Baby Massage – Benefits, Best Oils, and Tips for a Great Massage

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Statistics state that infants who experience a gentle routine stroke exhibit 50% better eye contact and thrice the positive expressions than those deprived of it. This is based on the fact that massaging soothes your baby as it releases oxytocin, a feel-good hormone. Furthermore, as touching is the first communication an infant receives from his parents, massaging is one kind of way of doing so as it further nurtures the relationship between you and your baby. Hence, if you’re looking forward to communicating with your tot via massaging and you’re confused about its know-how, read this detailed baby massaging guide where you’ll learn:

What is Baby Massage?

In simple terms, a massage is gracious and rhythmic stroking of your infant’s body (particularly hands, wrists, back, and ankles) using hands to make them flexible and strong.

When should I start Massaging my Baby?

Before the actual massaging through massaging oils and other products, you can start with gently stroking your child’s tiny legs and back while you’re holding him close to your chest and gradually move to the other parts as well, like hands, neck, etc. After some weeks of this gentle raw stroking, you can now begin with the massaging but make sure to follow your baby’s mood, i.e., never stroke when he’s uncomfortable. Your tot must be calm and full at the time of massage. Experts also suggest that in case your baby is turning his head away from you or has just been fed, massaging should be avoided as this may lead to vomiting.

Facts you didn’t know about starting babies on solids

You get to shape your baby’s tastes. With early infant feeding, one can shape a child’s flavor preferences toward appreciating real, whole foods and flavors. The more foods you introduce to babies, the more comfortable they are with a variety of textures and flavors later on during their toddler years. Babies can and should play with their food; this prevents picky eating at a later stage. Playing with food is brain-building. Babies’ brains learn and grow through sensory experimentation. Babies can self-feed much earlier than we think. Most babies can spoon-feed themselves by six to seven months of age. Babies love dipping food. Dips provide a way for them to stay focused and engaged in their meal while developing motor skills.Babies can eat anything but honey. Honey can contain botulism spores, which release a toxin that can poison infants.

How often and when to perform Baby Massage?

This completely depends upon you and your baby. While you can undertake this task every day, massaging every other day isn’t a bad option either. Moreover, it also doesn’t matter whether you stroke your baby in the morning (to get him going all day long) or at night (to help him get a sound sleep). You can choose any time of the day you and your child feel comfortable.

Top 5 Baby Massage Oils you can use.

It is to be noted that the use of any oil or lotion on your baby’s skin is only commended once he’s at least a month old as by then, the skin matures & evolves its protective outer layer. So, if your newborn is now at least a month old, here are the oils you can try. Coconut oil Coconut oil acts both as a massage oil and moisturizer for babies that improves and strengthens their skin. Almond oil Nothing beats the efficiency of almond oil with added Vitamin E as it not only smoothens the skin but strengthens it too. Borage seed oil Rich in skin healing and soothing fatty acids, the use of borage seed oil is even recommended for babies with eczema. Jojoba oil If your baby has eczema, it’s better to use a cold-pressed Vitamin E enriched jojoba oil that’ll heal the baby’s skin as well. Chamomile lotion Chamomile lotion is proven in soothing diaper rashes and dry & itchy skin. Oils to avoid: Olive oil, tea tree oil, peanut oil, avocado oil, soybean oil, mustard oil, and every other ESSENTIAL oil (as they are very concentrated).

Benefits of Baby Massage

Apart from building an eternal bond between you and you’re newborn, gently stroking your baby can help him in the following ways. It aids indigestion.  Various medical reports state that frequently massaging your baby can lend him various gastronomical advantages like better digestion, and relaxation from constipation, and more. Massaging relieves cramps Babies develop muscular cramps very often, and this is where a gentle stroke of your hands can do wonders. Massaging leads to a better blood circulation Yes, better blood circulation to their limbs and organs is another key benefit of a baby massage that also promotes healthy physical development among them. It improves sleep Research says that babies, after being massaged for at least 10-15 minutes before their bedtime, enjoy a deeper and sound sleep than those who don’t. Massaging relieves pain  Even a few minutes of gentle massage is pain-relieving for babies as it helps discharge endorphins, the body’s natural pain reliever, and additionally decreasing the cortisol levels, a pressure hormone.

Tips for a Soothing Massage

Although there’s no single way to do it, we suggest the following tips for your baby’s massaging sessions.

  • Always patch-test the massage oil you’re going to use for any reaction possible due to it. Additionally, it’s recommended to slightly warm up the oil.
  • The room should be warm enough for your baby to lie without clothes for some time.
  • Let the baby know you’re about to start his massaging by gently rubbing his hands or fingers.
  • Start with gentle clockwise circular motions on their chest and belly and gradually move to their arms or legs.
  • Always use your fingers for body parts like the neck, face, and head.
  • Once done at the front, turn the baby over and repeat the above on the back too.
  • If the baby falls asleep in between, it’s an indication of your massage being successful. 

In case your infant doesn’t appear to rejoice immediately, don’t stress. It’s a matter of time your child will get used to it as a baby massage is a new experience for you both, and it can take a touch of becoming accustomed to. Hence, try again after a few moments as your tot gets more conditioned to it.

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