Baby Massage is done to improve the circulation, enhance release of hormones in the body, reduce colic, improve digestion and help the baby to sleep soundly. The soft strokes of hand stimulate the production of the Oxytocin hormone in the baby and the mother. Oxytocin hormone provides warm, loving and caring feeling.
Steps of Baby Massage
The strokes for Baby Massage should be stimulating or relaxing, depending on baby’s requirements and developmental level. The following are the steps of Baby Massage:
Tummy: Put the baby in a comfortable position. Start at the base of the rib cage, stroke down with one hand, then the other, in a paddle-wheel-like motion. Massage his abdomen with fingertips in a circular, clockwise motion. Walk the fingers around his navel, clockwise. Hold knees and feet together and gently press knees up toward his abdomen. Rotate baby’s hips around a few times to the right.
Head and Face: Cradle baby’s head in both hands, massage the scalp with fingertips. Avoid the fontanel, the soft spot on top of baby’s head. Massage his ears between the thumb and index finger. Trace a heart shape on baby’s face, bringing the hands together at the chin. Place the thumbs between baby’s eyebrows and stroke out. Stroke from the bridge of the nose out over the cheeks and then by using fingertips massage the jaw in small circles.
Chest: First of all, place both the hands on baby’s chest and then stroke outward from his sternum to his shoulders. In the second step, beginning at his sternum, trace a heart shape bringing both hands up to his shoulders, then down and back together.
Arms: For massaging arm, hold baby’s wrist with one hand. Relax his upper arm by tapping it lightly. After this, gently stroke from baby’s shoulder down to his wrist. With each hand grasping baby’s arm, one right above the other, stroke down from shoulder to wrist with both hands rotating in opposite directions. Then massage the palm, moving thumb over thumb from heel of his hand to his fingers. Stroke down top of hand from wrist to fingertips and gently squeeze and pull each finger.
Back: The mother has to be very careful while massaging baby’s back. Firstly, place baby on tummy horizontally then keep his/her hands in front of him, not at his sides. With both the hands on baby’s back, move each hand back and forth from the base of the neck to his buttocks. Then, hold baby’s buttocks with one hand and use the other to stroke down from his neck to his buttocks.
Legs: Lift one of his legs by the ankle and relax it by lightly tapping the upper thigh. Hold baby’s ankle with one hand and the other hand will hold around baby’s upper thigh then stroke from his thigh down to his foot. With mother’s hands grasping baby’s leg at the thigh, one right above the other, stroke down from hip to foot with both hands rotating in opposite directions. On the sole of baby’s foot, use a thumb-over-thumb motion to massage from heel to toes. Now the mother can use her whole hand to stroke the bottom of baby’s foot from heel to toes. Then gently massage around his ankle using small circles. After this, the mother can roll baby’s leg between her hands.
Benefits of Baby Massage
Baby Massage provides myriad benefits like it helps the mother to understand baby's behaviour, crying and body language and also reduces the baby’s emotional distress. It ensures relief from wind, colic, constipation and teething discomfort. Baby Massage helps to stimulate baby’s brain development, normalize muscle tone, improves circulation and enhances neurological development.
Tips for Baby Massage
The best time to massage the baby is just before his bath, when he is not feeling hungry and irritable. The easiest way to give a massage to the child is while sitting on the floor, legs outstretched with the baby lying on the legs.
(Last Updated on : 01-03-2017)