Baby Massage and its benefits
Stroking and caressing your baby is instinctive, it’s hard to resist those tiny toes and that fine silky skin. Who ever forgets the lovely smell of a new-born?
Research studies show that loving touch has profound effects on infant development, in a study conducted by Dr Tiffany Field, director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of medicine, premature babies who were massaged each day gained 47 percent more weight-per day. Massaged babies in this study were discharged from hospital 6 days earlier than babies that were not massaged in the control group and follow up studies showed lasting effects.
Just a small massage each day, or incorporated into your baby’s night time routine can lull your baby into a deeper, more restful sleep- which is good news for tired Mum’s and each member of the family can massage their baby creating lasting and powerful bonds with Dads, Grandparents and even siblings.
One of the significant benefits of baby massage is that it incorporates all of the important elements of parent-child bonding. These are, skin contact, eye contact, hearing your voice and experiencing a focused positive response. It is delightful to hear and see your baby goo and grin, then see him go into a blissful, deep sleep.
Infant massage has benefits for the Baby’s whole immune system as their stress levels are lowered releasing endorphins and lowering cortisol levels. It is also great for colic and wind, which again lowers stress levels in both the baby and parents.
HOW TO MASSAGE YOUR BABY
When your baby is a tiny new-born, he or she may only be able to tolerate light small bursts of massage. Start with the feet and then as the baby is starting to respond to massage, start to incorporate the whole body.
Make sure your baby is happy to lie still, immediately following a bath is an ideal time for a massage as they are warm, relaxed and already undressed.
Place your baby on a firm surface, such as a change table or a towel on the floor. With your baby lying on his back, talk or sing softly to him while you place a few drops of oil on your hands and rub them together to warm the oil.
For very young babies a gentle foot massage may be all they can cope with to start, as they get older, they will enjoy a longer massage. Massage the feet, firmly but gently.
If your baby is still happy, massage the legs by grasping the leg gently at the top, and running your hand down the length of the leg. When you reach the foot, start from the top of the leg again
Gently move your baby’s legs, bending them up to his tummy and straightening them out again- This is very effective if your baby has wind or colic and can strengthen the digestive system.
If your baby has a soft tummy that is not full of food, massage in a clockwise direction to aid digestion. If your baby is happy for you to do this, continue for a few more clockwise motions.
Now its time to massage the chest- Massage from the collarbones, down and out towards the sides of the body, then massage the arms the same way you did with the legs, from the top down towards the hands, try not to get oil on the baby’s hands and make sure it is a natural oil, such as Olive oil in case he puts his hands to his mouth.
Face massage starts at the forehead, moving between the eyes, over the eyebrows, down the sides of the face and along his jaw, finishing on the chin.
If your baby is still happy and relaxed, turn on to the stomach and massage the back, using small circles down the spine and long strokes from neck to bottom.
When your massage is complete, your baby will be blissfully content. Maybe its time for dressing and a feed, them a deep restful sleep, leaving you to catch up on some sleep or have a relaxing massage yourself!
Try our Body Oil and Body Butter for Mum.
From Our family to Yours.
The Dalan Team
Posted: Wednesday 3 February 2021