The goal of baby massage is to make the little one feel comfortable and familiar with their own touch. While there are no set guidelines for the minimum age to start massaging your baby, it is generally recommended to wait until the baby is at least a few weeks old. This is because some babies may find structured massage too stimulating in the early days. Ronda Cheatham, owner of A Touch of Grace Massage Therapy in Remington, Virginia, explains that when babies receive a nourishing massage, their “senses of safety and security increase, and all of this leads the individual to a more balanced state of well-being overall.”If you and your baby are enjoying the massage, you can continue repeating the rubbing movements, starting from the head and moving down to the feet.
For babies older than one month, you can use any edible, odorless oil so that there is no problem if it is ingested by mistake. You can also make a mixture of pissi masur ki dal ka, kapurkachli, haldi (in much less quantity), chandan, malai, 2-3 drops of ghee and apply it on your baby after oil massage. It is important to note that some vegetable oils containing oleic acid should not be used for babies with sensitive or dry skin. Additionally, research suggests that infant massage is especially beneficial for mothers with postpartum depression who have difficulty bonding with their babies. If you are massaging your newborn before the umbilical stump has fallen off, be sure to avoid the belly area or be very careful when doing so. When it comes to baby massage classes, some babies may find a formal class overwhelming in the first few weeks. A study in 2004 found that infants in intensive care units who received massage spent less time in the hospital, scored slightly better on developmental tests, and had fewer postnatal complications.
Babies born to depressed mothers who were massaged cried less and showed greater emotional and social development as they grew older. During the first month (or longer in premature babies), the baby's skin matures and develops its own natural protective barrier.