02 Aug Discover The Benefits of Infant Massage
Infant massage – it’s one of those things that looks gorgeous in videos, but when it comes time to try it with our own babies, we can feel unsure. Are we doing it properly? And what if baby doesn’t seem to like it?
The good news is that baby massage doesn’t have to be complicated or even time-consuming. Just a couple of minutes can be beneficial for your baby – and for you, too! Let’s take a look at some of the lovely benefits associated with infant massage and how you can adapt your routine to include this lovely bonding experience.
Some Tips For Beginning Infant Massage
Every baby is different so it’s important to take your cues from your little one when trying infant massage. To get started, consider the following things:
- Introduce massage when your baby is calm and alert. Avoid massage when baby is tired or irritable
- A quiet, cosy, and warm environment is ideal
- Wait about 45 minutes after feeding before beginning infant massage to avoid vomiting
- Chat to your baby throughout the massage, maintaining eye contact as you do, for a lovely bonding experience
- Babies tend to prefer gentle but firm, slow strokes
- If bub looks uncomfortable, move on to another area – and of course, if your baby begins to cry, it might be best to try massage at another time
- Use a natural baby oil to reduce friction on your baby’s skin
For an easy to follow guide to simple infant massage techniques, take a look at this article.
Benefits Of Infant Massage
Most adults love a massage – and babies are no different. And just like us, babies enjoy the same benefits including relaxation, stress reduction and more. Here’s how infant massage may benefit your baby.
Bonding and Communication
Every interaction with your baby forms the building blocks of communication. Massage is a lovely way to spend some one-on-one time with your bub, having a little chat and gazing into one another’s eyes. When you’re both calm and connected, it’s a beautiful way to bond.
Some research indicates that baby massage can help build parents’ confidence, too. Levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, have been shown to reduce in babies and their parents during massage. Restoring harmony is a wonderful way to build trust and feel mentally stronger on the parenthood journey.
Enhances Mood, Promotes Relaxation and Regulates Sleep
There really is no place your baby would rather be than with you! Your touch – especially skin to skin – is so comforting, so it makes sense that infant massage can promote a deeper relaxation in your baby.
When you massage your baby, the serotonin levels in their brain rise and melatonin levels regulate. What does this mean? The increased serotonin boosts feelings of well-being in your baby, and melatonin helps to regulate sleep patterns. Try establishing a regular infant massage routine to soothe and calm your precious bub.
Assists with Wind, Colic, Reflux and Constipation
Massage can assist the body with digestion and elimination making it especially good for bubs that are struggling with wind pain and reflux. There are specific infant massage techniques for tummy troubles that can really make a difference to your bub’s comfort.
Studies have shown that massage has a positive effect on eczema. Be sure to choose a baby massage oil or moisturising lotion that is extra-gentle and well tolerated by your baby. It can be useful to do a patch test first. Then once you’ve found a lotion or oil that safely soothes your baby’s sensitive skin, you can incorporate it into the massage routine for a lovely combination of relaxation and hydration.