The elders in your family will always tell you to make sure that your little one gets a good massage to keep the bones and muscles strong and healthy. Including a good massage in your little one’s routine is a must to also make sure that he or she is able to sleep well. If you are looking for a guide on how to massage a newborn, you've come to the right place.
Most moms hire some help for newborn baby massage. But if you are unable to find someone to help you, it is important for you to learn all about giving your little one a good massage safely.
Also read: Easy Steps To Massage Your Baby
How a massage helps your newborn?
For babies, a parent’s touch is very important. The more time you spend with your baby, the stronger the bond. There is nothing better than a good massage for newborn for you to bond with your little one. There are other benefits of including a massage in your baby’s routine such as:
- Stimulating your baby’s sense of touch with a gentle massage has a positive effect on the social and psychological development of the baby.
- It is a great way to strengthen the bond between the baby and the mother.
- It relaxes the baby’s muscles and also stimulates growth.
- It keeps the nervous system stimulated and is critical for the motor skill development of your child.
- A good massage for newborn also means that your little one will get good sleep
- The soothing circular movements of a massage will also improve blood circulation. It can even provide your baby with great relief from any acidity or congestion.
Also read: 11 Amazing Benefits of Postnatal Massage for the Mother and Baby
How to massage a newborn baby?
Learning all about giving a newborn baby massage will help you take care of every detail and also ensure that the baby is safe in the process.
Things you need to know about how to massage a newborn baby:
#1. The best time to give a massage
Make sure that your baby is well rested and is alert when you are giving him a massage. The best time is in between two feeds when your baby is neither hungry nor too full. The best time to give your baby a massage is actually after a bath. Most moms prefer to do this before a bath so that the baby can be cleaned up. However, a massage after bath, right before your baby sleeps is most beneficial.
#2. How to massage a newborn
Preparing for a massage is the first step. Here is a step by step guide to setting up the environment for a massage:
- Place your baby on a flat surface such as a carpeted floor, bed or even a table with a towel on it.
- The room should be warm during winters and should have good circulation during summers.
- Natural light is best for your baby when you are massaging him or her.
- You may massage your baby with the diaper on or off. But, when you are massaging your baby’s tummy, ensure that the diaper is loosened.
Also read: Should we massage baby in Summers?
#3. The actual massage
Here is a step by step guide to how to massage a newborn:
- You need to seek permission from your baby first. Apply some oil on the tummy and the back of your baby’s ears and watch the reaction. If your baby cries or seems uncomfortable, try later. If the baby looks happy, you can continue with the massage.
- Start by massaging the foot. Use the thumb to massage the heel and then stroke the top of the baby’s foot with your palm. Make circular movements across the foot.
- Massage the legs with upward strokes from the foot to the thigh. You can massage both legs at the same time. Then grasp the legs and move downward form the thigh in a spiral movement.
- The arms are massaged just like the feet. Start by massaging the palm and the hands with the thumb. Then make upward movements from the wrist to the shoulder. The downward spiral movement in the opposite direction completes the massage.
- Massage the chest and shoulders by making movements from the shoulders towards the chest and back. Then, from the center of the chest, rub outwards towards the sides of the body and back to the center. Imagine you are drawing a heart shape on the chest.
- The tummy is a delicate area. So make sure you avoid too much pressure. Make clockwise movements across the belly, around the belly button. Then glide the hand across the belly gently.
- A massage on the face and head is challenging. With gentle pressure from your fingers, massage the head as if you were shampooing the head. To massage the face, start with your index finger in the center of the forehead and move your finger along the outline of the face towards the chin. Then make circular strokes on the cheek of the baby.
The last step is massaging the back. Place your baby on the tummy with the hands stretched in front. Then make clockwise circles from the upper back towards the buttocks gently. Then move down the spine with the index finger and middle finger on either side.
Also read: Benefits of Massage For New Mom
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