Why You Should Totally Be Massaging Your Baby
June 6, 2017
If you’re like most parents, chances are you can’t keep your hands off those little ones. Good news: Keep doing that! The simple act of love is proving to have more benefits than simply making you feel happy.
You might, in fact, be helping your baby’s development along the way.
A recent study from Loving Touch notes that massaging your baby can bring both “immediate and lasting results” for your child – from enhancing their overall well-being and connection to the parent, to lasting improvements in muscle tone and pain management.
Additionally – and this is something most parents would, we’re guessing, be thrilled to hear – massing your little one can help with “congestion, gas and colic.”
Oh, and also digestion!
Translation: More sleep for you. No more stained shirts.
Enough said. Where do I start?
Short answer: wherever you want! There are a number of massage patterns to take note of here, many of which are outlined beautifully on What to Expect. But let’s take a look at a few of our favorites.
From What to Expect:
· “Legs and feet. Hold your baby’s heel in one hand; with your other hand, start at the top of the thigh and slowly stroke all the way down to the ankle, gently squeezing the leg as you go, as if you were milking a cow. Reverse the motion and go from ankle to thigh. Then rub the feet with your thumbs, gently uncurling and stroking the toes. Switch legs. You can do these same strokes on the arms and hands.
· Face. Fold your hands (as if you were praying) on your baby’s forehead, then gently push outward from the center. Next, use your thumb to draw a smile on your baby’s face by stroking from one cheek, across the upper lip to the other cheek. Repeat on the lower lip.
· Tummy. With your fingertips, draw an oval below your baby’s belly button. (Move clockwise, to follow the natural path of digestion.) Next, ‘walk’ your fingertips from one side of your baby’s belly to the other, on the diagonal, as if you were making an ‘X.’”
Be sure to check out What to Expect to get more massage ideas.
So… does this actually work?
Think about it this way: What happens when you pick up your baby? They tend to smile. How about when you put them down? They tend to cry. Typically, babies love being held; they love the comfort, the feeling of the warmth of your hands against their skin.
So, yes, trust us… this will work!
Added bonus: Much like being held, massaging your baby is a great way for you to bond with your child and keep them relaxed.
And as we all know, when they’re relaxed… you’re relaxed.
So go on. Get to it!