An infant massage not only improves the bond between parent and child, but it can also improve your baby’s health in various ways.
7 Ways a Massage can Help Your Baby:
- A loving touch can foster communication and a bond which your baby can understand even before they start speaking
- Relaxes muscles and helps relieve tension and anxiety in colicky babies
- Helps remove “wind” and problems with the digestive system
- Helps with sleeping problems
- Improves circulatory system
- Improves immunity
- Boosts psychological and emotional development
Points to Note Before Massaging My Baby
When?The best time to massage your baby is after a warm bath and before bedtime. Your baby should be in a relaxed, but alert state. Choose a time when your baby is neither too hungry nor too full.
- Lay your baby down on a comfortable flat surface such as a bed, and make sure your baby is facing you.
- Dress your baby in a diaper before the massage.
- Remove jewellery, if any, and ensure your hands are clean before proceeding.
- You can use lotion or baby oil to make the massage smoother. Warm the lotion or baby oil between your palms before massaging your baby.
- During the massage, hum, sing, or talk softly to your baby.
A Guide For Massaging Your Baby
- Start by placing your palms on your baby’s head and lightly massage down to the chin.
- Placing your index and middle fingers on your baby’s forehead, draw small circles around the temples.
- Using your thumbs, gently form a smile on your baby’s upper lip. Then, repeat the same motion for the lower lip.
- Starting from the middle of the chest, gently press outwards towards the sides by following the rib cage, then bring your hands back in a heart-shaped motion.
- In gentle motions, draw an “I Love You”. For the “I”, draw an “I” with a vertical stroke starting under the rib and going down to the hip joint.
- “Love”: Start by stroking from left to right across the abdomen – this forms the vertical stroke of the “L”. Use a shorter downward stroke on the right side of the stomach to finish off the “L”.
- “You”: Finish with an inverted “U”. Starting from your baby’s hip bone on the left side of the stomach, stroke upwards. Move your fingers along the top of your baby’s tummy then down to the right side.
- Using the outer part your hands, make light paddling strokes on your baby’s tummy, with one hand following the other in a smooth motion.
- Begin from the abdomen and gently make upward strokes using your fingertips.
- Holding your hands around your baby’s arms at the shoulder, gently move your hands from the shoulder to the hand while squeezing gently.
- Using your thumb or forefinger, massage your baby’s left wrist. Then move on to stroking the palm, uncurling the fingers along the way. Repeat the same thing for the right hand.
- Next, continue by massaging your baby’s ankles and feet, one at a time. Then, hold the ankle with your hand and using your thumb, rub along the sole from the heel to the toe.
- Holding your baby’s leg, move your hands up and down the legs together, moving in opposite directions and squeezing gently.
- Turn your baby over and lay him/her on the stomach. Massage your baby’s back by stroking from the neck to the bottom, including the buttocks. Then using your fingertips, gently massage the muscles on both sides of the spine.
Source: Johnson’s Baby