There are several benefits of infant massage it can help your baby sleep, aid muscle development and motor skills, boost circulation and soothe any discomfort like gas or colic.The soothing strokes of your hands stimulate the production of the feel-good hormone oxytocin in you and your baby plus it's also a great time to bond and can reduce your own stress levels, so it’s a win-win!
Here are our top 10 things to know about massaging your baby for the ultimate pamper session!
1. Massage prep
Lay your baby down in a warm room (around 24 degrees C) on a towel on a soft surface (like a change mat or bed), naked or just in their nappy. Ensure you choose a time where you'll be undisturbed. Have everything you'll need to hand such as massage oil/cream, muslins/ cloths for any accidents, the clothes you'll change your baby into after and their nappy kit. Start by running your fingers from the top of their head, down the sides of their face, chest, abdomen, and down their legs. If they squirm, cry, or just look uncomfortable, wrap it up for the day, and try again tomorrow.
2. What time of day should I massage my baby?
You want your baby in a happy and relaxed mood, so choosing a time when they’re not too sleepy is ideal. We don’t want any tummy rubbing to cause vomiting, so leaving it at least 45 minutes after their last feed or meal is a good idea.
3. How old does my baby need to be?
You can start baby massaging on day one if you want, although avoid massaging their tummy until their umbilical cord stump has fallen off and healed.
4. Gently does it
While you might like a deep tissue, a soft touch is key for babies. Don’t forget how delicate their skin is, so be careful if your nails are sharp, or your hands are dry, cold or rough. Rubbing a small amount of oil in your hand can soften and warm your touch before you begin on your baby.
5. Should I use baby massage oil?
Using oil or cream will make it easier for your hands to glide over your baby's skin and may be more relaxing for your baby. It's up to you whether you use a baby moisturiser or, if your baby has dry skin or eczema, a massage oil suited for their skin type thats unscented. Take a look at our selection of baby massage oils
6. Massage for gas
Massage can be a great way to relieve baby gas. Start by holding your baby’s feet and knees together, bend the knees upwards, towards their tummy. Rotate the legs gently to the right-hand side and back to the center. Gently lower and release their legs and lightly trace an oval shape on their abdomen in a clockwise direction.
7. Baby foot massage
Use your whole hand to stroke the sole of the foot from heel to toe. Uncurl and stroke each toe.
8. Baby head massage
Very lightly, trace tiny circles on your baby’s scalp, like you’re shampooing their hair, avoiding their fontanelle (soft spot). Trace a heart across their face with your thumbs, starting at the bridge of their nose, joining your thumbs together at their chin.
9. Baby back massage
Keep your baby’s arms in front of them, not down at their sides. With your fingers spread out, like a rake, stroke your baby’s back from shoulders to bottom.
10. Baby leg massage
Holding their foot in one hand, use the other hand to rub from thigh to ankle and back up again with gentle pressure. Repeat on the other side.
There you have it - 10 tips for baby massage fingers crossed for a good night's rest!
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