Baby Massage – A Step By Step Guide To Do It
The moment your baby arrives home, you would hear all the elders in the house giving you tips on baby massage and on how to handle and take care of your baby. The main tip would revolve around giving your baby a soothing massage.
Baby massage is one of the most important aspects which contributes to the growth and health of your baby. Baby massage stimulates the central nervous system of your baby. The affectionate touch with the rhythmic movement while massaging soothes your baby. Massaging is one of the best ways of communicating with your baby which in turn helps in better bonding.
Baby massage is very important as your baby lies down in the same position, rather your baby's movement is restricted that may cause your baby to have a little body pain. Body massage relieves the pain and you would automatically see that your baby is less fussy and cranky.
Baby Massage Techniques
Baby massage is a simple exercise which creates a beautiful bond between your baby and you. Some of the points to be noted before starting the massage are:
• The room has to be quiet, calm and warm.
• Choose a time when your baby is calm and happy. If you try to massage your baby when she is fussy, you may land up irritating her more.
• Take off the jewellery from your hand like rings as they could come in the way while massaging. Make sure your fingernails are cut.
• Keep all the things needed for the massage handy right next to you like baby oil, a soft towel and a pillow.
Baby massage: Where should you begin?
Here are some pointers on where to start massaging your baby.
Take a few drops of warm oil and apply it gently from the heel to toe. The stroking has to be firm yet gentle and slow. You can repeat this for both the right and the left feet for around 8 times.
Leg massage relieves your baby of pain as they constantly keep kicking their legs. Apply warm oil on your palms and gently massage your baby from the ankle up to the thigh. Massage can be done one leg at a time and repeat the same action on the other leg. After the massage of the legs, you can slowly take the legs up in such a way that the knees touch the chest, pressing the tummy. This helps in relieving the gas if any.
Massaging the tummy of your baby helps in relieving gas from her tummy. This massage is very important for babies who have colic. Gently and firmly place your fingertips over the tummy and stroke in a circular motion clockwise. Repeat the same for around 8-10 times.
Gently massage your baby’s arms with a little warm oil by stroking from the shoulders down towards the wrists. The massage here again has to be gentle yet firm. You can avoid applying too much oil on the palms/fingers as your baby may put her hand in the mouth.
Turn your baby gently on her tummy for the back massage. Again, take a little warm oil on your palms and gently stroke the back of your baby starting from the upper back towards the toe. Your baby requires a smooth and long gentle back massage as your baby would lie on the back for a long time. This helps in relieving the pain and relaxes your baby.
Face massage has to be done with a lot of care as your baby would keep moving the head. Place your fingertips on both your hands in the center of the forehead and gently move down from the forehead towards the chin on both the sides. Your left fingertips would be moving from the center of the forehead to the chin on the right side of the baby and vice versa. You can repeat this for 8-10 times or until your baby is comfortable.
Baby massage: How to test if your baby has an allergic reaction to oil?
You can use a baby moisturiser or oil to massage your baby. Before massaging your baby with any moisturiser or any oil, it is recommended that you apply a little of it on a tiny part of her hand to check if it is compatible for your baby’s skin. If your baby develops any rash, redness or itching, then you can avoid using that oil for massaging.
Baby oils are generally safe and do not cause any problem, yet it is recommended that the skin test needs to be done.
Baby massage: What type of oil should you use?
The oils which can be used for massaging are olive oil, mustard oil, coconut oil, sesame oil and almond oil. Warm oil works best for massaging as it relaxes and soothes your baby.
Again, the oil that is used for massaging changes according to the weather. In summers, you can use coconut oil and sesame oil. This cools your baby and also helps in moisturizing your baby’s skin.
In winters, almond oil, olive oil, and mustard oil can be used for massaging as it gives a warming effect to your baby.
Massage time is not only a ritual to keep your baby healthy, but it is also a great way to know your baby better. It strengthens your bond with your baby and your baby would look forward to this we-time every day.