I'm surely not the only mother out there who loves to touch her baby. Their smooth soft skin is so delicious and it's irresistible when they giggle and chuckle in response to our kisses and tickles.
Touch is one of the first senses to develop after birth, so its no wonder that touch is an important way to communicate and sooth our babies. It is practically a built in instinct to cuddle and pat them if they cry, it's one of the best ways to express our love.
Baby massage is a wonderfully beneficial way to touch our babies because its an interaction that stimulates all of their senses through skin contact.
Among the benefits are:
Helping baby sleep longer. A massage before bedtime can help gently sooth and relax them into a deeper, more restful sleep.
Relieve constipation and gas. A few strokes on the tummy with some leg bends or "bicycles" could do wonders to help them relieve gas and discomfort.
It can be a great way for other family members to bond with baby.
Helps mothers learn about their babies and form a strong bond of love and trust. It helps mothers feel relaxed too!
Stimulates baby's neurological development and improves baby's general health and wellbeing, especially for special children.
If you'd like to try it, here's a simple massage routine to get started!
First pick a good time. Baby shouldn't be tired or hungry. For us, I chose after her morning bath and before the morning nap so she's nice and warm and relaxed, just in time for bed.
It's up to you if baby is clothed or not, but do make sure you're in a nice warm space without glaring overhead lights.
You can buy a massage oil for babies since there are lots of nice options on the market, but you can just use a plain, natural vegetable oil like olive, sunflower or jojoba.
Let your baby know the massage is about to start by saying something like "Mummy is going to give you a massage now!"
Start with the legs and feet. With one hand, hold an ankle firmly while stroking the leg from hip to ankle in a "milking" motion. Firmly stroke baby's sole from heel to toes then gently squeeze and rub each toe. Finish by stroking both legs together form hips to ankles.
Then massage baby's stomach in a clockwise motion.
For the chest, place both hands on baby’s chest with fingers flat. Stroke up baby’s sternum, around the top of the chest, out to the shoulders, then back down to the bottom of your baby’s sternum, making a heart shape. Then, gently stroke outwards over the shoulders.
Do the milking action on each of the arms and gently press your thumbs into their palms.
Finish by turning baby over for a little back rub.
If you are not confident, there are places in Kuala Lumpur that offer massage classes.