Why You Should Totally Be Massaging Your Baby
June 6, 2017
All that cuddling and touching your baby could be beneficial in many ways, above and beyond showing affection. Baby massage is shown to have some great benefits that go far beyond providing affection (which seems to be enough reason on its own) as well as getting that euphoric feeling that comes from showing your child affection. There are some great benefits to baby massage.
A study done recently by Loving Touch points out that baby massage provides that child with “immediate and lasting results” that include a connection from an emotional standpoint as well as in the management of pain as well as improvements in muscle tone.
Babies with gas pains, colic, and congestion can also benefit from infant massage as it can aid in the digestive process.
And a happy baby can mean a variety of benefits to the baby and the caregiver, who has a happier baby who sleeps better (increasing your sleep) as well as not having to deal with the mess and upset associated with spiting up.
How Do I Benefit My Baby with Infant Massage?
A variety of massage patterns are highly recommended as outlined in the popular book What to Expect.
Here is some paraphrasing from some of the great suggestions recommended:
Massaging Your Baby’s Legs, Feet, Arms, and Hands
Massage from your baby’s upper thigh down to their ankle, supporting baby carefully, with the baby’s heel in your hand. Don’t forget to massage the feet. Do both legs. A kneading motion works well (like milking a cow) and he can also be used on your child’s arms and their hands.
Facial Massages for Babies
Using your thumb, trace a smile from one of their cheeks to the other, tracing a path via the upper lip. You can also gently massage baby’s forehead.
Baby Belly Massages
Below the navel, trace an oval shape in a clockwise motion to assist with digestion. Another recommendation is to use your fingers to practice walking along the baby’s belly in a diagonal motion as if drawing the letter X. The What to Expect book has many other massage ideas.
Happy Babies, Happy Adults
Many parents find that not only do these methods help with digestion, but they provide great interaction time with baby, who can be happier due to the love, affection, and one-on-one time with a parent or caregiver. Babies enjoy your warmth, your smiles, and the sound of your voice.
As an added benefit, you’ll benefit as well. Not only will a happier baby sleep better and less fussy due to that one-on-one time but spending time with a happy baby can be a de-stressor for you, also.