The Benefits of Baby Massage
Massaging your baby has a host of benefits, including better sleep, improved general health and it can also help you bond with your baby. The main overall benefit that links to these results, is that it will relax and soothe your baby.
“When you give your baby a massage, you’re actually stimulating her central nervous system, that sets off a chain reaction: It makes her brain produce more serotonin, a feel-good chemical, and less cortisol, a hormone that’s secreted in response to stress. As a result, your baby’s heart rate and breathing slow down, and she becomes more relaxed.” // parents.com via Tiffany Field, PhD, director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine.
Regular massages can also be good for your baby, in an emotional sense. The affection and rhythmic motion are great forms of communication between a parent and child, helping with bonding as mentioned above, but also it will help you as a parent, become more in tune to your child’s needs.
The best time to massage your baby is when you first have a free 10 or 15 minutes, and when you baby is not over excited or in a fussy mood. For example, a good time may be after a change of diaper or part of the evening bathtime and wind down routine.
Simple tips include removing any obstructive jewellery, keep the room warm and quiet, and lay her in her diaper only, facing up on a towel or blanket, with a small pillow. Start by gently rubbing her palms with your thumbs, then you can move on.
Types of Massages
Slowly gliding your hands down from thigh to ankle.
Hands on her tummy, going clockwise and gently but firmly rubbing your fingertips over in the circular motion.
Softly rolls your baby’s arm between your hands, going from shoulder to wrist, then switching.
Using one hand to keep her head supported, use the thumb of your spare hand on one side of her neck, and two fingers on the other. Gently rub in a circular motion.
Begin with a belly massage then bend her knees up to her tummy, and pause there for half a minute, and do this a few times. Then use the edge of your hand on your baby’s belly, softly moving upwards and downwards, which will hopefully help release any gas build up.
Check out this Baby Massage Guide and the video below!