They say a child is like a flowering plant that requires attention and correct nourishment to bloom. Your baby, too, demands to be pampered and taken care of. And one of the most important aspects of this pampering is baby massage.
However, everyone has a different approach to it. Which leaves you confused; whom to listen to? or which advice should you follow? or which one would be more beneficial for your baby?
Nonetheless, we are here to help and answer your every doubt.
What is the ideal time to start a newborn baby massage?
It is suggested that the routine of massaging should be started any day between 10 days to two weeks.
This is because your newborn’s skin barrier isn’t completely developed before that. If you start the message before that, chances are your baby’s skin might get dry and react to the substance applied on it. Moreover, the time specified allows your baby’s umbilical stump to dry and fall off.
Next question that comes up is –
When should you stop massaging your baby?
There is no definite age to stop massaging you child however as your child grows and starts being mobile, it would be hard for you to hold him/her still. People tend to massage their children till they’re five or six years of age, though the frequency drops down significantly.
With the basics of when covered, we move on to how can you be the best messuse for your baby?
Steps to massage a newborn baby
- Undress the baby down to their diaper.
- Start the massage by gentle hello stroke.
- Begin with tummy.
- Massage abdomen in circular motion.
- Massage the scalp with your finger tips.
- Stroke out your baby’s eyebrows using your thumb.
- Follow us with arms and legs.
- Lastly, soothe your baby’s back.
How to massage a baby?
Let’s look into these baby massage techniques in brief to give your baby a soothing massage.
- Start off by undressing your baby down to their diaper and then placing them on a soft surface, preferably covered with a blanket.
- Begin your massage by a gentle ‘hello’ stroke and read your baby’s response. If it is positive, start with your massage gently and focus on one section at a time.
- Starting off with the tummy, make sure your strokes start from the base of the rib cage which extends down.
- Massage the abdominal region in circular clockwise manner using your fingertips. Follow this up by holding their knees and feet together and gently pressing them up towards the abdomen.
- Avoid massaging the tummy if the cord hasn’t completely healed.
- Massage the scalp with your fingertips like you’re shampooing the baby. Follow this with massaging the ears with your thumb and index finger.
- Stroke out your baby’s eyebrows using your thumb. Similarly, stroke out the eyelids and the nose bridge.
- Follow up with arms and legs. Follow the ‘twisting a towel’ movement on both arms and legs. Make sure you give the fingers and toes a nice squeeze and pull. Stroke down the palms and sole.
- Lastly, soothe your baby’s back. Make sure that your baby’s hands are in front and not on sides.
- Massage from base of the neck to the baby’s bum. Draw small circles using your fingertips. Make sure you give due attention to shoulders as well.
Word of caution: Don’t press the spine directly.
Now, let’s move on to why should you massage your baby?
Benefits of massaging the baby
- A great way for you to bond with your baby.
- Massage for babies promotes better sleeping.
- It also enhances baby’s immune system.
- Massaging a baby develops better motor skills and intellectual development.
- Regular massages for infants are good for their emotional well being too.
- Massage soothes the baby and help the baby to get a sound sleep
With all this covered, there is only one doubt left.
What oils should you choose for your baby?
Best oil for baby massage
There are chances that during a massage, oil might enter your baby’s mouth. Hence, it is advisable to use edible oil for massage. Also, avoid using oils with pungent smell or adult utility oils as your baby might be allergic to them.
Here is a list of oils you could use:
- Coconut Oil
Considered to be the finest oil for baby massage, coconut oil acts as an antiseptic and antibacterial ointment which prevents skin infections.
- Almond Oil
Almond oil is known for bringing out the glow of a baby. Compared to coconut oil, it has more Vitamin E content.
- Medicated Oils
These are commercially mass manufactured oils which cater to the needs of the baby. These are mild in nature with a faint soothing fragrance.
Now, you have all the information needed to unlock the next level of being a SuperMom.
Level up to being the Perfect Masseuse for your little one.