Posted on Thursday, March 22, 2018 in The Conscious Living Blog by Heather Hamilton
All three of my children love to be massaged. It was a ritual we began when they were babies and has gotten us through infant colic, teething, nighttime growing pains, stress, and provided a special bonding experience for any pre-bedtime wind-down. As they grow older, sometimes these massages are the platform for precious conversations and a means to bring calm after a hard day.
This powerful tool is too good to not recommend to every mama, so we have created a simple, useful, downloadable guide that covers everything from the benefits of baby massage to creating the best environment. At the end of the download are guidelines that you can cut out and keep in the nursery to help get you started.
Cheers to hours of bonding and special memories that will last a lifetime!
What is Baby Massage?
Infant massage is a gentle, soothing therapy that has been shown to have physical and psychological benefits. It’s also a wonderful way to bond with your baby.
The Benefits of Baby Massage
- Stimulates brain activity and releases oxytocin
- Improves blood circulation
- Increases alertness/heightens awareness
- Reduces stress hormones
- Improves immune function
- Enhances development of the nervous system
- Aids with digestion
- Relieves discomfort of gas, colic, constipation
- Deepens bonding between baby and parent/caregiver
- Helps parent/caregiver respond to baby’s cues
- Enhances communication between baby and parent/caregiver
- Creates an opportunity for father, grandparent, or another special person in baby’s life to bond
- Improves relaxation, sleep
- Deepens baby’s feelings of security and overall well-being
Create a comforting environment.
- Set aside 15-30 minutes of uninterrupted, distraction-free time
- Choose a time when baby is happy and alert
- Make sure temperature is warm enough so baby doesn’t get cold
- Dim the lights and play a favorite lullaby album, or enjoy the quiet
- Remove all jewelry that could scratch or distract
- Follow up massage with snuggle or rocking time
Begin massage using these guidelines:
- Make eye contact
- Before you begin, request permission from your baby. This develops trust and respect; empowering him /her to accept or reject their body being touched
- Watch for cues of engagement
- Use gentle, fluid strokes (not so light that it tickles)
- Keep strokes slow and relaxing; avoid over-stimulating baby by going too fast
- Move from baby’s center, outwards (example: move from baby’s upper thigh down to his /her feet)
- Balance – if you massage the right arm, massage the left arm next
- Do each stroke 3 times and watch for cues from baby to continue or move to next stroke
Baby Massage Guide
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We’ve created three playlists for lullaby/sleepytime, that are each a bit different, but that are all relaxing, beautiful music. We hope you enjoy!