To ensure your baby grows healthy, you must be aware of how to give baby massage. Read on to explore massage tips for infants.
Baby massage is an ancient childcare practice that is still practiced all over the world. Recent medical research has proven the benefits of the same. Studies have shown that premature babies when regularly massaged require minimum hospitalization. All newborns show healthy growth, more weight gain and thrive better if they are massaged well and regularly. A good oil massage soothes and calms a baby, helps him/her to relax and sleep better and makes him/her more alert during the waking hours. It is a good exercise and promotes motor activity and emotional security in a child, besides a healthy body and muscular development. It stimulates digestion and helps the baby pass gas. Here are some massage tips for infants.
How To Give Baby Massage
- It is a good practice to keep all things you need ready, before you start rubbing the oil on the baby's body. This includes the baby massage oil or the vegetable oil, tissues, clean diapers and clothes.
- Baby's skin is very soft and bracelet, rings and long nails might hurt your child accidentally. So, keep your fingernails short and keep aside the jewelry you wear on hands when you are massaging the baby.
- Spread a changing mat or a soft towel on a flat surface and undress the baby. Put the baby down with his or her face up.
- Rub only about half-a-teaspoon of oil at a time on your palms, so that they glide easily on the baby's body. You can apply more oil later as needed.
- Make sure that your palms are warm. Aromatherapy oils for adults may not be suitable for the baby.
- Use smooth, gentle but firm strokes with your palm or fingers. Light circular movements on chest and stomach, stroking across the shoulders, downward movement on the arms and legs and upward movements on the back are the best.
- Do not put too much pressure on the baby's fragile body and avoid the spine area.
- Keep the baby engaged while massaging him or her by talking or singing to the infant.
- Eye contact with the baby ensures him or her of your undivided attention.
- Sudden break in contact of your hands may cause alarm to the baby. Therefore, take care to be gentle while stopping the massage.
- Do not oil baby's palms or fingers as these little ones tend to put them in their mouths or eyes often, which may cause irritation.
- Wrap the baby in a clean and warm towel after the massage and cuddle him or her.
- Do not massage the baby just before or after feeding, or when the baby is ill.
- Do not wake the baby up for a massage.
- Avoid rashes, wounds or areas where the baby has got his injections or vaccines as it may hurt.
You can continue to massage your baby till he/she is three or four years old, as the benefits of a good massage are numerous.