After a hard day at the gym, or even sometimes just at work, having a massage can be so relaxing. Believe it or not, being a baby can be stressful. It’s cold, there are a lot of new noises and smells to learn and you have to rely on everyone for everything. That’s why there’s a big push for infant massage to help your baby be calm, learn more about their own bodies, and aid in the bond between the two of you.
What is infant massage?
Infant massage is an ancient tradition of providing nurturing touch as a way of communicating and bonding with baby. Massage can help foster mutual trust and understanding between parent and child.
Why should I massage my baby?
Clinical research has shown that massaging your infant can aid in their physiological and neurological development. It helps soothe common discomforts of teething and colic, promotes restful sleep for baby (and in turn parents), and helps infants become aware of how their body moves. Massage increases healthy attachment and bonding between parent and child.
How old should my child be to start infant massage?
Infant massage can start right after birth, but it’s never too late to start massaging your child. Babies and toddlers both can receive the many benefits of massage.
Should I use oil?
We recommend the use of oil to reduce friction on baby’s skin. It’s important to choose a natural, edible oil since baby’s hands tend to end up in their mouth. In our classes we use coconut oil. It’s a chemical free, healthy alternative to baby oil, which is generally petroleum based.
How do I start?
Choose a time when your baby is in the ‘quiet alert’ state. Wait about 45 minutes after feeding when baby is not fussy or crying. Ensure the room is a warm, quiet, and the lighting is not too bright. Make sure you have a safe, comfortable area such as the floor, to massage. Turn off cell phones, and any other distractions such as television. Have everything you need at hand: towel, oil, clean diaper and clothes. Wash your hands and remove any jewelry, watches etc. Before starting make sure you take some time to relax, taking a few deep breaths. Get your child’s permission for massage, looking for engagement cues such as eye contact. Warm up some oil in your hands. Massage your baby’s body, establishing a typical routine that you will follow. Begin with legs working from thighs down to tips of his toes. Starting at the shoulder, massage down the arm to the fingers. Gently flip your baby onto his belly and give him a nice backrub, avoiding pressure directly on the spine. Make sure the pressure is not too firm, but not light enough to tickle.
How often should I massage my baby?
As often as you and your baby would like, babies thrive on touch. Many parents incorporate massage into a daily routine, such as after a bath.
My baby has health problems, can I still massage them?
Massage can be adapted to most medical conditions, it’s important to check with your child’s physician to see if massage is appropriate for your baby.
Where can I learn more?
There are many books and websites to get more information. Check to see if classes are available in your area.
For more great ways coconut oil can be used for moms and babies, click here.