A good massage can make the difference between a baby that is cranky and unhappy or a baby that is content and peaceful. In short, massaging your baby is a way to express your love and to help your baby feel loved.
How does massage benefit my baby?
One of the best ways to monitor the health of your baby’s skin is through the good old fashioned method of baby massage. While massaging your baby you can go over the entire surface of the skin and check for dryness or chafing. Massage also helps ease transitions as your baby grows and undergoes developmental changes.
Massaging your baby is a great way to strengthen the bond between mother and baby and it also helps to soothe and relax your baby. As you massage your baby you stimulated the production of the feel-good hormone oxytocin in both you and your baby. Oxytocin is a hormone that is scientifically proven to strengthen warm, loving feelings.
Massaging your baby has numerous benefits!
- Massage calms your baby when he is fretful--Massaging is proven to reduce the circulation of stress hormone cortisol in the bloodstream.
- Massage increases your baby’s sense of well-being--Massage stimulates endorphins which can help improve your baby’s move.
- Ease gas and constipation--Stroking baby’s tummy can help disperse air
- Release tension that is caused by teething
- Relax arm and leg muscles
- Develop a close and trusting relationship with you
- Ease body aches caused by fever, cold, or congestion
- Enhances motor development
- Decreases stress and crying
- Strengthens the immune system
- Promotes restful sleep
When should I not massage my baby?
Avoid massaging your baby if he has just been immunised as the place of injection may still be sore. If baby has an upset stomach, avoid massages that will make his tummy feel uncomfortable.
Which moisturiser should I use for massaging?
Be sure you use a moisturising cream, lotion, or oil to help make the massage more comfortable. Johnson’s Baby Lotion and Johnson’s Baby Oil are excellent choices and will help moisturise the skin as you massage. Avoid using cold lotions on your baby’s skin. This will not only feel uncomfortable for baby but may also make him catch a cold.
Massaging benefits mum too!
Studies show that one in six women experience postnatal depression. Research shows us that baby massage in combination with counselling sessions can cause a significant improvement in the condition of the mum. Parents and other caregivers are reported in most cases to feel a lot closer to their infant after performing baby massage. Stress levels are also reduced as the parent takes this time with their child, and the overall maternal bond is strengthened.