Benefits of Infant Massage Therapy
Massaging your baby is a great way to lightly nurture him. It is also an amazing way to hang around with your baby and it offers a lot of outstanding benefits for both you and your baby.
Benefits of Infant Massage
Studies prove that massaging infants provide can a lot of health benefits. Here are some of them:
- Massage relaxes your baby and helps him go to sleep
- It promotes good interaction between your baby and you
- Positively impact infant hormones that help them manage stress
- Massage lessens crying
Though there has been no extensive scientific study regarding infant growth and massage, there are findings which suggest that infant massage may be essential in the promotion of growth in premature babies.
Infant massage requires proper timing. Performing massage right after feeding may induce vomiting in babies so you may want to wait for about an hour or so after feeding before massaging. You also have to take note of the baby’s current disposition. For example, if the baby maintains a steady gaze and he manifests calmness and content, the baby may enjoy a gentle massage. On the other hand, if the baby stiffens when touched and veers away from you, a massage may be out of the question.
Newly born babies may be massaged daily, but in the end, how often a baby should be massaged is really up to you. Your baby may like a light massage at night as part of his bedtime sequence.
Massaging a Baby
Before you start massaging your baby, you first have to create a quiet and peaceful ambiance. Preferably, perform the massage in a quiet spot and it does not matter whether it is outdoors or indoors. Make sure that you are not wearing any jewelry in your wrist when doing the infant massage. He baby also has to be placed on top of a soft cushioning material such as blanket or a towel. You also have to position yourself comfortably to avoid losing balance and accidentally leaning on the baby. You may also want to tell your baby that it is his massage time.
In the beginning, use a very soft and mild touch. Refrain from tickling your baby because this may irritate him. As the baby matures, you can use a firmer touch on the massage.
There are a lot of infant massage techniques but all of them generally involve slow strokes or kneading motions on every part of the baby’s body. You can start by putting your baby on his stomach and spending roughly a minute rubbing different areas of the baby’s body and that should include the neck, head, shoulders, thighs, feet, upper back, waist, hands, and feet.