Kids enjoy massage as much as the adults do, or probably even more.
Massage helps stimulate digestion, relaxes and strengthens muscles and helps babies sleep better.
So massage your baby as often as you can, and follow these simple steps to ensure he/she makes most of it.
WHEN to give a massage
Massaging is recommended only after the baby is 4 to 6 weeks old, as before that the limbs and joints of the baby are too frail to bear all the rubbing.
Early afternoon is a good time, as it is comfortably warm and the baby would have been awake for a while after a feed or two, gotten over any sleep hangovers, and will be more amenable for playing and interaction.
WHERE to give a massage
A sunny, warm place. Lay the baby on a towel on the ground or over your legs.
WHICH OIL to be used for massage
Any natural oil—olive, sesame, coconut—is good. Almond oil can also be a good option, but consult your doctor for any family history of asthma or allergies. “Avoid mineral oils as they contain petrochemicals, which may cause allergies,” says Dr. Wadhwa. Mineral oil is the main ingredient of almost all baby oils, but the ones with herbal ingredients are safer and gentler on baby skin than the ones with chemicals. It is better to warm the oil before applying, as it spreads better on baby skin
THINGS TO REMEMBER
- Test the temperature of the massage oil before applying on the baby
- Avoid giving massages in a cold/drafty room. The baby has to lie unclothed for a considerable amount of time and direct exposure to the cold environment may aggravate breathing and bronchial problems.
- Unplug and remove all electric appliances from the massage and bath area.