What you need to know about baby massage

Baby massage has become increasingly popular in western culture over the past 20 years or so. It originated from ancient Indian traditions and is also widely used in Africa. There are said to be benefits for both baby and parents, here you can get all the information you need before you get started.

What are the benefits?

  • First and foremost it is a fantastic way of strengthening your bond with your baby.
  • It is also a great way for partners and Grandparents etc to bond with your newborn.
  • It can help to alleviate the effects of post natal depression and improve the mother/baby relationship.
  • It can help you to become more confident in handling your baby and recognising his/her needs.
  • It raises levels of the feel good hormone oxytocin in both of you which results in a calmer, content, much more relaxed mother and baby.
  • It helps to relax your baby’s mind and muscles before bedtime.
  • The oil nourishes your little ones skin.
  • It can relieve the symptoms of colic or constipation.
  • A face massage can help to ease a blocked nose or blocked ducts.
  • A massage of the gums through the skin can help with teething pains.
  • When is the best time of day to do it?

    There is no wrong time to massage your child, however, for maximum benefit you should try and gauge your little ones mood. The best time is when he is awake and content, don’t start massaging if he is tired or hungry and stop it and try again later If he is turning his head away or stiffening his muscles. Massaging your child after a feed may cause him to vomit so try and give him approximately 45 mins to an hour to digest his milk/food. Baby massage is fantastic as part of a bedtime routine for newborns and toddlers.

    Does my baby need to be a minimum age?

    There is no minimum age for starting baby massage, however, if your child was premature you should wait until her due date before you begin massaging her.

    What oil should I use?

    There is absolutely no need for expensive baby massage oils. In fact, a plain vegetable oil such as sunflower oil is all you need.

    References:
    mayoclinic, nct