In general, infant massage is suitable from birth, but most parents start attending classes when the baby is between 4 and 6 weeks old. Before this, even though babies love the nourishing touch, being in a class can seem overwhelming for them. That said, sometimes we have babies aged 2-3 weeks in sessions. There are no established guidelines regarding the minimum age to start the baby's massage.
Although it can be given a nourishing touch from birth, some babies may find formal, structured massage too stimulating in the first few weeks. From improving sleep to a better bond, baby massage has a lot to offer the baby and the caregiver. Learn more and learn the best techniques. What is it that I don't love about a massage? No matter what kind of massage you receive, from a deep tissue massage to a prenatal massage and even a perineal massage (well, that's a bit of a stretch), you receive physical and mental benefits. So why not try baby massage for your little one? There are some important benefits of infant massage that we will explore in this post.
Now is not the time to tickle. You want a calm and peaceful mood. For young babies, use gentle and gentle movements. For young children, you can use firmer “massage” movements. Think of a massage stroke as softening your baby's skin, rather than rubbing it.
Benefits of Baby Massage: Mother's Massage for Baby's Feet Massage baby's feet with gentle, gentle movements. Massage baby's legs, work shins and thighs. Move to the arms, making sure to massage the baby's hands as well. For the baby's stomach, massage clockwise (in the same way as the baby's digestive system moves). Massage the baby's chest, but avoid the delicate area of the head and neck. While you don't need baby massage oil, using massage oil can make the experience more comfortable and enjoyable as it reduces friction between the skin.
According to a study published in the journal Indian Pediatrics, the type of massage oil you use can affect your baby's health and growth. Researchers found that when coconut oil was used (as opposed to mineral oil), babies (both premature and full-time) gained more weight. Recent research from the University of Manchester also studied the role of oil used in baby massage and found that olive oil and sunflower oil appeared to break down the baby's skin barrier function. Babies who were massaged with these oils were more at risk of developing skin conditions such as baby's eczema. It's never too early to start massaging your baby. Your baby's first massage may even be on the day of his birth when you rub his vernix.
However, if you massage a newborn, you'll want to be extra careful when using any oil on their sensitive newborn skin. The time of day you choose to massage your baby could make a difference in how well the baby responds to the massage. Avoid massaging the baby too soon after feeding, as it can cause them to regurgitate. When Stephanie Agakian gave birth to her baby at 25 weeks gestation, she was a mere 1 pound 5 ounces. Agakian was told to massage her baby at home to promote growth and overall health. This is because many studies link massage to healthy weight gain.
In another study, newborns who received massage gained more weight per day, appeared more conscious, and had increased motor skills. A more recent study supports these findings, adding that baby massage also increases bone density. Recent studies suggest that infant massage can also lower levels of bilirubin, the compound in the blood that causes jaundice, and increase the frequency of bowel movement, helping to expel excess bilirubin from the body, not to mention constipation. There are many studies that show that human contact reduces stress and lowers blood pressure in adults, and babies are no different. This study found evidence that massage therapy can save the lives of premature babies. In one study, babies who received massage showed better heart rate variability (HRV), a measure of nervous system function each week. The researchers concluded that baby massage noticeably reduces stress and therefore promotes the maturation of immature nervous systems of premature babies. So how does massage reduce stress hormones? Touch causes endorphins to be released which then causes cortisol to decrease.
As a result, babies' “senses of safety and security increase” and all of this leads them to a more balanced state of well-being overall” says Ronda Cheatham, owner of A Touch of Grace Massage Therapy in Remington Virginia. Have you ever wondered why so many baby seats rockers and swings have a vibration function? This is because vibration can help relieve colic. However research shows that prolonged time in chairs or other baby containers is not good for their development. This study found that infant massage is comparable to vibrating chairs in terms of successfully calming a colicky baby. Studies show that the bond between baby and mother is reinforced through eye contact and skin-to-skin contact. Additional research suggests that infant massage is especially useful for mothers with postpartum depression who have trouble bonding with their babies. But the benefits don't just apply to mom. A study published in The Journal of Perinatal Education found that baby massage significantly reduced parental stress and improved the bond between dad and baby. Studies also show that parents who practice children's massage can communicate better with their children. And parents of children with chronic illnesses report lower levels of anxiety as a result of practicing baby massage. Because babies have an underdeveloped sphincter in their esophagus they cannot burp on their own. This causes gas to build up in their system causing abdominal discomfort. Infant massage helps relieve that pressure says Cheatham. Another study shows that this benefit of massage also applies to preschoolers. When preschoolers are evaluated after receiving massages they perform better. Check with your baby's pediatrician if they have any underlying conditions before starting any kind of infant or child massages.