A baby crying for a certain period of time and not wanting to sleep equates to the parents also not being able to sleep. At the core of it, successfully putting your baby to sleep means you also get to climb into your cosy bed and sleep soundly! One of the most effective ways you can make your baby sleep through the night is by massaging them.
A sense of touch is always great in helping babies to develop, so why not make full use of that particular benefit? What will a massage do for your little one? It will give you the opportunity to bond with your baby, at the very least. Massage can soothe your baby and calm them down. There are a lot more a massage can do for your baby, but we’ll save some for below so do read up. We will also be sharing the proper step-by-step with you and answering your questions regarding newborn massage!
As long as you do it properly, yes you can! A newborn massage consists of gentle, rhythmic stroking of your baby’s body with your palms. You need to maintain gentle and soft touches without pressing any body parts with strong pressure. Use oil so your hands can glide smoothly over their skin and reduce the risk of friction which can irritate them.
Certainly! Given that your baby does not have skin issues or other problems that may be worsened by a massage, you can definitely massage them. Maintain light pressure throughout the whole massage process. That said, do refer to your doctor if you are not 100% certain that your baby can be massaged.
Massage can calm your baby down and make them feel sleepy easily. It improves circulation and aids digestion for them. To some extent, massage can reduce their crying. While the actual causes of colic are not known, many mothers believe massaging helps reduce the risk of their baby getting colic!
There is no one answer that will suit all newborns, but it is wise to avoid massaging them when they are under one month old. Still, you should introduce soft and lingering touches to your baby from the moment they were born.
In regards to when is the best time throughout the day to massage a newborn, the time differs for every baby. Yours will let you know when would be the most suitable time for them. For a start, you can start massaging them before or after a bath.
Either way is fine and most of the times is baby-led. You can try massaging them on different days at different timing and observe which one is preferred more by your little one. To not overstimulate them with the massage, it is advisable that you do not separate bath and massage.
One of the recognised effects of massage for newborns is that it can boost your baby’s brain development. Babies can learn and develop remarkably from touches. By gentling caressing your baby’s skin, you are stimulating their senses and this helps make them more aware of their surroundings. Massage can effectively relieves pains and indigestion, thus promoting better sleep for babies.
Babies normally have more sensitive skin compared to adults. Hence, it is best to stick with oils that are organic and safe. Get ones that contain less chemical ingredients as those can cause dryness or irritation. Opt for the warm, unscented kinds of oil that can promote relaxation for your infant.
Some experts would suggest vegetable or plant-based oils that absorb quickly, but research finds very little evidence that proves different oils have varying absorbency levels. If your baby tends to suck on their thumbs, mineral baby oils may be the safest option for you. If you are only massaging the tummy area, you can use oils with warm properties to improve digestion and quickly put on their clothes afterwards. This will prevent their fingers from lingering on their belly and picking up the oil.
For babies with drier and sensitive skin, stay away from oils that are high in oleic acid. Those can be harsher on your baby’s soft skin. Get unperfumed mineral oil or coconut oil instead. The latter has been claimed by researchers to improve the skin moisture.
At PNSG, our massage therapists are trained to perform massage on not only to-be and new mothers, but also on newborns. They will be personally sharing the knowledge and steps of a proper new born baby massage with you. Since it would pretty much be a one-to-one demonstration, you can ask them everything you’d like to know then and there as they are teaching you!