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Baby massage

 
So what’s all the fuss about baby massage? We take a look at some of the positive effects and benefits of massaging your baby and how to get started.
So what’s all the fuss about baby massage?

We take a look at some of the positive effects and benefits of massaging your baby and how to get started.


9 Benefits of baby massage

 
1. Spending time with your baby

Baby massage is a great way for parents to spend time with their baby.
 
2. The power of touch

Baby massage is very gentle and relies on the instinctive healing power of touch using smooth strokes to help relax your baby and ease any discomfort.
 
3. Strengthens the bond with your baby

It helps strengthen that special bond between parent and child and leaves babies feeling happier and calmer.
 
4. Stimulates your baby's senses

It also stimulates your baby’s senses through skin contact, eye contact, breathing in your familiar smell and by hearing your voice.
 
5. Health benefits

Baby massage has been linked to a whole host of health benefits, such as improving circulation, encouraging weight gain and stimulating mental and emotional development.
 
6. Start when your baby is young

Because it is very gentle, there is no reason why you can't practise baby massage on your little one from birth. If your baby was born prematurely, just check with your doctor before you start.
 
7. Eases common ailments

Massaging your baby can help ease common ailments like colic, infant reflux or wind, while applying massage techniques to specific areas, like the sinuses or gums, can ease problems associated with those areas such as a cold or teething pain.
 
8. A relaxed baby

A relaxed massaged baby is less likely to fuss, cry or become worked up when it's time for bed, which is great for their parents too!
 
9. Bonding time for the whole family

The bonding experience can be valuable for dads or other family members who don't have the hands-on experience of breastfeeding, or for mums suffering from milder forms of postnatal depression and who are struggling to connect with their baby.

 

10 Tips on getting started with baby massage


1. Baby massage works best in a warm, peaceful environment. However the way you massage is not important - just do whatever your baby enjoys!

2. Baby oil or baby moisturisers or creams are all you need to get started and will help your hands slide over you baby’s body. Try to use natural products without scents or perfumes which are especially designed for babies and young children. 

3. Before you start, put a towel under your baby to keep them comfortable and prevent leaving any oily marks on your surfaces. Make sure your hands are warm too!

4. Undress your baby, but ensure they are still warm. If it’s cold, massage them with a blanket around them or a sleep suit on. Then pour a small amount of the oil or moisturiser into your palm and rub your hands together before applying it to your baby’s skin.
 
5. The key to massaging your baby is to use long, smooth gentle strokes or use a gentle circular motion with your fingers. Perhaps try massaging your baby’s head and stroke downwards over all parts of their body. Support their joints like their wrists and ankles with one hand whilst you are massaging them.

6. Pick the right time to massage your baby. Generally after a bath is good for older babies and before a bath for newborns when they’re not so tired.

7. You could even sing nursery rhymes or play music to your little one whilst you massage them to help them feel more relaxed.

10. Don’t massage your baby if they are too tired, running a temperature, sick or if they have been immunised in the past 48 hours.

It’s also not a good idea to starting massaging them straight after a feed or if they have any cuts or bruises on their skin or have a skin condition such as eczema.

If your baby starts crying or is upset about being massaged, stop massaging straight away and try it again another day.

For more information and techniques search online or ask you medical specialist about baby massage classes running in your area.
 

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