Being a Smart Parent is no Rocket Science.
It simply requires a bit of understanding towards the best and only best for your newborns, toddlers and the enthusiastically growing ones. Especially for newborn babies, as per various researches, the very initial step promoting their healthy and nurtured growth is a correctly done Body Massage.
Body Massage to a newborn baby could be viewed as the very initial steps towards his complete physical as well as mental moulding. But for First-time Parents it all becomes a task to understand the tips to techniques of Newborn Baby Massage along with all the care that must be taken while Massaging you baby, its Benefits and lot more.
Thus underneath is a perfect guide highlighting all the aspects about Baby Massaging that would provide you a vast set of knowledge regarding the same.
What is Baby Massage?
Body Massage for a newborn baby is the best way to soothe your baby while offering various health benefits to him. It not only helps the baby to feel more loved and relaxed but creates a beautiful emotional bond between him and his Mother.
Baby Massage is all about the gentle slight strokes done with hands on baby’s soft body. For that, Moms prefer several Oils, Creams and Moisturisers. These products act as soothing elements making the massage more smoother without causing stretch on baby’s body.
It is a very prominent point here that while doing Body Massage to newborn baby, a specific hormone called Oxytocin, commonly called as feel-good hormone, is released in the baby and the one doing the Massage, specifically, Mother. Thus this causes a deep feeling of comfort and attachment in the baby and love and warmth in the mother.
This phenomenon can also be boosted if there is an addition of singing or playing soothing melodies for the baby while doing Massage. This makes the baby more relaxed and calm.
Why is Massage for Newborn Babies essential?
Baby Massages have immense benefits. Massaging a newborn baby with extreme care and love could do wonders. It is the best technique to calm and soothe your baby, while it also helps in improving his health by keeping a normal Blood Circulation along with the muscles stretched and relaxed.
The specific areas to massage your baby are mainly chest, shoulders, hands, legs, stomach, head and back. Extremely slight careful strokes on these particular areas eminently help you baby know and recognize the touch of their Mothers, or whoever is massaging them, be it their father, grandparents or even their nanny. This could also be one way they would learn to express themselves while looking at you.
A good Baby Massage could also relieve the baby. Even if the baby is cranky or crying due to any specific reason, Massage along with pampering, cuddling or hugging warmly could certainly ease their discomfort and make them giggle with joy and eventually to a much required deep sleep.
How Baby Massage Must be done?
The important Steps and tips to do a perfect Baby Massage are mentioned below.
- Always prefer starting the baby's massage from the tip of the body, i.e Head by pouring little oil on the scalp and then patting and massaging softly. The important point to be considered here is that you must always keep the pressure of your fingers as low as possible to avoid any kind of injury on the soft spot of his head, temed as Fontanel.
- Second step must always be the Face. Always try to massage the baby’s face using only your fingers. Spreading little oil with fingers and applying gentle strokes over eyes, eyebrows, nose, forehead, cheeks and chin is the perfect way to massage the baby’s tiny face.
- Then it's the baby’s Chest that is massaged gently by applying soft strokes with both the hands outwards. The movement must be repeated for a few seconds or minutes depending upon the baby's resistibility.
- Baby’s Stomach is one of the most sensitive parts of his body. A nice and soft massage using fingers may help him in a well balanced digestion system. You may place both your hands over the abdominal area and gently apply outwards strokes.
- Arms, Hands, Legs and Feet are always needed to be applied with top-to-bottom stroke. You may also hold them gently and rotate them clockwise or anti-clockwise direction, taking extra care.
Extremely slight pressure could also be applied over the palm area of hand and the heel to toe area of the baby's foot to make his muscles more relaxed.
- Colic Relief is a major reason for doing Baby Massage. Once the tummy area massage is done, the baby’s knees must be folded up to the tummy applying gentle pressure and hold for a few seconds. It is advised to repeat this step for some time. Also downward massage starting from the baby’s navel area must be done with slight pressure, which helps him to release gas, resulting in a better abdomen state and good digestion.
What is the right time for a Baby Massage?
Even though it is always best to seek the Doctor’s advice before getting up your new born baby to anything for the very first time, it is highly recommended to wait for at least 14-15 days before starting with his Body Massage, to check his reaction on application of any kind of Oil, Cream or Moisturising lotion.
Usually, it is advisable to do Massage of your newborn baby when your baby is in an active mode, precisely, not sleepy or hungry. Thus the right or perfect time for a Baby massage could be anytime either in Morning or Evening. It is better to avoid doing massages in Afternoon as that is a perfect time for the baby to feed or sleep.
Even some time before bedtime is also a preferable option for a nice relaxing massage for the baby. This could help him have a sound and a longer sleep at night.
This basic idea behind these specific timings is that with this a newborn baby could develop an understanding of his bathing, playing, feeding and sleeping times.
Once you kick start the journey of Massaging for your newborn baby, a well planned Massage routine is much needed. This would help your baby to generate a sense of understanding regarding your step order happening in a similar manner, everyday. This understanding would eventually make your newborn baby more comfortable with you along with making him more happy.
Tips, Techniques & Precautions to be looked upon while doing
- Always look out for a calm, comfortable and hygienic place for your baby’s massage. The room chosen must be warm and cosy, and not too hot or too cold to avoid any health complications lately.
- The towels or napkins used while massaging must be clean and extra soft so as to avoid scratches and marks over the baby's body.
- Always use clinically proven or pediatrician approved Oils, Lotions or Creams to be used in Baby massage. This helps your child to avoid catching any type of clinical problems as well as a good quality product would nicely spread over your baby’s body resulting in a smoother massage.
- Since your baby’s skin is extremely delicate, never apply excessive pressure or heavy strokes on the sensitive areas and body parts of your baby. Try to keep the pressure as low as possible avoiding massaging the over sensitive parts like genitals, underarms and eyes.
- Never allow any person having certain skin disease or allergies to massage your baby. The person doing the massage must have clean, sanitized hands with nails nicely trimmed and without wearing any rings or other jewellery that might hurt your baby.
- Any sort of old traditional unapproved homemade products and Oils like Mustard Oil, Castor Oil, Peanut oil must never be used on the sensitive skin of your newborn child, as they may harm its softness and delicacy.
- Never forget to wipe off the excess oil from your baby’s body after the massage, especially from face near eyes, nose, mouth, palm and fingers to avoid any contact of the used oil with these body parts. It is always recommended to use the safest oil for massage in case it anyhow goes inside the baby’s eyes or mouth.
Doing a baby’s body massage is both fun and nurturing the baby in the best possible way. It is undoubtedly a clinically proven fact that a well planned regular massage provides the baby a good blood circulation, relaxed muscles, healthy digestion system, better sleep and lower stress levels as they grow up.
Massaging of newborn babies keeping all the mandatory precautions in mind, results in their overall development including Brain development, Understanding and Sensing the touch and most importantly the blissful emotional bond with you.
Massage is a process that has no specific age to be stopped. Baby Massage must be continued as long as the baby is comfortable with it. To make him so, all the mandatory steps to be taken care of must always be followed. It is always advisory to consult a Pediatrician or Child Expert in case of discomfort to the baby or even if you have any doubts or queries regarding the procedure.
As it’s always your Child first, then anything else!