You’re a new mom and your baby is the only precious thing to you right now. You want to hold her close all the time and want to cuddle her till you take her breath away. It is important for your baby to feel your presence and your touch while she is in her first year of growth. This is how she learns to trust and perceive love.
However, there is a cooler and more beneficial way for you to help in your child’s psychological and physiological development- the magic word is ‘Massage’.
Here’s why massages are so cool
The help you bond with your baby. When you massage her, you can talk to her and sing to her and trust us she will receive all of this in her tiny brain.
Just like how she will begin to get you, you will also be able to read the different cues that she throws at you. As a new mom, understanding your baby is the biggest challenge you can face. Massages can help scale that challenge.
With all the signs that you’re giving and receiving, you get to build a strong communication channel and nurture a sense of trust and care. She now begins to see you as her caregiver.
Of course massages help us unwind and relax and this holds true for your baby too.
Massages are also known to help improve your baby’s digestion and help her understand her body better.
Through better digestion comes less discomfort during teething and congestion.
Massages are amazing when it comes to improving muscular strength and tone. They can truly be the building blocks to a rock solid body.
When one gets a massage, one sleeps like a baby, including the baby herself!
Massages help stimulate a lot of dormant parts of the body and sometimes even help in improving hormonal functions of your baby’s body.
Directions for the best massage
Make sure to create a hospitable and calm environment- less noise and the right temperature.
Try to speak soothingly to your baby so that she can also relax.
You could massage your baby thrice a day for up to 15 minutes each time. Use only moderate pressure.
Feel free to use a baby oil or even baby lotion for the massage. Your baby will smell great and her skin will be soft and supple.
Make sure to not massage her immediately after you feed her to minimize the chances of vomiting.
The three phases of the massage
1. First phase: This takes place while keeping the baby on her stomach. Massage 12 strokes from head through the neck and shoulder to the buttock for 5 seconds.
2. Second phase: Put her flat on her back and massage 12 strokes, from the face, through the cheeks, chest, abdomen, upper limbs, lower limbs, palms, then down to the soles of the feet for 5 seconds.
3. Third phase: Give soothing massage to baby’s limbs and hands to complete the process.
Things you should never do in a baby massage
1. No soft surfaces like the couch or the bed. Always use a table or something hard.
2. Never use hot oil, always take the oil in your hands and let it cool down before you massage your baby with it.
3. Be gentle with your baby, no deep tissue or sports massages please!
4. Don’t let the oil come to your baby’s ears. Some pediatricians say it could harm your child’s ear drums.
If you are working or don’t have the time, you could also hire a masseuse or a maalishwali to do the massage for you. However, make sure to check their license and their previous work.