Have you discovered the wonders of baby massage yet?
Baby massage refers to the ancient practise of soothing and calming your baby through the power of touch, providing a warm and loving embrace to strengthen the bond between parent and child. Done correctly, baby massage has so many benefits to you both, and is a wonderful way to wind down at the end of a busy day too. Read on to find out what you need to know.
What is baby massage?
If you’ve ever had a massage yourself, you’ll know that it can be a wonderful way to relax and you’ll also know that it involves your body being stroked and soothed too. For a baby, it is no different. The power of touch is just as wonderful a sensation to a newborn baby, in fact more so. Babies rely heavily on their senses and to receive an all-body massage can be a fantastic sensory experience.
The benefits of baby massage
As already mentioned, there are many benefits of baby massage, including:
- Babies feel a strong sense of attachment during a massage- this is wonderful for the bonding process from the baby’s point of view.
- Parents feel a strong sense of attachment too! Being close to your baby and connecting in this way is a time to be cherished, and it is little wonder that parents feel stronger emotional ties during a massage session too.
- Babies cry less- why would they cry when they are being soothed and stroked in this way?
- Babies sleep better. Studies have found that babies who are massaged regularly as part of their bedtime routine find it easier to fall asleep and generally sleep better for longer periods too.
- Colic, wind and reflux is eased. A gentle massage can help to ease the symptoms of common complaints like this, and can also ease discomfort from constipation too.
Teething pain can ease. Baby massage has also been shown to aid the easing of teething pain in babies.
- Increased brain development.
- Improvement of minor skin complaints such as eczema.
- Increased weight in premature or low birth weight babies.
- Improvement of symptoms of postnatal depression. It is thought that the special time spent between baby and mother, with increased eye contact, helps to alleviate symptoms of postnatal depression and studies have found that a calm baby massage session can be wonderful for elevation of mood and emotions.
A few guidelines
If the list of benefits has persuaded you to give baby massage a try, there are a few things you need to consider before you get started.
- Make sure your baby is well. Baby massage should not be performed if your baby is suffering from certain illnesses or conditions, so do check with your GP if you’re not sure. Similarly, don’t attempt a massage when your baby has a cold or tummy upset as it won’t be fun for either of you.
- Gather all of your necessities together before you start. Your baby will need a nice, comfortable place to lie. Also make sure you have a towel or blanket to hand to wrap baby in after the massage, and nappy changing materials to hand too.
- Set the scene for your massage session. Dim the lights, and play some gentle music to help create a calm atmosphere.
- Use a good quality massage oil that will help to soothe and calm your baby.
If you are able, go along to a baby massage class or have a look at instructional videos like those featured on the Mumma Love Organics, You Tube Channel. It’s important that you both enjoy the massage as much as possible, so if you’re feeling unsure, do ask for advice. We’re always happy to help!