Different Types of Baby Massage
There are ankle massages, wrists, fingers, toes, the back, head, face, and the tummy area. Massaging each of the mentioned body parts has its own unique benefit and most obstetricians would tell you how crucial it is to massage your baby everyday.
Abdominal massage is one of the most popular forms of infant massage. This type of massage does wonders for colic in babies. Colic is abdomen pain experienced by babies due to intestinal gas. A proper massaging of that area can relieve your baby from those no good cramps! This type of massage also helps with other issues such as reflux, as well as constipation.
Back massage is another crucial component of infant massaging because it has been noted that it greatly helps with mood control of your baby, as well as sleep quality. Ankle, wrist, and finger massages come next as they tend to help greatly with muscle development.
How to Massage Babies
First of all, you need two items before starting the massage. A soft blanket is needed in order for you to lay your baby on it. The surface needs to be extra comfortable for the betterment of the experience of your baby. The second item needed is massage oil; however, please do not apply the oil you have before testing to see if the skin of your baby is allergic to it. Prior to starting the massage routine, put a small amount of the oil you are going to be using, on your baby’s skin, and assess for the next 24 hours the condition of his/her skin.
The time period in which you are going to massage your baby is paramount. It is strongly recommended not to start a massage session after a meal because it would surely result in discomfort for the baby. Avoid a session also when your baby seems sleepy because let’s face it, nobody wants to be bothered when tired, and yes this does apply to even babies!
When your baby is finally alert and ready to go, place him on a soft blanket in front of you and have a sit yourself. Undress your baby and apply some oil where you want to massage. While massaging, if the baby starts crying or appears uncomfortable for any reason, make sure to stop immediately and move on to other body parts. If not, continue your gentle approach and massage all the mentioned body parts.
As mentioned, one of the most crucial body parts that need massaging for babies is the tummy area. One way to do this massage is placing all the fingers of one of your hands on the belly of your baby and then do a clockwise motion. This is the most effective method when it comes to properly massage the abdominal section. For a proper back massage, lay your baby down on his tummy and make sure his hands are in front of him and not to his sides. After applying some oil, then gently rub the back with a forward and backward motion. For an ankle massage, make sure to hold the leg with one hand and then massage the ankle area with your other hand.
Another method to try is massaging the ankle area using small circles. This is beneficial due to it being good for muscle development. While massaging the face of your baby, the small circle method is strongly recommended for the cheek area. It is important to be extra cautious while massaging the face area because you do not want to make contact with your baby’s eye by accident.
Now to the arms! There are several ways you could massage the arm area. The most recommended one is to hold your baby’s arm with one hand and with the other, stroke from shoulder to his wrist.
Benefits of Baby Massage
Your one and only will benefit tremendously from a deliberate massage due to it ensuring a healthy upbringing of your baby. A good massage would guarantee less teething pains, improved sleep quality, boost muscle development, and reduced whining.
By learning the techniques of infant massage, you as a parent would also greatly benefit. It has been proven that massaging your baby produces oxytocin in you. This hormone is universally known as the “love” hormone and who does not want to feel love everyday.
Other benefits worth mentioning are the fact that your baby will sleep much better for a few days following a massage session. You will also notice that your baby is crying less than usual which would save you several trips to the bathroom in order to wash your face and refresh after going through terrible headaches. As mentioned, less tummy issues and teething pains will also come from continuous massage sessions for your baby.
Baby Massage Oil
Choosing the right oil is an important step before starting massaging your baby. You need to make sure that your baby is not allergic to the oil that you are going to use. As mentioned, in order to do that make sure to apply a small amount onto your baby’s skin for testing. Wait for 24 hours and see if there are any red irritation spots visible. If not, that oil is safe to use.
In terms of which types of oil are the safest to use, coconut oil is a type that is very popular among parents. There are studies that prove applying coconut oil results in an improved skin state for babies. Almond oil is another recommended oil as there are studies that suggest applying such oil on babies would result in improved skin thickness and strength.
It is advocated to learn infant massage from an expert. Please contact NewM Clinic office for a free consultation. For viewing contact information, as well as additional information regarding infant massaging, reach NewM Clinic website.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How often should I massage my baby?
It is encouraged for you to massage your baby everyday if possible. Make sure not to start a session shortly after a meal or when the baby appears sleepy.
How much pressure should I apply on my baby’s skin?
The pressure applied should be in accordance with your baby’s age. If your baby is a newborn, the pressure should be minimal because the risk of an injury is higher. You could slowly add more pressure as your baby ages.