Who doesn’t love a massage? Babies are huge fans of these too. Research has shown that regular massages on a baby’s palm and feet increases his/her brain development. It is also a great way for a mom and baby to bond and spend some quality time together.
How can a massage benefit your little one?
A massage can help ease your baby’s tummy troubles and teething pains, boost his/her muscle development, calm him/her when he’s fussy, and soothe him/her to sleep. Massaging your baby and hearing his/her happy giggles will help you relax too.
You can start these gentle massages from the day you bring your baby home. You can also encourage your partner to try his hand at an infant massage. It’s a good opportunity for dad and baby bonding.
• Make the massage a part of your daily routine
Consider massaging your baby around the same time every day so that he/she comes to expect and enjoy it.
What time’s best?
There’s no ‘best’ time really. You want to choose a time when you’re not feeling rushed and when your baby isn’t hungry or full as then he/she won’t enjoy the belly rubs since the belly is empty or too full.
• Using a massaging oil
You might not need oil to rub your little one right way, but it’ll be more pleasant for both of you if your hands glide more easily over your baby’s body. Make sure to only use a trusted brand of baby oil, as herbal oils can cause allergies.
• Pick an area that’s comfortable for both of you
A moderately warm space, so your baby’s nearly naked body doesn’t catch a chill. You can massage your little one on a changing table or your bed. Add some soothing background music or simply use the time to talk and sing to your baby.
• Follow your baby’s cues
No one likes to be massaged when they’re not in the mood; it’s the same for your baby as well. If he/she turns away, frowns or cries when you lay your hands on him/her, save the session for later. And remember, you don’t have to give a full-body massage every time. If your baby decides he’s had enough after you’ve rubbed his legs and feet, leave it at that.
• Be Gentle
Don’t apply too much pressure or it will be overpowering. Try and stroke away from the heart (ex: from shoulder to wrist) it’s relaxing. Therefore it’s better suited for a pre-nap or pre-bedtime massage. Stroking toward the heart (ex: from wrist to shoulder) this is more stimulating and better suited for when your baby will be awake and active.