Infant massage is a phenomenal way to bond with a new baby and can be a soothing activity for both baby and mom (or dad).
Recent research shows that there are possibly multiple health benefits to massaging your little one, like better sleep, colic relief, a stronger immune system and enhanced motor skills. Overall, a strengthened connection between mom (or dad) and baby is in store.
Feeling a bit nervous about massaging a fragile little one?
Don’t be! Here are a few tips on getting started. And remember, if your baby is fussy or just not into, simply pause and try again another day.
The How-To’s of Infant Massage:
(1) Be sure you are in a comfortably warm room with dim lighting.
(2) Undress your baby so she is in just a fresh diaper and lay her on a soft blanket or towel.
(3) Use your favorite soothing baby oil or lotion, and don’t forget to warm it in your hands first (if your hands are cold, run them under warm water first and dry thoroughly).
(4) Using a soft touch, gently rub your baby in soothing strokes over her entire body from head to toe. Be sure to use pressure that’s firm enough so it won’t tickle your baby, but light enough to be soothing.
(5) Gently talk and sing to your baby to make sure it’s a pleasurable experience. Pay attention to what your baby enjoys the most and focus on those areas.
(6) If your baby is up for it, gently place her on her tummy and also massage her back.
(7) Follow baby’s cues—only massage for as long as your baby enjoys it. Some babies will only enjoy five or 10 minutes of massage, while others will enjoy much more time.
(8) Wipe off any excess lotion or oil and dress her in comfortable clothing.
Then gently snuggle and speak softly to your baby — cherish what can become a truly positive routine for you and your child. For hands-on help, Bubbles Academy’s Bubble Newborns class includes an instructional workshop on infant massage.
Guest Author: Marcie Robinson of Chicago Mom Source. Marcie is a mom of two and a real estate agent who resides in the western suburbs after living in the city for many years.
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