Touch is the oldest and most natural form of communication. You can say so much with just a simple touch. It can be calming, loving, passionate, and convey compassion or an apology. Babies also use touch to communicate and to get to know the world. So ‘talk’ with them.
Babies don’t understand words and facial expressions but a touch is a clear message. Cuddle with them as much as you can, enjoy every touch. It’s not just a display of love. The right kind of touch can help your baby deal with certain kinds of problems. A baby massage should never have a stimulating effect, it should be calming. Use light strokes rather than pressure. Always remember that a baby’s body is still very fragile and doesn’t have the same muscle mass as an adult. Too much pressure can cause pain and bruises.
Communicate with touch
It may sound complicated but we don’t want to discourage you from trying to massage your baby. Quite the contrary, we want to help you avoid mistakes that can make your baby cry and change the otherwise bonding experience into something terrible. Being close to your baby and having your baby be close to you is a great way to get to understand each other. You don’t need to study manuals on how to massage your baby. Let your motherly instinct guide you. During the massage, name the parts of the baby’s body you’re touching and don’t forget to tell your baby how much you love them.
The right time for you
If your children are already attending preschool or school, don’t be upset that you didn’t use your baby massage time while they were still small. The truth is that you can start anytime. The most important thing is to not force it upon either you or your child. While caring for a baby, your lifestyle is slow and you’re focused mostly on the needs of your baby. When your children are older, the focus goes back to everyday life – daily chores, questions, problems, bills… Don’t force yourself into a massage after an argument with your boss or after you found a fresh scratch on your new car.
The right time for your baby
Like we said, the time just has to be right. An ideal time is when you’ve had a good day, you don’t feel the stress of your everyday duties and you can fully focus on the moment between your and your child without having to constantly think of other things. Both your and your child need to be in the right mood. If you see your little one doesn’t really want a massage, don’t force them into it. If you think a massage could help them overcome a bad mood or sadness, try to talk to them first.
A massage can:
- Improve immunity.
- Help babies develop their motor skills.
- Relax muscle tension.
- Improve coordination.
- Improve the quality of sleep.
- Help with metabolism.
- Help your baby get rid of stress.
- Improve the relationship between a mom and her baby.
- Relax the baby.
How is it done?
Picking a proper oil or cream is important. Choose ones that are natural and don’t overdo it with the aroma. Aggressive smells can make your baby uncomfortable. Begin the massage about 45 minutes after your baby ate and make sure the room has a good temperature. If your baby is cold, neither one of you will enjoy the experience. Start from the head and face, then move to the arms and chest and continue down to the belly and legs. After you’re done, turn your baby around onto their belly and go again from the head, to the back and down to the legs. Always focus on not putting too much pressure on your baby’s body. Massage with motion, not with pressure.
Massages and metabolism
Careful around the belly area. Always massage your baby’s belly clockwise because it’s also the direction food travels in the intestine. If you massage your baby’s belly counter-clockwise, you could cause them more harm than good. Start with a light touch to the baby’s belly button and make a long spiraling motion going outward. You can use two fingers or your entire palm but always keep the touches light. This massage is very effective against baby colic and stomach aches caused by gas.
If you’re uncertain or afraid to massage your baby, you can visit a massage course. There are also many guides on the internet. Don’t be afraid to touch your baby, enjoy the moments you spend together.