Step-by-step Indian baby massage benefits and tips
Fact-checked by MFine | Last Updated : November 6th, 2019
Giving your baby a massage is not just to provide him/her with comfort - there are several benefits to it too. Read on to know about the benefits of giving your baby a massage.
Your little bundle has arrived to fill your world with a bounty of love and laughter. As a parent, each waking hour will challenge you and there will be numerous queries to ask. One such query will relate to baby massage. Read on to get equipped with step-by-step baby massage tips that will come in handy as you work your magic on your little one!
Why do babies need a massage?Baby massage steps include gentle strokes, all over baby’s body avoiding the genital and groin area. This process is important to straighten their limbs, improve blood circulation throughout their little bodies and strengthen their bones and muscles. Not to mention, it also helps you build a beautiful bond with your baby.
How to massage your babyMassaging your baby is therapeutic for both you and your little one. Here is our effective step-by step guide to baby massage:
Set the right ambienceJust as we enjoy the silence and soothing ambience of a spa, always ensure your baby has the same experience. Before you begin your massage, find an ideal room to massage your baby. Make sure you maintain an appropriate temperature in the room both during summer and winter so your baby doesn’t feel too hot or too cold.
Use the right productsWhether you are using baby oil or moisturiser for massage, ensure you warm it a little by rubbing it between your palms before you apply it all over your baby. Experts recommend using only organic products on your baby’s delicate skin to avoid a rash or allergy.
Keep supplies handyEven before you can begin the massage ensure that you have all supplies handy such as changing mat, wet towel or wipes, oil or moisturizer for massage, towel or wrap, baby toys to keep them entertained, nappy changing kit, fresh clothes to change after a bath, muslin squares or cloth to clean up accidents, etc.
Start with their legsAlways begin your baby massage by first massaging their legs, calves and thighs in gentle strokes. Avoid pressure of any kind while massaging your baby’s delicate skin. If your baby show any signs of discomfort, discontinue immediately. For your baby’s first massage, focus on massaging their legs for a couple of days, before moving on to their arms, hands and body.
Next comes their chestAfter massaging their legs, move up to massaging their chest and tummy by gently placing both your hands flat on the center of your baby’s body and gliding down to the sides. Thereafter massage your baby’s arms, shoulders and hands with gentle strokes and give them a light exercise that will help straighten their limbs.
Ending the massageYou may also massage your baby’s face and head with gentle strokes of your fingertips. Remember that this must be the final step in your massage routine. Instead of using more product, simply use whatever is leftover on your palms or your baby’s body to massage their face and neck. For newborns, pay special care while handling their necks.
Tips to keep in mind while massaging your newbornWhen your baby is a few weeks old and after their belly button stump has fallen off, you may begin massaging your new born. Massaging an infant can be challenging to both first time parents and parents with older children. You may take the services of an experienced baby masseuse who can address problem areas pertaining to your baby, if any. Here are crucial pointers to keep in mind while massaging your infant:
- Let your baby take the lead; follow their mood when it comes to giving a massage. Ensure that your baby is calm, fresh, alert, content and not cranky before you begin the massage
- Massage is meant to make your baby comfortable. If any of your baby massage steps are making your little one uncomfortable, then discontinue immediately.
- Never massage your baby immediately after a feed. Ensure there’s a gap of at least half an hour between the massage and feed so that your baby does not vomit or gag during a massage
- If your baby is sleepy or otherwise cranky or unwell, it is advisable not to give them a massage
- Another sign to watch out for is your baby turning their head away from you or stiffening their arms during a massage. Your little one might be uncomfortable and this should signal you to look for an alternative time to massage him or her.
- You may massage your baby once or twice daily or every alternate day. Take a cue from your baby and proceed accordingly.
- Keep pets out of the room while massaging and avoid distractions of any kind so you have a wonderful time bonding with your little one.
- You may play relaxing music or nursery rhymes meant for babies and also talk or sing to them during the course of the massage.
Benefits of baby massageBaby massage techniques can help in the following ways:
- Stimulate the production of oxytocin (the feel good hormone) in both babies and parents.
- Baby massage techniques induce sleep and give your baby the well-needed rest that their growing body needs.
- They induce physical, mental and social development in babies
- Babies tend to stay happy, cry less, remain fuss-free and feed wel too
- Massage can help relieve gas, constipation, colic and cramps
- Baby massage techniques can be the first step towards setting up a proper sleep routine for infants and older babies