Nothing beats a mother’s touch to calm an infant! Soothing baby massages for sleep, which is more than just a touch, will relax your infant, assist in their growth, and even make them sleep better. Baby massage on a daily basis is also a wonderful way to connect with your child. For your kid, touch will mean a lot of different things. Touch has a certain ability that babies use to communicate and connect with the outside world. Perhaps this is why, when they are frustrated or need to feel safe, they like to cuddle up with their parents. Massage is one of the best ways to use comfort to relax, and reinforce your infant. If you are a new parent, it is important that you understand the importance of your children’s wellbeing. When it comes to a baby’s wellbeing, child massage is extremely important. The importance of massage for the little one’s bone strength cannot be overstated. Baby massages for sleep helps you baby to sleep well and also if your baby has colic there are also some scientifically proven massages that can help soothe the baby’s tummy and helps with the physical growth of your baby.
Are there any benefits of baby massage?
As mentioned before there are uncountable benefits of baby massage. As per a report published by the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM), giving a gentle massage to you baby regulates their disgestive as well as circulatory system, promoting faster growth of the baby. Some of the benefits are as follows;
1. It soothes the muscles:
Massage reduces stress levels and relieves discomfort in babies by triggering the secretion of oxytocin. It relaxes muscles, promotes development, and is especially beneficial for babies with colic.
2. Helps to stimulate the nervous system:
Massage is important to the nervous system of a newborn and it significantly facilitates the growth of the baby’s motor function.
3: It aids in baby’s sleep:
Baby massages for sleep have a number of advantages, ranging from increased muscle gain to enhanced inflammatory system. Massaged infants developed more melatonin, a sleep-regulating hormone, just before bedtime.
4. Promotes the growth of special babies:
Massage help babies with Down’s syndrome or cerebral palsy. When premature infants are massaged on a daily basis, their development improves. They gain weight much faster than preemies that aren’t massaged at all. Preterm infants who are massaged spend less time in the hospital.
5. Aids in blood circulation:
Massage increases blood supply while also reducing the pain caused by gas, congestion, and teething. Massage activates the nerves that run through the digestive system, which in turns leads to the proper working of digestive system.
What is the best time to start my baby’s massage?
According to the International Association of Infant Massage parents should start softly touching their babies right after they are born. Many parents enjoy doing so by having their child on their face, skin to skin. This is referred to as kangaroo care or skin-to-skin care.
For this begin lightly stroking your baby’s legs and back while keeping them tight to you. Then go on to other parts of the body, such as the head. Within the first few weeks start massaging with a lighter hand, but make sure you have your eyes on your baby’s attitude. When you’re about to massage your kid, they should be relaxed, responsive, and happy. Never use a massage technique that makes your kid feel distressed. According to the Mayo Clinic, anytime your kid turns their face away from you or tightens their muscles, it’s not the right time for a massage. During a meal, the Mayo Clinic recommends waiting at least 45 minutes. Giving a baby a massage too soon after they’ve eaten will cause them to spit.
How often should I massage my baby?
It is entirely dependent on you and your child. Some parents offer their babies massages on a regular basis, and others do thrice a week. For instance, you can give you baby a gentle massage once in the morning so they can get the day going. If you want to give your baby massages for sleep then you can give your infant some massage time before sleeping, so they can have a good sleep.
Some tips to remember while massaging your baby:
1. Make sure its cozy:
Massage you baby in an environment that is cozy and quiet. You and your spot should be relaxing and clean. Place them on their backs on a towel so that they can hold visual contact. When you are taking their clothes off tell them that it’s time for their massage.
2. keep it slow:
Put your child on its back and begin pressing each part of their body gradually. Initially, the touch should be soft.Rub each of their body parts for a few minutes, starting with their head and working the way down to their bottom. There is no particular time for the massage that is prescribed. The massage should last as long as you and your baby love it.
3. Keep a towel with you:
The towel helps in the absorption of the baby oil, also you can wrap your baby in it for some time. It will allow easy and fast absorption of oil in the skin.
4: Communicate with your baby:
During the massage always make sure that you are communicating with your baby well. Tell them that it is their bath time, make them feel that you are just playing with them. It will elevate you baby’s mood as well. You can sing their favourite jingle tell them a story.
Tips to follow when massaging legs:
- Start with the toes, you can take some oil in your hands and rub it on the palms and toes of the baby. Massage the baby’s soles with a few drops of oil on your hands. Using your fingers, massage the heels up to the fingertips. Move the bottom and top of the child’s foot with your hand. Make constant circles with your thumb across the bottom of each foot, then on to the fingertips. Do not pull any toes. Rather, gently rub each toe all the way to the tip. This would aid in the stimulation of nerve endings.
- Take on leg in your hand, and raise it gently then massage the for slowly extending it towards the thighs of your baby. From the foot of your baby to his hip, stroke gently and lightly. If your baby is quiet and happy, you should rub both legs at the same time. Now finish the leg massage by pressing the thighs with your hands.
Tips to follow when massaging arms:
- The arms must be massaged after the legs. The massaging pattern is very identical to that of the legs. Create circular strokes on the palms of the baby . Make short movements on the baby’s fingertips, working the way through the tips.
- Move the baby’s hand around and use direct strokes to rub the back of the hand towards the elbow. Then, in a clockwise direction, rub the wrists. Slowly shift the strokes into the wrist, then the upper arm. As if wringing a sheet, massage the whole arm with soft circular movements.
Tips to follow when massaging head:
- Since babies jump around a lot, massaging the head can be difficult. However, it is just as necessary as massaging the other parts of the body. Start by stroking the outline of your baby’s face from the middle of the forehead to the chin with the tip of your pointer finger. Shift your finger from the chin to the cheeks and softly rub the cheeks in a circular pattern.
- Gently massage the scalp with your fingertip after massaging the forehead. Since the newborn’s skull is sensitive, apply soft pressure with your fingertip and avoid applying any additional pressure. You can also softly rub the baby’s forehead by spreading your fingertips outwards from the baby’s middle. These head messages can be good baby massages for sleep.
What to do if baby gets cranky?
If your baby gets irritable during the massage, simply miss the massage stage and move on to the next. From massaging the infant whether he or she is already irritable. Later, as the infant seems to be more sensitive to touch, you might try massaging. When giving a massage, always be soft. Since the bones and tissues of a baby are so fragile, never put too much weight on them. Also as mentioned before, you should also communicate with your baby. Once you are done, use a tissue paper to clean away the oil from the baby’s hands and fingertips. This is to avoid the baby from swallowing the oil unintentionally by putting their fingers in their mouth. Use baby massage oils that are completely healthy for babies and do not pose any health risks even if ingested accidentally.
Should I stop giving him massage after some weeks?
The answer is no, as there is no age to this. You should massage the baby for as long as you want. When their child is properly weaned and he has developed from an infant to a toddler you can stop. But it is your choice.
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