Baby massage has so many benefits to not only your baby, but to you as well. It will help you connect with your baby so she (or he) begins to really recognize your touch and your smell.
It’s a great bonding experience, but beyond that it can help your baby sleep better, reduce colic, and improve digestion – all things which lead to a happy baby and parent. It is especially helpful in babies who have a developmental or medical condition. Follow these steps to use this beneficial technique with your baby.
How to Massage Your Baby
1. You will need a warm towel, baby lotion or oil, a light blanket, and a dimly lit room.
2. Lay your baby on the warm towel in front of you on the floor or your bed as you sit cross-legged. Put her legs over yours.
3. Remove your baby’s clothing and put oil or lotion in your hands and rub it together to warm it up.
4. Starting by placing your hands on your baby’s shoulders, slowly move down to her feet. As long as baby doesn’t become uncomfortable or agitated you should continue, but don’t continue if it’s upsetting baby.
5. Rub your baby’s stomach. Use slow, steady motions. Place one hand under your baby’s ribs and stroke downward. Massage the belly with your fingertips in a clockwise motion, pressing gently on your baby’s abdomen.
6. Place your hands on your baby’s chest and move your hands outward. Repeat this a few times. If your baby appears cold, cover her with a blanket.
7. Move your hand down from shoulder to hip on one side and then the other.
8. Stroke your baby’s arms and hands. Go from shoulder to wrist and cup your hands around your baby’s hands and rub from wrist to finger tips. Repeat this on the other arm and hand.
9. Now turn your baby over on her belly.
10. Move your hands up and down your baby’s back in a zigzag motion. Massage from neck to bottom with both hands never actually touching each other as they zigzag down your baby’s back.
11. Put your hands on either side of your baby’s spine and massage downward using small circular motions.
12. Using your fingertips, go down your baby’s back in a rake-like motion.
13. Now move onto your baby’s legs. Start with one and rub down to the ankle, then rub your baby’s foot and pinch gently and pull on your baby’s toes. Move to the other leg and foot next.
14. Roll your baby over and put a diaper and clothes back on her.
15. Now you are done and hopefully have a happy and relaxed baby.
When doing baby massage, always make sure you pay attention to any cues of discomfort. If your baby gets cold, cover her with a blanket. If she becomes agitated or fussy, then stop. This is supposed to be a soothing bonding experience between you and your child. Make it all of those things by not stressing your baby out.