Babies respond to touch from their mothers and fathers. One way that you can spend time with them and give them some stress relief is with the practice of baby massage. The technique can be used to get your baby to fall asleep without artificial aids, but is not limited to that. Whenever you want to soothe your child, this technique works wonders.
Just like with adults, there are many benefits to the body as a result of massage. For one, it increases circulation throughout the body. More oxygen to the tissues means more energy and alertness.
Just like any other massage session, set the room up to give off a feeling of calm and serenity. For babies, warm it up a few notches. Since they are unable to control their body temperature yet and they will be mostly uncovered, it is a good idea to keep the room balmy so they don’t shiver or lose more body heat.
Turn off all phones and other electronics. Since baby is new to the world, they will twitch and turn with each noise they hear. Limit the distractions by limiting the sounds in the area where you will perform the massage.
To make the process flow as seamlessly as possible, gather what you need in one place before you start. This includes: baby blanket, diaper, massaging oil and diaper pad. You can leave baby’s diaper on until you are ready to massage the legs and back to avoid unwanted accidents. The oil reduces friction between your hands and baby’s skin.
Start at the top. If baby seems resistant or irritable, stop and wait until they are in a calmer state. The massage is supposed to be soothing and if baby is crying, they won’t associate this technique with relaxation.
Massaging the head requires a delicate hand. You can also rub their head in small circular motions from the center outward. Use your thumbs to massage their little face in smooth strokes outward from the center. Don’t forget the ears.
Proceed onward down to the neck and shoulders. Use fingertips to gently tap the shoulder area. Also rub in circular motions to release tension. The same goes for the tummy and the back.
When you get to the extremities, use longer strokes with the thumb and fingers, starting with the hands or toes and working your way up. Gently squeeze the muscles to remove any knots.
Your baby will enjoy a massage just as much as you. Take the opportunity to bond with your child as you make them more comfortable.