What is baby massage and what is it good for?
When your baby is around 1 week old, many experts recommend a baby massage. Ensuring that you are mindful of them, as consistent formal touch could be over stimulating. Massages should be avoided during feeding or sleep time.
Whilst baby massage is optional, it’s a great way to bond with your newborn, with the addition of oils if you’d like, and sweet lullabies that could help make it more relaxing for you both.
It’s also known that a massage can encourage good bowel movements. If your newborn is constipated, it’s recommended you use the belly rub technique, and the circular leg movements to support healthy digestion.
How long can I give my baby a massage?
It is recommended to do this around 20-30 minutes as too much stimulation upsets a baby. Avoid doing it straight after feeds wait al least 45 minutes as they will be laying down and this can cause indigestion and discomfort.
What oils can I use?
Avoid oils that contain perfume and paraffin because these can cause harm to your newborn’s skin. There are specific oils that are more benefits such as olive oil, As its good for their skin whilst also reducing cradle cap.
What areas to massage?
Starting with their head and ears then onto arms massage each arm separately with oil beginning with their fingertips move your way up to their shoulders and neck, gently circulating your way down to their tummy. Be gentle with their stomach and make sure they are happy for you to continue. Work your way down to their thighs and then massaging their little toes.
The environment in which you decide to do your baby massage is important. This is because if the area is too cold, the infant may not like it for long. Making sure they are relaxed, keep talking to them and make sure they are warm and happy while doing the massage. Some babies do not like to lay on their stomach as it can cause discomfort.