Massaging your baby is a good way of expressing love and care for them. Massage may be very good in soothing your baby as well as helping them to get a nap. There are so many benefits which come with massaging your baby and they may include:
- Boosting weight gain
- Good in aiding digestion
- Boosting circulation
- Easing the tooth pain
Massage is the best way of ensuring you or your partner bond very well with the baby and you can also find it to be enjoyable and relaxing. To learn about the wonderful advantages of infant massage, you may have a check at below article
What does a baby massage mean?
Baby massage simply means using your hands to stroke the body of your baby gently and with some rhythm. It can be better if you use a moisturizer or oil to help in the gliding of your hands over the skin of your baby. You can also try manipulating the ankles, fingers and wrists of the baby as part of the massage. Talking softly, humming or singing to the baby during the massage progress can be more reassuring for the baby.
Your hands’ soothing strokes fuel the production of feel-good hormone in the baby, in you, and also in your partner if they are watching you do it. Oxytocin is a hormone which provides you the warm feeling of love when you are holding the baby close or when you are breastfeeding them.
What are the benefits of massaging your baby?
There are many ways in which the massaging of your baby can be of benefit both to the baby, you and also your partner. Massaging can help the baby in:
- Developing physically, mentally and socially
- Staying relaxed and not being upset
- Crying and fussing less
- Having better sleep
According to study, giving massage to your baby can really be helpful to the newborn infant in recovering more quickly from jaundice.
It is happy to give your baby some massaging as it sometimes helps in boosting your mood and makes you feel more energized and empowered as a dad or a mother. This can be a special time for being with your child and bonding together. Massaging your baby may help you in naturally chatting to them and having some eye contact with them. Massaging is very important for those mums who have postnatal depression, or those who are at a risk of being depressed. It helps in the interaction with their young infants.
Baby massage is not only important to the mums but can be of great benefit to the dads too. As a dad, massaging your baby regularly may become a daily routine, especially during bedtime. Doing this will really help in bringing the baby and the partner more close and may also help the partner in relieving some stress.
For the premature babies who are in special care, massage may result in:
- Improvement of weight gain, especially when oils or moisturizers are used. Massaging helps in stimulating a key nerve which is known as vagus nerve. The nerve connects your brain with the important body parts, which include the stomach. When this nerve is stimulated, the digestion and the bowel movement improves, and therefore making the baby to gain some weight.
- The heart rate becomes more stable. Massage boosts the nervous system parts which help in regulation of our body organs. This is the reason to why massaging may help in keeping the heart rate of the premature baby steady.
- More calm responses to pain and stress.
- More stable brain functioning. Massaging of premature babies helps them in having a brain activity which matures at normal levels. If a premature baby is not massaged, then there may be a decrease in the development of brain activity.
What is the best time for massaging my baby?
It is good to pick the time when the baby is between their feeds. At this time, they may not be too full or too hungry. It is not good to begin the massage when the baby needs to sleep. The best time for massaging the baby is when they are awake and settled. Your baby is ready to have an interaction with you when they are quiet alert as well as interested in their environments. Sometimes your baby may be feeding often or having too much sleep and you start wondering about the time which you should massage them. As you continue to know the schedule of your baby, it reaches a time when you are able to understand the times when they are free for a massage.
What do I need before starting a massage?
First, it is very important to have a good room in your home where both of your will stay comfortable and uninterrupted. Ensure that the room has enough warmth and there are no draughts. Start by laying the baby on a folder sheet or a towel. You can choose to keep the vest of your baby on if it is somehow cool. But it is best if you allow them to be naked completely. It is always very good to ensure that there are no kinds of distractions because this is a special time for you and your baby. You can opt to play relaxing music and make sure that the volume is low so that the baby is able to listen to your voice.