The moment your baby arrives home, you would hear all the elders in the house giving you all kinds of tips on how to handle and take care of your baby. The main tip would revolve around giving your baby a soothing massage.
Baby massage is one of the most important aspects that contribute to the growth and health of your baby. It stimulates the central nervous system of your baby. The affectionate touch with the rhythmic movement while massaging soothes your baby. Massaging is one of the best ways of communicating with your baby, which also helps in better bonding.
Since your baby most of the times lies down in the same position, chances are high that her/his movements are restricted. This can cause some pain. Body massage relieves the pain and you would automatically see that your baby is less fussy and cranky.
Some of the points to be noted before starting the massage are:
• The room has to be quiet, calm and warm
• Choose a time when your baby is calm and happy. If you try to massage your baby when he/she is fussy, you may end up irritating them more.
• Take off the jewellery from your hand like rings as they could come in the way while massaging. Make sure your fingernails are cut
• Keep all the things needed for the massage handy right next to you like baby oil, a soft towel and a pillow
Follow downward strokes on your baby’s back
Massage their shoulders in gentle circles
Do not exert pressure on your baby’s spine
Follow circular motion and proceed downward from your baby's thighs to their ankles
Use your thumb to gently massage from the heels to their toes
The lower and upper part of your baby's feet should be massaged with your palm
When you make downward strokes from your little one's thigh to their feet, do not forget to support their thighs
While massaging the chest and tummy:
Apply outwards strokes on your baby’s chest.
For the abdomen massage, use circular motions
Tummy massage should not be done till your baby’s umbilical cord has fallen off and the area has completely healed
While massaging the hands:
Use circular strokes and proceed downwards gently from your baby's upper arm to the wrist
Massage your little one's palms in gentle circles and gently use a milking motion to massage the fingers
Do not pull your baby's fingers too tight
Do not forget to support the wrist while massaging their palms
It would be pleasant if the massage is easy on your baby, the oil should be light in application and should be easily absorbed by your baby’s skin. You can opt for something edible, unscented or either cold-pressed fruit or vegetable oil. For example, coconut, canola, olive, grapeseed, avocado, etc. Weather conditions also need to be taken into consideration while selecting the oil.