Infant Massage

Infant MassageBeing a baby is tough stuff. Between the shock of life and large quantity of unknowns, I can imagine the toll simply living can put on a baby body. For this reason, the joys of a nice massage are not just for worn-out mamas. Infant massage can help you and baby reduce stress, rest, and bond.

Whether you have just a few minutes to rub baby’s tummy or can fit in a full-body massage, both baby and you can benefit from meaningful time together, one-on-one, to rub away the day’s stressors. If your babe has any health issues, always consult with your doctor before offering your wee one an infant massage.

Online videos can offer you insights in how to best massage your babe in detail, but here are a few tips:

  • Ask permission from your baby before massage. A toddler you can actually ask; an infant may roll away, have stiff arms and legs, or fuss if not interested. You know your baby. Also consider your babe’s temperament before offering massage. If babe is too grumpy, tired, or stimulated, a massage may cause further irritation and stimulation. Wait until your babe is content overall. Ideally, wait until about an hour after eating or avoid the belly and back when you offer your babe a massage.
  • Remove your jewelry, grab oil or other child-safe form of moisture if you’d like, and find a comfortable area. Make eye contact and speak softly with your baby if you’d like. Consider the difference in this massage versus one you might receive as an adult by a professional. As an adult you spend much of your time inaccessible with eyes closed and without much conversation; with your child feel free to make eye contact, gently speak, and respond to your child’s movements.
  • After washing your hands, use a soft but firm touch to offer massage in long strokes, gentle twists, taps, and little circular motions. Gently stretch joints of the toes, fingers, and wrists. When you approach the belly, an inverted L and “I love you” movement across the abdomen can help aid digestion. To help ensure your baby retains warmth, keep baby covered. Afterward, offer milk or cuddles before transitioning to rest or slowly returning to more activity.

Lynette Moran shares her life with her husband and two sons, ages 1 and 3 years. She has cloth diapered both since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living.

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