The goal of baby massage is to make your little one feel comfortable and familiar with your touch. While there are no set guidelines for the minimum age to start massaging your baby, it is possible to give them a nourishing touch from birth. However, some babies may find formal, structured massage too stimulating in the first few weeks. You can also try placing your baby on their stomach for a brief massage, although some babies may not like to be in this position for a long time. This is because of the five senses, touch is one of the most developed at birth, and there is research that suggests that infant massage has tremendous benefits in helping babies grow and thrive.
Studies have found that when coconut oil was used (as opposed to mineral oil), babies (both premature and full-term) gained more weight. Additionally, research has shown that human contact reduces stress and lowers blood pressure in adults, and babies are no different. 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 slightly fewer postnatal complications. Since babies have an underdeveloped sphincter in the esophagus, they cannot burp on their own.
It is also a tummy ache massage suitable for babies, since the pattern of the letters in the massage follows the arrangement of the intestines inside. Additional research suggests that infant massage is especially useful for mothers with postpartum depression who have trouble bonding with their babies. Just as massage therapy can be used to treat various conditions in adults, massage therapy can also be used to treat conditions in infants and young children. Baby massage was introduced some 30 years ago in neonatal wards to support the development of premature babies in intensive care units. In one study, babies who received massage showed better heart rate variability (HRV), a measure of nervous system function each week.
As a result, babies' “senses of safety and security increase, and all of this leads the individual to a more balanced state of well-being overall,” says Ronda Cheatham, owner of A Touch of Grace Massage Therapy in Remington, Virginia. For babies older than one month, you can use any edible, odorless oil so that there is no problem, even if the oil is ingested by mistake.