Expert tips by Baby Harmony
Mmm… Massage. The word instantly conjures up images of lying in a deeply relaxing state, surrounded by gentle music and the light smell of lavender, while being blissfully kneaded until all your worries melt away. Baby massage, however, is much more than that. It can both relax and stimulate. It’s a way of interacting and a way of providing relief.
The following are just some of the benefits that have been reported for baby massaging.
- Helps your baby sleep more regularly, and for longer
- Improves the bond between you and your baby
- Helps develop your baby’s brain, motor skills, muscle tone and coordination
- Gives your baby relief from colic and gas pain, muscular tension, congestion and emotional stress
- Helps you learn your baby’s cues and work out what they’re trying to say, improving your confidence as a parent
- Helps recovery from postnatal depression
- Is lots of fun!
To help you get started, here are some baby massaging hints and tips:
- Massage in a warm environment with gentle lighting
- Wait 45 minutes after feeding and aim for when your baby is quiet but alert
- Use unscented cold-pressed vegetable oil to protect your baby’s sensitive sense of smell, and so they can still put their oily hands (or toes) in their mouth
- Find a way to relax so that your baby can also relax
- Ask your baby permission so that they learn they are in charge of their body.
- Use firm strokes so that you don’t tickle or poke your baby
- If you’re unsure, take a class with a certified infant massage instructor from the International Association of Infant Massage.
It can take a little while for you and your baby to get used to it, but keep it up and before long you’ll be saying “Mmm… Baby Massage”.