Although there is still a lot of further research needed, some studies show that there are benefits of massage to the babies. It is said that a massage can help in the process of healthy growth.
Massaging babies offers a variety of benefits. With each gentle touch, the baby will feel loved and cherished. Of course, it will indirectly strengthen the relationship between mother and child.
The Benefits of Massage to the Babies
Before knowing how to massage a baby, First, let’s understand the benefits of each massage and touch done.
Among the benefits of massage are as follows:
1. Muscle calm and get rid of stress
The massage performed on the baby can relieve their stress by stimulating the release of oxytocin, a good neurohormone, and lowering cortisol levels – a stress hormone.
It relaxes muscles, stimulates growth and is excellent for colic babies – a condition in which babies will cry for a long time.
2. Stimulates the nervous system
Massaging babies brings benefits to the baby’s nervous system as it can improve the development of their motor skills.
3. Sleep better
The baby will sleep well when they get a massage. This advantage provides benefits in the process of faster muscle growth to increased immune response.
Massage also allows more melatonin hormone production – a hormone that can cause drowsiness and speed up sleep.
4. Improve the quality of life of the baby
The advantage of massage is that it can be a way to calm a baby with Down syndrome or cerebral palsy.
Premature babies will also show better motor development when massaged periodically. They will also gain weight faster than premature babies who have never been massaged.
5. Improves blood circulation
Massage your baby will also help improve blood circulation and reduce the discomfort caused by the gas or acidity, bloating or tooth growth.
Massage will stimulate the nerves that pass through the intestinal tract to benefit the digestive system.
A perfect way to connect the baby with the mother is the frequent infant massage. Moreover, researchers found that massage can facilitate better sleeping, relieve colic, and maybe even strengthen the immune system, motor skills, and intellectual growth of a child. To help you along, here are some tips and techniques.
Tips for Massage a Baby
Using a blanket or towel, and massage oil in a non-breakable container. (Test the oil on a small spot on the skin of your baby and wait a day to make sure that there is no irritation.) Start when your baby is in a calm yet alert state—not immediately after a feeding or when she is sleepy. Lie down on the floor with the soles of your feet together, with your legs forming a diamond shape. Drape the blanket between your knees and your feet.
Put your baby down on her diaper and place her on the blanket, cradling her head on your feet. Start with a gentle “hello” stroke from the head of the baby to her toes. If the child stiffens, cries, or becomes irritable, move to another part of the body or just finish the day’s massage. Start gently massaging her body section by section, if she responds well.
Types of baby massage
1. Foot massage
Grasp one of the baby’s feet gently and do a gentle massage from the thighs to the ankles.
Repeat this baby massage technique several times before doing it to the other leg.
2. Abdominal massage
Place the palms of the hands on the centre of the baby’s abdomen. Using your fingertips, perform slow and gentle massage movements clockwise.
Repeat this sequence several times.
3. Hand massage
Perform slow movements on the baby’s arm. Start with his shoulders and move to the wrists.
Repeat 2 to 3 times before moving to the other arm.
4. Neck massage
Provide support for the upper body and head of the child using one hand.
Place the thumb of one hand on the side of the baby’s neck and two fingers on the opposite side. Then use your fingertips to do a gentle rub with a circular motion.
Repeat the movement several times.
5. Colic relief order
First of all, give the baby a massage on the abdomen.
Then bend the knee to his stomach and hold for 30 seconds before releasing it. Repeat this baby massage method several times.
Place one palm on the baby’s stomach. Gently pull the hand from the abdomen to the bottom; it helps release the stored gas. Repeat this movement if necessary.
Provides peace of mind
Baby massage is a soothing therapy for them and strengthens the bond between you and the baby. However, not all babies like it when massaged. If it is not successful for the first time, you can try it a few times before getting the proper massage technique and suitable for the baby.