Baby Massage and Massage techniques
The tenderness, love a child brings in one’s life is certainly a bliss in our life .To see them grow & nurture healthily is again a big challenge which takes most of our time & brings out the best from us ,be it from feeding them with best organic foods or giving them a hygienic environment or showering them with best toys of the world. Amongst all this lies a very important part of a child’s growth, Massage. It is a wonderful way to express our love ,care & give baby a healthy and strong life.
Don’t we wish to be pampered every other day with massage or some SPA treatment? With the simple reason of relaxation, attained by improved circulation. I swear, babies are smarter than you and have these desires to be filled since birth;)
Importance of Baby Massage:
Since ages, massaging baby by Oil has been termed highly important, due to reasons as in :
1. An important gentle & rhythmic stroking tones up baby’s muscles & makes bones strong
2. It enhances blood circulation & moisturises baby’s skin
3. It also helps in weight gain due to toning up of body of baby
4. Gentle strokes on tummy & chest help in releasing out the gas & improves digestion for the infant.
5. It acts as a big relaxant for kids, as it eases out the muscles & help in a good sleep post facto.
6. It is a great method of bonding between a mother & child, as during massaging, oxytocin hormones are released which gives a warm feeling to the baby.
7. It is a great option for pre-mature kids ,as it stimulates vagus nerve (connecting brain with major body organs) resulting in improved circulation ,digestion ,right bowel movement . Also, it leads to better brain activity for pre-mature infants.
Requirements of Baby Massage:
1. A perfect baby oil
3. Nappy kit
Right strokes with right baby oil matters a lot. Market and E-Commerce are full of baby oil suggestions, claiming self to be the better than other.
So, to help you listing out some essential oil’s for baby, pls check my Best baby Oils post.
Best time for baby’s oil Massage :
Usually the best time for massaging a baby is in the mornings, once the sun is out there spreading the morning warmth. Try massaging baby with any of the Pure oils and wrap baby with a cotton cloth for some minutes. Usually after a good massage, infants doze off quickly to have a relaxing sleep( Don’t worry with light oil application, kids can sleep with oil on the body). If infant doesn’t feel sleepy, you can easily give him a bath after 30-35min of Oil massage to freshen him up and then feed the baby.
Sometimes it is also good to massage in the evening before going for a night sleep , but try to massage then with a very light and less oil (since you would not want to bathe baby then in the night). Baby should not feel greasy, else that is for sure gonna increase the discomfort.
Oil Massage in Summers? Powder Massage for Baby
Apply less Oil/ very light oil during summers to avoid excessive heat stroke or extra greasiness.
Concept of Powder massage was introduced to me by my nanny in excessive summers to keep baby fresh and non greasy.
It is so feather light massage & most important here are strokes to level up the body senses. You can use any of the “Baby Powder” and give light strokes across the baby’s legs hands, tummy and back to see him freshen up & smiling:)
Massage technique/ How to do baby Massage
Moms, keep your eyes open & interact with your baby, this is a perfect “your time” which will be loved. I’ll share the way I massaged my kid & his fascinating expressions!
My Massage time was an average of 20-25minutes, and I ensured that room was quiet(or had some soft instrumental music being played) and my baby was well rested & in a good mood.
Spread a towel below the baby before beginning massage.
1.Take few drops of oil and gently rub it between the palms of your hands. Start massage from the soles of baby’s feet. Starting slowly from feet and ankle to being a little tight on thighs & calves. Keep giving good strokes with one leg at a time – My kid loved the strokes and I always saw my baby squeaking & smiling back 🙂 (Avoid genital area from being massaged)
Duration : 5-7minutes
2. Now move upwards and begin the upper body massage from shoulders. Get your strokes from shoulders towards the centre of chest. Gently stroke the arms starting from shoulders to the wrist. Wrist’s are very delicate part of kids so massage it very slowly and firmly. Softly massage every finger and put some pressure on finger tips which are the nerve endings of organs. Clean excess oil off the baby’s fingers.
Duration : 5-7minutes
3. Tummy – Ensure that you do not start massage within 30min of feeding baby. Check if the belly is soft, proceed with soft massage. Strokes on tummy should be circular, in clockwise manner. (Avoid if the cord hasn’t healed completely). Keep observing if the baby is happy & responsive, incase of any discomfort massaging tummy, stop there and move on for next face massage.
I used to make delicate “I Love U” signs covering chest and tummy and all this made my little one giggle a lot . (I= Straight hand from chest to tummy, L=Chest to making L till tummy, U = tummy in U manner).
Duration : 4 minutes
4. Now get on to the face, use finger tips and thumbs to massage face from forehead to cheeks , an outside stroke beginning from centre of brows , below the eyes (keep sufficient gap between eyes n finger tip for stroking) onto outside the cheek. Then sideways from upper lips and upwards from chin till upper lips. Try patting cheeks gently from finger tips.
Now, Give a good massage on baby’s scalp in form of small circles.
Duration : 2 minutes
6. Now just turn the baby on tummy and stroke back from head to toe. Give a good pressure on the sides of spinal cord stretching from top to hips. Keep the circular pattern on hips & continue in linear manner till toe. On the back portion, if baby is comfortable you can increase the pressure till it suits him.
Duration : 5 minutes
Post massage, do make your baby exercise :
- Hold legs, folding it from knee press it against the tummy and bring it back down. This helps releasing the gas from stomach. Repeat for 5 times.
- Hold baby’s hands and spread the arms outside , bring them in the chest, spread them out again. Can easily be repeated for 5 times.
- For 3months baby , you can easily try Bicycle exercise of legs.
- Criss cross both the legs and repeat for 5 times.
- Some people also hold babies via their legs in an upside down position to enhance blood circulation in head region, incase you prefer to do it, pls check with elders or take doctors advice on this exercise, as any jerk in neck may result in problems for baby.
Post this fab Oil massage and exercise regime, you’ll be pleased to see baby gets off to sleep with a smiling face & relaxed body:)