Massaging babies is a tradition that has been practiced for centuries. It can provide a soothing and healing touch to your baby.
How does a massage help your baby?
The gentle touch of a mother or father can soothe an unsettled baby. It can relieve crying or even ease colic. It can stimulate the senses and provide relaxation to both, the parent and the baby. Massage is a great way for parents to bond with their baby and show love through touch. It has also shown to help mothers cope with postnatal depression.
Which oil should you use?
It is perfectly safe to use a baby oil, coconut oil, olive oil or mustard oil to massage your baby. Consult your doctor before using any other type of oil.
Handy tips to keep in mind:
- Massage your baby before or after a bath or at bedtime.
- Be relaxed; babies can sense it.
- Wait at least for an hour after feeds.
- Don’t massage until the umbilical cord has fallen off.
- Keep fingernails short and smooth.
- Remove all jewelry.
- Wash hands and rub together to warm them up.
- Use gentle but firm movements with the balls of your fingers or palms.
- Smile and talk to your baby while massaging him. This promotes bonding with your baby
When should you avoid giving your baby a massage?
Massages are quite safe if done properly and with some precautions. You should avoid massage altogether if:
- If your baby has a fever or is unwell.
- If your baby has been vaccinated with an injectable vaccine during the past 3 days.
- If you or your baby are carrying any infections.
- If your baby has developed any rash or redness after a massage.
- If your baby is not enjoying the massage and gets upset every time you try.