stimulate the digestive system and make your baby gain weight. Babies have their heart rate stabilized when they are massaged on a regular basis. Massage stimulates nerves that connect parts of the body to the brain. Babies can cope up well to stress when they are massaged as they get calm and relaxed.
When should you Massage your Baby?
A baby’s demands should be met in order to have free time in between. The time in between feeds can be ideal for giving the baby a massage. The baby will then be relaxed and enjoy it while you can also bond with the baby by talking or singing to him. Try to choose a time when your baby does not want a nap or feed. Settle your baby first and then prepare for a massage so you can also interact with him. A content baby will be easy to massage
Things Required for Baby Massage
Babies need a comfortable environment to be calm and relaxed. Find a place where you can massage your baby and be undisturbed. Keep a changing mat and place a sheet over it. Lay down your baby over the sheet and start the massage with baby oil. You will get to know when it is most suitable for you and your baby to have a massage done. Let it be in the morning or before bedtime as your baby wants it because nothing comes before a baby’s comfort.
The things you need to prepare beforehand is baby oil, towels, changing sheet, and changing clothes for baby afterward. Oil makes a massage easier as your hands can glide over the baby’s smooth skin. A baby moisturizer is applied after the bath to overcome the dryness. Olive oil is suitable for babies as it usually does not react on baby skin.
How to Massage a Baby?
A baby may take some time to adjust to the massage routine initially. You should start massaging the legs first to get your baby used to it. The sensation will let the baby have a sense of being touched other than nappy changing time. Set a routine for massaging your baby so that the baby appreciates the same sensations every day. The baby will also start recognizing the same pattern each day and enjoy the experience. The anticipation will build as the baby will learn the massage pattern. You can begin with the legs and then massage the arms followed up by the rest of the body.
Be gentle with the baby so he may be relaxed. Squeeze your hands as you reach the thighs and calves. Spread your hands to flatten the chest as you move from the center. Keep massaging your baby for as long as he enjoys it. This is good and satisfying for both you and your baby in several ways. You will help your baby strengthen through a good massage technique. Moreover, the baby will have improved digestion if he is massaged well. Babies love to stretch themselves as they cannot move much apart from that. Therefore, babies should be allowed to stretch whenever possible after a massage to strengthen their body movements, bones, and joints.
Which Oil is Healthy for a Baby Massage?
This is a common concern for parents as they want best for their baby. Massaging a baby with oil is a healthy practice as it improves a baby’s health. You can move your hands smoothly over the baby’s body when you apply oil. Some oils are recommended for using on the baby’s body as they are safe for their delicate skin. While other oils are not considered safe for the baby as they may harm their body.
The oil that soaks into the baby’s skin is easy to massage with. Parents have varying choices in oils for their baby. Some will prefer baby mineral oils while others prefer vegetable oils. A medical ointment may be necessary in case your baby has a skin condition such as eczema.
Oils to avoid on your baby’s skin include mustard oil and peanut oil. Aqueous cream is also not a good choice as it may be harsh on the baby’s soft skin.
Some babies have sensitive skins which further restricts some oils for use on their skin. Mineral oils are considered a better choice for the baby. You should read the labels before applying any oil onto your baby’s skin. Buy a small bottle first to see what suits your baby and then go for the bigger pack.
Can Massage Help your Baby Sleep?
Massage can help your baby sleep as a result of relaxation. Massaging your baby will help in regulating the circadian rhythms. This means that the day and night sleep time adjusts well sooner. The rhythm is important for a healthy mental and physical development of the baby. However, babies take a few months to adjust their timings of sleep. A gentle massage can do wonders for you as well.
You may have a hard time to make your baby go to sleep otherwise. Massaging daily at the same time can ease your routine with the baby. Take note of the benefits of massaging your baby and start as soon as possible. This will aid in your baby’s healthy development of the mind and body.