Infant Massage brings calm and peace to you and your baby, while fostering connectedness and bonding between you and your baby.
Let's talk a little History...
The art of infant massage dates back to 1500 BC in India, they actually have the first written tradition of infant massage. Some sources say it may have even dated back to 3000 BC or earlier. There are some tomb drawings in Egypt that depict the art of massage as well.
Why do it?
Here are some benefits...
- It improves infant and parent bonding (especially after a traumatic or unexpected birth experience)
- Relieves symptoms gas and colic
- Helps to relieve teething pains
- Can help mothers deal with postpartum depression and anxiety
- Promotes better sleep for you and your baby
- Helps parents learn about their baby’s body and skin
- It's very important for sensory stimulation
- Boosts immune system
- Improves skin conditions
- Helps your baby feel loved and nurtured
- Improves your baby's digestion
- Promotes relaxation for both parents and baby
- Improves your baby's blood circulation
- Balances respiration
- Boost muscle development
- Helps with your baby's waste elimination
- Helps to build baby’s self-esteem
- It's an extremely pleasurable experience for both parents and baby
- Stimulates production of oxytocin aka the love hormone, which functions as a pain reliever, induces a calming effect, reduces stress, and enhances the bonding process.
What are the rules?
A) Pay attention to your baby's mood, if they are irritated and over tired, they maybe too fussy to really enjoy their massage.
B) Make sure your baby is not hungry because hunger will keep them from relaxing into the massage.
C) Please be gentle, these are delicate little people and the aim is for them to relax.
D) Use an unscented, natural and organic moisturizer like Ziggy's Pudding Baby Body Butter, so that your hands glide easily against your baby's skin, inducing a soothing, calming effect.
So, How do you do it?
I love to start at the feet. Start by giving baby a gentle foot massage, be present with them, sing to them or talk to them softly while you do it. Then move on to the legs; I usually stroke upwards towards the heart first for a bit then proceed with downward strokes away from the heart. Massage the arms the same way.
With the stomach, I start in a circular motion from the belly button going outwards around the whole stomach, then work my way back using circular motions gently with the tips of my fingers until I arrive back at the belly button. If the baby is gassy, I spend as much time as the baby will tolerate on the stomach. Then I also include bicycle legs to help dispel as much gas as possible.
Turn baby over and put the baby on their tummy. If your baby is use to tummy time, they will not protest... but if not, they maybe a bit resistant to laying on their tummy. With the back, I stroke upward towards the heart then work my way into their head massage.
At this time, if your baby can handle tummy time for a bit longer, then continue to massage the back of the head using your fingertips gently. Turn baby over, and continue the head massage, working your way down to the temples, then to the face, slowly and gently.
After this, you and your baby will be so relaxed and at peace.
I love infant massage. I still massage my toddler and older child as well. I believe it is beneficial to your older children as well. Give it a try, add it to you bedtime and/or naptime routine. Let us know what you think...
Thank you for your support. Please share your infant massage methods in the comments below. Please do not hesitate to contact us at anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.