How old does my baby have to be?
Babies of any age usually enjoy being massaged. Young babies enjoy the feeling of relaxation after a massage, and toddlers who may be experiencing “growing pains” appreciate the relief a massage gives.
Duration of massage
A massage can last 10 minutes or 30 minutes, depending on his/ her moods.
When should massage be done?
Babies can be massaged before or after bath or at bedtime.
Massage should be avoided when the baby is hungry or immediately after food. Avoid massage during illness like fever, cold, etc.
How to Begin:
You can either place the baby on a mat on the floor or place her on your legs by spreading your legs making a diamond shape. Apply oil or lotion on the baby’s entire body first and then give a gentle massage.
Massage oils for babies :
Almond oil or sesame oil or coconut oil can be used. Even medicated herbal oils like kshirabala and baby massage oil are good.
Never use rancid oils.
Make the oil little warm before massaging.
Advantages of Baby Massage:
Relaxes Infant : Loving touch lessens tension, fussiness and irritability. Digestion is aided and this can provide relief of gas and colic. Massage is also a wonderful way to lessen stress in parent and baby.
Enhances Bonding : Touch conveys nurturing and love, the essential ingredients for emotional and physical growth and well being.
Aids Growth and Development : Studies have shown increased weight gain and immune function. Enhances motor skills and intellectual development.
Promotes Communication : Parents become more aware of baby’s nonverbal cues. One-on-one communication instills a massage of love and security.
Improves Baby’s Sleep : As your infant learns to relax and release stress, sounder and longer sleep is often the end result.
Feels good : Massage stimulates the production of certain ‘feel good’ hormones including endorphins and oxytocin.
General Tips :
Make strokes gentle but firm, and not ticklish.
Build massage into your baby’s daily schedule.
Follow baby’s signals about when to stop.
Very gentle massage should be done with minimal pressure on the spine and neck.