Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Massage For Your Baby

A delightful baby massage is a wonderful way to bond with your newborn baby and spend quality time together.  An infant massage is another beautiful way to express your love.  More and more studies now show that a loving baby massage with a baby massage oil may help support a healthy immune system, relieve colic and even enhance an infant's intellectual development and motor skills.  A gentle baby massage and a few minutes of quiet time can improve sleeping through the night better.  That means sweet dreams for everyone! 

Since skin is the largest organ in the body, touch is extremely important. The following preparation and useful techniques can assist you in giving your precious baby an infant massage spa experience!

How to Begin
You will need: 2 soft towels, a clean diaper, baby massage oil & baby shampoo for your infant massage.  

Baby your little baby!  Begin the baby massage when you and your baby are in a relaxed, calm state.  The best time for an infant massage is usually before your baby’s bath, at least a half hour after the baby has eaten.  Sit comfortably on the floor with the soles of your feet together and form a diamond shape with your legs.  Be sure to select an infant massage location without drafts and make sure the room temperature is a warm 78 degrees.  Then drape a soft towel over your lap.  Undress your baby, just leaving on a clean diaper and rest your baby on the towel over your legs so your baby will feel comfortable and secure.  

Cradle your baby’s head with your feet.  Then put some baby massage oil on your clean hands and rub them together so they will be soft and warm before you start your baby massage.  Your baby will not be happy if he or she receives a baby massage from cold hands!  Then using massage oil for baby, begin with long gentle strokes from your baby's head to his or her toes.  

If you find that your baby responds well to the infant massage, proceed to gently massage your baby’s body section by section.  If your baby does not cooperate, simply massage him or her at another time.

While you massage your baby you may want to softly talk, hum, sing and/or play healing meditation music during the baby massage.  To further bond with your baby, give your little one eye to eye contact during the baby massage.

Baby Massage Tips:
  • Make your infant massage strokes gentle but not ticklish.

  • With soft and gentle touches the baby massage flows from the head to the toes. Tenderly begin the infant massage on the head and then move to the face, shoulders, arms, hands, chest, stomach and down to the legs, feet and toes.

  • Follow your baby's mood signals about when to stop the baby massage.  If the baby wants to change position let him or her do so.  A baby massage can comfortably last anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes, depending on his or her mood.

  • When you gently massage your baby’s body parts, you may want to cover the areas of the baby’s body that are not being massaged with a second towel to avoid baby from getting a chill.  Run your fingertips lightly over the body using circular motion. Avoid massaging your infant’s navel area, if the cord hasn't completely healed, avoid pressure on the spinal cord and avoid the genitalia area.

  • You can hold under your baby’s knees and gently press the knees up toward his or her tummy during the infant massage.  This position can help your baby to expel gas. Massage the scalp in small circles with your fingertips as if you were shampooing.

  • Following the massage, wash your baby’s hair with a natural baby shampoo.  This may require two washes to remove all the oil.

  • Make it a good habit to give your baby a baby massage as part of your baby’s pre-bath schedule.  After the infant massage, caress your baby and then give your baby a warm bath.