In our daily life, we usually ignore the importance of baby massage, especially for the new parents. Actually, it is quite essential to do newborn baby massage like tummy, legs, arms, etc. Many of you may think of hiring an infant massage therapist. That is a quick and easy way, to be honest. However, doing massage for newborn baby is not just a massage, but also an opportunity to bond with your angel. I do recommend you to do new born baby massage by yourself. Today, I will introduce baby massage from three aspects: benefits of infant massage, when need baby massage and how to massage a baby at home.
Part 1. Benefits of Infant Massage
The benefits of infant massage can be explained from parents and baby two points. First, daily baby massage is a great way to bond with baby. If you want to build a close relationship quickly with your angel, it is worthy of try. As for baby, it can improve baby’s sleep quality, relieve colic, strengthen infant’s immune system, and even help baby’s intellectual development.
Part 2. When You Need to Massage Baby
Some experts recommend starting oil massage on baby five to fifteen days after you bring her back home, since newborn baby’s skin is not fully developed and vulnerable. If you do massage on baby too early, it may harm the baby’s skin.
Part 3. How to Massage a Baby to Sleep or for Gas
Before starting newborn massage, you need to prepare a blanked or towel and massage oil. Please be noted that picking a massage oil matters a lot and you should test the oil on your baby’s skin with a small spot to see whether there is irritation. Besides, the time for baby massage is important as well. Do not immediately starting the massage after feeding or baby, especially baby tummy massage.
When everything is ready, just undressed your baby and place her on the blanket, cradling her head on your feet. If she starts to become irritated and even cry, you can say “hello” to her gently. After she calms down and smiles, it means you can start the massage.
Baby Tummy Massage
- Rub your left and right hands so that they are not too cold for your baby. Take baby’s belly button as a center point, massage her abdomen clockwise.
- Lie your baby flat, put your hands on the both sides of the navel, move from up to down gently.
- Lift her legs and gently do the cycling in the air, which help baby’s gastrointestinal motility through the movement of the legs.
Head and Face Massage
- Cradle your baby’s head in both hands, massage her scurf with your fingertips like washing hair (Do not press the fontanel, which is still growing and too soft).
- Massage her ears using your thumb and index finger.
- Start from baby’s head and massage like painting a heart shape.
- Gently stroke out over baby’s closed eyes with your thumbs.
Massage on Chest
- Put your hands on your baby’s chest, then stroke outward to her shoulders.
- Massage on her chest in a heart shape, beginning from her sternum to shoulders. Repeat for several times.
- Place your hand on one should of your baby, cross her chest to her opposite hip. And from the shoulder to the other side of hip, in the pattern “X”.
- Hold one wrist of baby, tap her upper arm lightly.
- Grasp baby’s arms, and move from up to down, then down back to up. Repeated for several times.
- Massage her palm and move from palm to thumb.
- Stroke down from wrist to fingertips, gently squeeze and pull each finger.
- Massage her wrist by moving your fingers in small circles.
Massage for Baby’s Back
- Lay your baby across your outstretched legs. Keep her hands in the front.
- Put your hands on her back, move back and forth from her neck to buttocks.
- Lay her head on your arm in a comfortable gesture and sit on your thigh, and stroke her from the neck to buttocks gently.
- Use your fingertips massaging one side of her spine in small circles and up the other.
- Massage her shoulders in small circles while buttocks in bigger circles.
How to Massage Baby Legs
- Lift one of her legs by slightly tapping her upper thigh.
- Hold her ankle and stroke from her upper thigh to her foot, up to down.
- On the sole of her foot, use your fingertips tapping from heel to toes.
- Hold her ankle and use your whole hand to stroke the bottom of her foot from heel to toes.
- Gently squeeze and pull her toes, one by one.
These tips can help your learn how to massage a baby at home quickly. You will find it very useful in situations where baby doesn't sleep through the night, baby encounters tummy flatulence, baby has a poor appetite, etc. However, No matter what part of your baby you are massaging on, please bear in mind that she is too vulnerable to endure strong force. So please always be gentle.