Loving touch is a cornerstone for bonding with your newborn baby. On top of this, a massage with wonderful baby oil is a great way to deepen your bond with your child. You will constantly be lovingly touching your child, while the massage will nourish his/her skin and help improve blood circulation. Which massage oil good for baby—well, there are many that you can use.
What is infant massage for the baby? Massaging your toddler every day is a way to help in the healthy and happy development of the child, along with bonding with you. The more the bonding time, the more healthy development and sensory stimulation. One of the most important experiences for your baby is a loving and gentle touch. Based on several studies in the field, a routine massage by a parent is critical for a baby’s learning, communication, and growth.
Most parents are already aware that touch is one of the most important ways to bond with their newborns. However, infant massaging goes beyond just a generic inventory of continuous strokes and has proven benefits. Massaging involves mindfully engaging with the toddler, creatively adapting touch to support the baby’s sensory capabilities and needs, and recognizing non-verbal communication.
Whether your child is a newborn or older, you need to know the answer to “massage baby how old?” as a massage can provide immediate relief and lasting results. This article will dive deeper into the benefits of infant massage and how you should do it.
Benefits Of An Infant Massage
In This Article
- Benefits Of An Infant Massage
- 1. Improves Sleep
- 2. Support Child Development
- 3. Boosts Baby Health
- 4. Stimulates Growth Hormone For Weight Gain In Underweight Toddlers
- 5. Improvement In The Gastrointestinal Tract
- 6. Relieves Discomfort And Pain Of Teething
- 7. Support Attachment And Bonding
- How To Do A Baby Massage?
- What Are The Other Factors You Need To Know About Infant Massage?
Is massage good for the baby? Yes, they are. Some significant benefits of infant massage for a baby with a runny nose include:
1. Improves Sleep
Based on studies, toddlers and infants with sleep onset difficulties displayed lesser sleep delays after being massaged for 15 minutes massage baby every day before bedtime for a month, as opposed to those who were read bedtime stories. As a result, it has been concluded that massage can help toddlers sleep more soundly and deeper – also, you will sleep better if they are sleeping better!
2. Support Child Development
Toddlers that experience regular massage often sees improvements in body awareness, self-regulation, and nervous system, and reduced stress. In some studies, it has been reported that there were many types of development aspects like joint mobility, muscle tone, and response to various forms of therapy like physiotherapy. Massage for babies to walk is specifically helpful for kids who require extra support, like HIV+ babies, babies born addicted, and premature babies.
3. Boosts Baby Health
There are a lot of physiological benefits that a simple massage can have on your toddler. The massage helps stimulate the body’s many systems like the respiratory, nervous, digestive, and skin systems. It also speeds up the development of the baby – it helps them gain weight quickly and enables their digestive system to function with more efficiency. This way, it eases the pain and regulates sleep.
4. Stimulates Growth Hormone For Weight Gain In Underweight Toddlers
Massage for preterm babies (or preemies) has been studied and concluded that preemies who were massaged thrice in a day for roughly 15 minutes gained 47% more weight and could leave the hospital at least six days earlier than those who were not massaged.
It can save approximately $3,000 per infant if the baby is discharged from the hospital six-day early. It has been roughly estimated that 470,000 preemies are born each year in the United States of America. If they are all massaged the way mentioned above, the savings would amount to a total of $4.7 billion per year. This excludes the number of emotional benefits for you.
5. Improvement In The Gastrointestinal Tract
Gas, constipation, and colic can cause a lot of distress for both the toddler and the parents. There are many massage techniques that you can learn that will help move along digestion and remove the gas that is causing so much distress. This will relieve discomfort and pain within a few minutes.
6. Relieves Discomfort And Pain Of Teething
Teething is considered one of the most stressful times for kids and parents alike. Thankfully, a special facial massage technique is used that helps release the body’s natural pain reliever, endorphins. Massage also reduces the stress hormone called cortisol.
7. Support Attachment And Bonding
According to research, it has been found that massage for babies and massage education programs for parents can increase the parent’s attachment and confidence. This results in success in adapting and developing strategies to cope with parenthood. Additionally, mothers will postpartum depression can be benefited by helping them relate to their toddlers and induces the release of oxytocin.
How To Do A Baby Massage?
From the above, we now understand that an infant massage has many benefits for your toddler and one of the best ways to feel close to your child. But, here are the ways of getting a massage for a baby with a fever done:
1. Getting To Know You
There are several massage techniques for babies of varying age groups. For the best chance for success, do not try to massage your child just before or after a meal or when he/she is tired. Additionally, you need to ensure that the temperature of the room is comfortable. If the temperature is cold and your child is tired or hungry, he/she will not enjoy the massage.
When you think your child is ready, you need to set yourself up on a bed or the floor with a blanket or towel. Have a baby massage oil nearby as well. If your child starts crying or is getting uncomfortable before finishing the massage, stop immediately and give him/her a hug. This is how to massage a baby for sleep.
2. Legs, Feet, Soles, and Toes
In most cases, the legs are an excellent place to start the massaging session because they are less sensitive than other parts of the body. With some massage oil, wrap your hands about one of the thighs and pull down slowly, one hand after another. Keep squeezing gently, as if you are milking his/her leg. Switch the legs and repeat the massage for baby legs.
Next in line are the feet. You need to take one foot and rotate it gently a few times in both directions. Then, you need to stroke the top of her foot from the ankles and down to the toes. Repeat the process on the other foot as well. As for the soles, trace circles all over the bottom of the foot with your thumbs.
Leave the toes for the last. Once done with the rest of the leg, take each toe between the forefingers and thumb and pull gently until your fingers slip off at the end. Repeat the process for all the toes.
3. Arms, Hand, Fingers
This is one of the best ways to learn how to massage a baby for colic. Hold your toddler’s arms in your hands and repeat the process mentioned above, right from the armpit to the wrist. Next, you need to take her hand and rotate the wrist a few times in both directions very gently. Repeat the process of the other arm as well.
As for the hands, you need to trace small circles over the palm with your thumb; the same process is for the other hand as well. For fingers, you need to take a finger between your forefingers and thumb. Then, you need to pull and let the finger slip through the grasp. Repeat the process for both thumbs and fingers.
Join your hands together in a prayer position and place them over your toddler’s heart. Next, you need to open your hands slowly and keep stroking outwards. Next, lightly flatten the palms over his/her chest. Keep repeating this massage for baby with cough process several times.
Another type of massage you can try is placing one hand flat across the top of his/her chest. Then, you need to stroke it gently towards the thigh. Keep repeating the motion and alternate your hands several times in a row.
For the next routine, you need to roll the baby onto his/her tummy. Trace small circles on both sides of the spine with the help of your fingertips. Alternatively, you can also use your thumbs to move upwards from the base of the back to the shoulders; ensure that you are maintaining the circular movement on both sides of the spine. Let your child relax while you are rubbing him/her on their backs with firm and long strokes from the shoulders to the feet.
For the head, you need to learn how to massage for the baby. You should not forget about massaging the head. While they are important, toddlers often do not like them. There are some rules about head massaging. For instance, the child’s fontanelle is soft until he/she is about 18 months old. Hence, you should avoid putting pressure on the head for this period.
Additionally, you should let the massage for baby lotion soak on its own; all you need to do is pat the oil gently on all parts of the head and leave it be. You can also stroke the head gently so that the oil spreads evenly all over the head.
Your baby will not be able to hold his/her head up for quite some time. Hence, you need to massage their heads while they are lying down on their backs.
What Are The Other Factors You Need To Know About Infant Massage?
Of course, there is no particular infant massaging program you need to follow. The essential elements for infant massage for baby and mother include flexibility, a comfortable environment, time, and commitment. You may also require the use of unscented oil; according to experts, grapeseed is considered the best option since the toddler’s skin nicely absorbs it.
Infant massage will work its best when it becomes a part of your child’s routine. The environment should be comfortable for your kid. Ensure that the room is warm enough and the child is naked or clad in a diaper. Next, you just need to prepare a safe and soft surface, like placing a blanket on the floor.
There are many types of infant massages. The most common is to start with the baby’s feet and then move on to the massage for the baby’s tummy, chest, hands, arms, back, and face. Each part should receive a series of tender and slow strokes before you move on to the next area. Then, there are also other types of massages that move from the head to the feet. Some great strokes that you can try include:
I Love You
This is a type of tummy-relaxing stroke that enhances digestive comfort. The hand movements need to follow the direction of the large intestine and colon clockwise. Start the massage with a downward stroke (I) on the left of the toddler’s belly. Then, make an inverted ‘L’ shape from left to right and run your hand across the belly of the toddler. From your left to right, follow the movement with an inverted ‘U.’
With the help of your thumb, you can stroke across the upper lip of your baby and the lower lip. Then move on to the cheeks. In short, you need to imagine that you are ‘drawing’ a smile on the face of your toddler. Additionally, start above the eyebrows, stroke outward, and bring it down the cheeks. End the massage baby after feeding by bringing your fingers together at the chin, similar to how you would draw a heart.
Final Thoughts on Massage for Baby
When to do massage for the baby? When it comes to massage, ensure that you massage them just before their bath time, which traditionally happens in the morning; alternatively, you can also opt for massage baby after a bath. Babies love to finish a massage session with a warm bath. Or, you can massage your child just before bedtime so that he/she can sleep better. For a toddler, you must massage him/her in the right way; once done, your child will sleep much more quickly.
Leave a comment below and tell us more about your experience with your baby!
Author’s Bio: Rachel Hudson has lived in California for her entire life and recognizes that she couldn’t call another country or state home. She’s an expert on Top Mom and the proud mother of two young children. She runs an online business while her husband works as a pilot.