Prenatal massage, and its benefits for pregnant women, has often been heard and continuously researched. But, did you know that babies too benefit from the soft and supple massage given to them, on a regular basis? The touch and caress that you provide to your baby is loved and highly enjoyed by it. It is your loving touch that makes your baby comfortable, secure, and makes it feel loved and cared for. Imagine yourself stepping into hot water and somehow, managing to complete your bath. How does your skin feel once you are out of the water? Rough, weak, and coarse! Imagine the same happening to your baby's skin? Can't think of it even, right! A baby is born with a soft, delicate, and gentle skin. As such, a good baby massage is important and highly beneficial for keeping your baby skin secure. Baby massage is useful for calming down fussy and restless babies, apart from strengthening the bond between a mother and her baby. Improving blood circulation, easing colic, inducing sleep, strengthening immune system, and aiding digestion are some other benefits of a baby massage. But with some useful tips, you can get your baby respond excitedly to your strokes of love.
Baby Massage Tips
The baby should be given a massage when both you and your baby are in a relaxed state of mind. Plan the massage at a time when you will not be interrupted by anyone or any other work. On the other hand, your baby should also be relaxed as it is only when the little one is relaxed that it would be more receptive. Never schedule the massage when the baby is fussy, full stomach, or hungry. For best results and benefits, plan the massage before the morning bath.
You do not have to light scented candles or dim the light to set the atmosphere for a baby massage. Simply spread out a blanket on a bed or a towel on the floor, or any soft material on a changing table that will allow the baby to switch from its back to its tummy. The room temperature should be relatively warm and draft free to keep the baby comfy and cozy. You can play some soft music in the background, or opt for singing simple songs or sharing a simple chat. Your baby’s attention should be completely on you and the massage. Turn off any distractions, such as the telephone or the television.
Natural oils or mineral oils are the best oils to be used on a baby’s delicate and gentle skin, as it may not be resistant to artificially produced oils. Besides, you should also ensure that the oil you are using is safe for your baby’s skin, as some babies’ skin is extra sensitive. Baby oil is a good option, but you can also try scented oils. Almond oil or a fresh bottle of vegetable oil diluted with a drop of fragrance, such as lemon, vanilla, or lavender, is the best bet. Never use oil on the head and face.
Place your baby on the soft surface you have prepared and take off its clothes, leaving the diaper on. Rub some oil onto your palms and gently apply it on your baby’s body. As you start massaging, the warmth released from your hands will provide comfort and security to your baby. The benefits of this massage are not just limited to the baby. The friction from skin-to-skin contact will help you release your tension and stimulate the nerves. To keep the baby still, always keep one hand on the baby. Use light and delicate strokes on your baby, focusing on the tummy and back. Gradually, move towards the limbs and appendages. If you wish, you can add some butterfly kisses to add enjoyment to the massage for your baby. You can try different strokes to delight your little baby. Use circular, vertical, or horizontal movements, make hearts on its body, write L-O-V-E on its tummy, or drum your finger on its head and sides. In short, do everything that will amuse your baby.
Is Your Baby Comfortable
Follow your baby’s cues to see its interest and disinterest in the massage. If it is showing lack of interest or is too hyper-active, stop the massage midway. Never try to complete the whole procedure if your baby is unwilling. You can give it a try at a later time. A newborn baby should be given a massage for only two to five minutes, while an infant over two months may enjoy a more elaborate massage.
With different benefits of baby massage, you can make the most of it to ensure your little one’s health and development. Try these tips and you’ll enjoy sharing a stronger bond with your baby.