Gently does it: How to give your baby a massage

Posted in Gentle Parenting.
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There are so many reasons to learn to massage your baby, but perhaps you don’t know where to get started or even why you should? 

Why baby massage is good for little ones

Baby massage has lots of benefits including, strengthening the bond between parent and child, providing a mindful ritual you can do together, learning more about your baby and their needs and improving sleep … for you both.

Touch also has proven health benefits and has been found to soothe pain in infants as well as help premature babies thrive.

Massage is another simple way you can care for your baby’s skin, just like choosing a premium nappy or bathing your child with carefully chosen products.

So let’s get started!

Here’s a speedy 101 on how to massage your baby:

Plan ahead

You’ll need some baby massage oil or baby lotion. Make sure your fingernails are trimmed. Be prepared to stop if your baby doesn’t seem to be enjoying things. You’re both learning here, so take things slowly but surely.

Pick your moment

You want your baby to be content and alert at massage time. After bath time or nap time works for most babies.

Find the right place

You could place a clean towel on your bed or the floor of your living room. Wherever you both feel comfy works best. Make sure no bright lights are shining in your baby’s eyes.

Talk it through

Let your baby know that it’s massage time as you prepare the room for this skin-to-skin time. You can ask your baby if they’d like a massage and encourage some chatter as you get ready to begin.

Warm things up

The massage room, your hands and the massage oil or cream should all be warm, so your baby isn’t startled. Nobody likes icy hands. Not relaxing at all!

Baby massage

Let’s go!

  1. Begin by massaging your baby’s feet, using steady and gentle strokes from the heel to your infant’s toes. Make sure your little one can’t roll off the massage surface at all times.
  2. Next, massage with long strokes up your baby’s legs, from ankle to thigh to hip. You can massage one leg at a time, or both at once avoiding their genital area.
  3. Move to your little one’s chest, stroking gently but steadily.
  4. Next move to your baby’s arms from shoulder to wrist, avoiding the hands – because you don’t want her to put oily hands in her mouth.
  5. You can massage your baby’s tummy next, but avoid putting any pressure on it and stroke in a clockwise direction. Gently does it, though.
  6. Move to your baby’s face and gently massage her forehead and cheeks with the tips of your fingers. Again, avoid getting the oil in your baby’s mouth.
  7. If your baby is still enjoying things, you could give her a head massage next. Start at the scalp and gently move outwards.
  8. Finish up by bundling your baby up and clean towel or swaddle and giving her what’s technically known as a ‘big snuggle!’

Baby massage

You may find that your baby doesn’t enjoy their massage, to begin with, or might get fussy part the way through. It’s best to stop if your baby seems unhappy.

Come back another day and try again, slowly building up to longer massages as your baby gets familiar with the process. Happy massaging!

This is a sponsored post for Huggies® Ultra Dry Nappies.

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