What works best when your baby is tired, sick, crying or teething? You would have probably tried everything under the sun to calm your baby down but nothing seems to be working. There is, however, a secret weapon well within your reach that you have been searching for, and finally is at ‘hand’!
Gently massaging and caressing your baby is the ultimate secret weapon that is the cure all and best fix for most baby woes that do not have any other remedy. Gently stroking the back of your baby can be a great soothing agent and a very powerful weapon in calming your baby down. Every mother has an innate quality of gently caressing her baby, which is extremely vital to the baby’s well-being and the exact reason why child experts and paediatricians recommend that baby massage and constant touch not only helps in reassuring the baby but also making the bond stronger between mother and child.
Benefits of Baby Massage
According to baby massage experts, massaging the baby has the same kind of advantages that adults experience with a massage.
A gentle massage not only helps in inducing deep relaxation but also influences the body to release a calming hormone known as oxytocin that can help the baby to be lulled deeply into sleep, without being awakened often.
More importantly, a baby massage is also useful in boosting the immunity system of the baby and is extremely critical in handling certain problems such as colic.
A number of cultures worldwide have the tradition of massaging the baby during the early months, which is a very strong tradition still followed to this day. In the West, however, due to rapid expansion of medical knowledge the tradition of baby massage was lost. But there is a gradual revival in rediscovering the amazing way of strengthening the bond between the baby and the parent as more and more parents are learning baby massage techniques to get close to their little one and spent quality time with each other.
Your baby must be comfortable, well fed in advance and winded to initiate a baby massage. Ensure that the room is warm and pleasant before your baby is undressed, else even a little chill might be a cause of worry as it could cause a cold in your baby. Lay down thick nappies, towels etc. and keep them at hand, in case of a slipup or a little accident. Your baby should be placed on a thick folded towel or a changing mat before the massage begins.
Baby Woes and Massage
To treat colic pain or wind problems, your baby’s tummy should be massaged in a clockwise manner or in a circular movement, focused on the belly button that can help in easing digestive problems.
To lull your baby into sleep, place your baby lying on her back and while stroking her head, also gently rub her chest and tummy to calm her down and help her to settle into sleep.
If your baby has a teething issue and is extremely restless, crying all the time, it can help to gently stroke and squeeze your baby’s hands and feet in order to soothe the annoyance that teething brings.
Some carrier oils that can help in smoothening the baby massage process includes olive oil, sweet almond oil, virgin coconut oil, grape seed oil amongst others. If your baby is over three months old, you can add just one small drop of lavender oil, eucalyptus oil, chamomile oil etc. to your base oil for a baby massage.
Massaging a baby is so versatile and so easy that it can be simply done at home in the confines of your own room. However, if you looking to learn more baby massage techniques and interact with mums, who are like-minded, enrol in a baby massage class or enquire at adult education centres, early childhood centres or with your general practitioner for local classes.