How To Massage A Baby
Working with infants can be difficult. You need to treat them with care and patience. And as all parents know, babies have a tendency to act out at the most inopportune moments. This fact can make caring for them in times of discomfort a challenge.
A massage is one of the best things you can do for your baby. They’re soothing and carry numerous long-term health benefits. Experts say that they can assist with healthy muscle growth as well. As such, it’s in every parent’s best interest to learn how to give a proper baby massage.
Massaging a baby isn’t as simple as you might expect, however. When working with still-developing muscle fibers, you need to be extremely careful. If you apply too much—or in some cases, too little—pressure in the wrong area, you can do far more harm than good. Fortunately, a baby massage is far from a complex undertaking once you have a complete idea of what you need to be doing.
And that’s what we will be discussing in the coming article—keep reading for the best tips on massaging a baby.
Let’s get started.
Before the massage begins:
To start, you need to gather the proper materials. These tools will make the procedure go more smoothly. Without these instruments, you may not be able to provide an effective baby massage. As a result, it is recommended you have these instruments within reach when massaging a baby. Otherwise, you may not see substantial results.
Use comfortable surface
A blanket is the most crucial item for you to have nearby, as well as relaxing baby sleep music. It will provide your child a soft and comfortable area for them to rest while you carry out the massage. While you may be tempted to rest your child on a couch or bed, this is not recommended. It may be more comfortable, but it isn’t conducive to providing an effective massage. This fact is because the surface is not as stable. A flat and stable surface is crucial for providing an effective massage. We recommend using a countertop or table lined with a blanket for your DIY masseuse table.
Use proper oils
Next up, you will need some oils. Oils reduce the friction between your hands and the surface of your child’s skin. A baby massage should be a pleasant and comfortable experience for your child. If your hands are causing discomfort for your child, they will not be able to enjoy the experience to its fullest. Oils prevent this from being the case. In fact, scented oils can make the experience vastly more comfortable for your child. As a result, oils are essential for massaging a baby.
Assess your baby’s readiness
You should not begin before your child is calm. Children tend to be fidgety and restless. While this is normal, it may impede your baby massage. You should guide your baby through some breathing exercises before beginning. Warm drinks can also help. Anything that you are sure can calm your child before you begin will be invaluable. Massaging a baby when they are still restless can be extremely dangerous. If a child jerks when you are applying pressure to developing areas, the results could be detrimental to their development. Likewise, in worst-case scenarios, it may be painful. You should avoid these situations at all costs. If you aren’t confident your child is in a calm and restful state, you should not begin the massage.
Use proper dressing and positioning
Next, you will want to undress your baby. This means no diaper or clothing of any kind. Make sure their head is placed in a comfortable position. Likewise, there had should also be maneuverable. If moving their head will cause them discomfort or result in resistance, they are not in a suitable position for a baby massage.
Doing The Actual Massage:
Once all of the above is complete, you can begin the actual massage.
Step 1: Make contact with baby
Start with some gentle strokes and hand movements on the middle of their back. Doing so will ease them into the process. It is important that you build up to more intensive massaging maneuvers — without preparation, your child’s muscles will be stiff and tight. You want to give your child a chance to relax and unwind before applying significant pressure.
Step 2: Begin face-down with back and legs
Take your fingers and move them all across your babies back. Use the corners of their abdomen as a way to keep your place when making the movements. Make sure you have covered every inch before moving on. It may help to gently hold your child feet in place. Children, especially young infants, have a tendency to move their legs about wildly. Even if you have calmed your child before beginning the massage, this may present an issue. Don’t apply to much pressure when doing this, however. It may inhibit their ability to enjoy the massage.
Step 2: Flip baby over and massage belly
Take your child tips and gently rotate them all the way to each side. Do this to or three times for each side. Next, it’s time for a belly rub. Place them on their back and begin lightly stroking their stomach. Watch out — this might be intense for ticklish children. If your child is overly responsive to this maneuver, it’s all right to skip it for now. Don’t be alarmed if your baby is passing gas during this portion of the massage.
Step 3: Face
Lastly, you will want to perform some techniques on your child’s face as well. With your thumbs, apply light pressure to the entirety of your child’s face. It’s recommended that you stroke their eyelids as well.
Once you have done so, congratulations! You have successfully completed a baby massage! Repeat this process each night to see the most substantial effects and benefits. Doing so can be enormously helpful for your child’s development.
Repeat this process each night to see the most substantial effects and benefits. Doing so can be enormously helpful for your child’s development.
Massage benefits your baby!
Providing an effective baby massage will take a lot of practice. You shouldn’t expect to get it right on the first try. That said, there are many steps you can take to make sure you get the best results as soon as possible.
First, we should discuss the specific benefits your baby will enjoy after a few massages. Research shows that parents and children who undergo frequent massages are far closer than those who do not. In practice, this means that you can use daily massages as a way to bond with your child. After a few months of consistency, not only will you be closer to your baby, but your baby massage skills should improve dramatically. As a result, we recommend you begin practicing massaging a baby at your earliest convenience.
But bonding isn’t where the benefits end—not even close. Studies show that frequent massages can have remarkable effects on the quality of sleep your baby enjoys. If your child has been keeping you and your partner awake at night, a baby massage regimen may be just what you need for everyone in your household to enjoy more peaceful nights. Massage can greatly help a baby who usually won’t sleep.
It isn’t as simple as massaging a baby consistently, however. You will need to perform the baby massage at similar times of day to see the most drastic results. It’s recommended your begin messaging a baby thirty-minutes before bedtime. Likewise, you should try and make your child’s bedtime consistent—most experts recommend 8 PM for especially young children. Depending on your child’s development, even earlier bedtimes may be suitable. Keep a close eye on your child’s bedtime behavior to gauge what will work best for your family.
Your child’s developing mind may benefit from consistent massages as well. Research has shown a logical link exists between strong early-education performance and frequent massages. Most say this is a result of the reduced stress that massaging a baby yields. By performing a baby massage frequently, you can set your child up for success while they’re still in the crib.
Now it’s time to learn how you should go about massaging a baby.