Nowadays, “How to massage baby?” is a great question for the new parents. Here in this article, we are providing you some important techniques about baby massage. Baby massage needs techniques which make your baby feel comfortable and relaxed. Baby massage develops the physical, emotional, and social health of the baby. It builds a bond between baby and parental touch. Giving massage to your baby is a good way to express your love and affection towards your baby. The first touch is very essential for your baby. It has endless benefits.
When to Massage Baby?
The timing of massage is one of the great topics. Baby massage should be done after 45 minutes of feeding and another feeding should be done after 15 minutes when baby feel relax. Best time for massage is when the baby is settled and quiet. We can give oil massage any time but it is good to give regularly at the same time. Massage to your baby twice or thrice as your comfort. Oil massages are often done before bath if you are using thick oil like mustard or olive oil. Apply baby oil after the bath that keeps the skin moisture by slowing water evaporation.
Before Starting Oil Massage
Before starting the massage, choose a place which is safe for baby. Make sure the room is warm and draught free. Use edible oil such as olive oil or apricot. Always use nut-free oil for massage. we can use baby oil or other branded oil available in the market for baby massage. Remove sharp or spiky jewelry from your hand. Warm water if you are giving a bath after massage baby. Make clothes and nappy ready which she is going to wear. Play soft music to the background. Test the temperature of the oil by dipping your finger. Make your hand warm before the massage. Take off your baby’s clothes and nappy only when your baby becomes ready to start. Lay her on a clean towel. Don’t put directly oil on the babies skin. Place oil on to your hand and then apply to the baby.
Safety Precaution While Oil Massage
- Choose reputed brands massage oil. Unbranded oils can give baby skin infection.
- Use gentle, rhythmic, and soothing stroke for the little babies.
- Up to six-week baby, do not give pressure while doing head massage. Only pat oil softly.
- Do not put oil in the baby’s nose, navel, and ear, Although it is basically practiced in India, it can cause harmful infections.
- Don’t massage the baby if she has a fever above 100 degrees.
- Do not massage directly over a wound.
How to Massage Baby?
- The Legs:
- Rub a few drops of oil on your palms and start massaging the leg. Lift your baby’s left leg and slowly extend it towards the thighs. Gently grasp each thigh with both hands and slowly wring each leg from thigh to foot. By wringing mean the same motion as squeezing a wet towel.
2. The Feet and Toes:
- With your thumb start massaging heels up to the toes.
- Make a circle with thumb all over the feet and sole.
- Lightly massage to toe. Grab each toe with your finger and gently pull to the end.
3. The Arms:
- Hold your baby’s hand and make circular strokes on her palms. Using small strokes move from her palm to the tips of the fingers.
- Turn her hands and massage the back, use straight stroke down the wrist. Massage her wrists in the circular motion.
- Continue this circular motion to the rest of the arm.
4. The Chest and Shoulder:
- Use simultaneous stroke from the left and right shoulder and move towards her chest. Then trace the movement back to the shoulder.
- Place both hands at the center of your baby’s chest and rub towards her side.
- Use gentle stroke starting from the center and make a heart shape around the chest.
5. The Tummy:
- This is a delicate area so use minimum pressure.
- Place palm just below her chest bone and use clockwise circular motion across the belly.
- Do not touch the navel or belly button because it is very sensitive in a young baby.
6. The Face:
- Start by placing the tip of your index finger in the middle of her forehead and slowly stroke alone the outline of her face towards her chin.
- Then move your finger towards her cheeks and massage the cheeks in a circular motion.
7. The Back:
- Turn your baby on her stomach to massage her back. Her hands should be in front of her not to her sides.
- Place your fingertips on your on your baby’s upper back and massage in clockwise circles while slowly moving towards her bottom.
- Then slowly place your index finger on either side of the upper spine and gently move the fingers all the way along her back.
- Massage her scalp just like you are shampooing her hair. Do not put any type of pressure.