When You Give Your Baby A Massage And The Benefits Of Baby Massage
The ancient art of infant massage has been practiced for centuries by cultures around the world and is one of the earliest stimuli a parent can provide for their infant. By using simple massage strokes, you can enhance your role as a parent and provide the right type of stimuli to promote optimal development. You and your baby will experience many benefits from infant massage during a child’s first years and for years to come.
Massage can get your newborn to sleep better, improve her health, and even help you bond.
In fact, studies have shown that massaging an infant can reduce crying and fussiness, help her sleep more peacefully, and alleviate common wail-inducers . Some say that it even boosts a baby’s ability to fight off germs.
“When you give your baby a massage, you’re actually stimulating her central nervous system,As a result, your baby’s heart rate and breathing slow down, and she becomes more relaxed.” explains Tiffany Field, Ph.D., director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine.
Improve your baby’s awareness of his body.
Every baby has a distinct and clear feeling right from birth. Baby massage will give your baby a better understanding of the size and position of body parts.
Giving your infant regular massages is good for his emotional well-being too. “Affectionate touch and rhythmic movement are among the most powerful forms of communication between babies and their parents, so they’re great ways for you to bond,”
Giving your baby a massage is as simple as it is enjoyable. All you need is 10 to 15 minutes. Pick a time when you’re relaxed and your baby is quiet but alert. (If you try to massage a fussy baby, you may overstimulate him and make him even more unhappy.) Try starting after a diaper change or as part of a bathtime ritual.
Before you begin, make sure the room is warm and quiet. Take off any jewelry that could get in the way, and grab some baby oil. Strip your baby down to his diaper, and then lay him facing up on a soft towel or blanket, with a pillow under his head. Begin by holding your baby’s hands and gently rubbing his palms with your thumbs a few times. When he seems tuned in to you, try these soothing techniques described by Dr. Schneider, starting with your baby’s legs and working your way up his body.