Massaging is the manual manipulation of the body for medicinal or relaxation purpose. It is found to be ideal for babies as massaging helps to improve the blood circulation in their body. It also promotes digestion and helps the baby to get more nutrients from the food. Besides promoting growth, massages also makes good sleeping patterns and build a strong emotional bond between the child and the parent. It also plays a major role in calming the baby and hence parents can include baby massages in their routine baby care.
Instructions for Baby Massage
The times chosen for massaging the baby must be relaxing for both baby and the parent. Hence choose a time when baby is neither sleepy nor hungry. Also avoid the timings when baby has full stomach. Select a room that has warm temperature and massaging should be done at a posture that is comfortable to both baby and parent.
Lay the baby either on the lap or on a clean terry towel on its back. Use vegetable oil ideally almond oil for massaging. Any other scented vegetable oil can also be used. Add a few drops of the oil to the palm and rub the palm to make the oil warm. Start from the face with small circular motion on the forehead and then smooth the forehead with both the hands in an outward motion.
Make circles on the cheeks, jaw, ears and remember to gently pull his nose. Soft massaging around the mouth of the baby helps to comfort the baby while teething.
Keep the palms flat on the baby’s chest and gently stroke outwards. Wrap the baby’s hand and role it in between the hands. Squeeze the baby’s hand gently using one hand after the other as if milking and rotate the wrist in each direction. Then slowly open the palm so as to make small circles there and pull fingers one after the other. Then begins the tummy massages,
which are important to improve the digestion and avoid the gastric problems in the babies. Use circular motions in clockwise direction over the tummy and then massage the tummy from the right side towards the left and thenceforth towards the left hip.
This helps in the expulsion of gas from the body. Then proceed towards the legs and grab both the thighs in between the hands and gently pull them down. Then hold one leg with a hand, roll it in between the hands and pull it gently as if milking. Repeat with the other leg also. Massage underneath of the feet with circular motions and gently rotate it in all direction. Pull the toes one after the other.
Then hold both the legs together and press the knees on the stomach. Now roll the baby on its tummy and massage the back of the baby with back and forth motion across the body and then with long sweeping lines from shoulders to all the way to the feet. Now wash the baby with clean and warm water and dry with a soft towel.