Massage, through touch is way a lovely way to communicate with your baby, it is relaxing for you and your baby and contributes to their mental and physical well being..
Why massage your baby?
- Relieves tension and relaxes muscles
- Stimulate blood circulation
- Helps digestion
- Maintains good eye contact, hence reinforces good communication with you.
- Helps to improve your baby's sleep
- It can help ease any aches and pains
- Encourages the baby to relax
- Helps teach your baby to discover its body.
Creating the right environment for massage
- You need a peaceful, reassuring, quiet atmosphere
- Room temperature needs to be warm - from 24 to 25 degrees
- Subdued lighting
- Soft music
Position of the mother: essentially you need to be comfortable and may need to experiment with different positions. One suggestion is for you to sit on the ground, back supported with pillows, legs straight with your baby over your thighs and knees and lying on a towel.
Some tips on how to massage your baby
- Wash your hands
- Remove jewelry
- Put oil or cream in your hands.
- Do not use perfumes or essential oils
- Avoid sweet almond oil if there is a strong family history of nut allergies or if the baby presents with allergic symptoms.
- Start by superficially touching the baby's tummy making light movements, brushing the skin then gradually massaging deeper
- Massage the palm of your baby's hand upwards with your thumb
- Stretch the baby's fingers and toes one by one
- Massage the abdomen from top to bottom
- Change the baby's position to lying on its front and massage the back
- Play with your baby as you go along.
- Talk to your baby explaining what you're doing, sing songs, tell stories - this is special 'one to one' time
Be careful when touching the head as the skull is very delicate with two `soft spots' one at the front and at the back where the skull bones have not yet fused.
Avoid massaging before or after feeding or if nap time is due.
It is important for you and your baby to relax, so that you both benefit from the effects of massage.
Le massage du bébé