How To Massage Your Baby: Photos

How To Massage Your Baby: Photos

Baby_Massage1

It’s both overwhelming and terrifying to hold your new born for the first time. Your little bundle of joy is so tiny and oh so very delicate and you don’t want to do anything that might hurt the little one. Babies come with no manuals but you will be loaded with instructions and advises from doctors, grandparents and others moms. Do this, but don’t do that! How would you make sure which advice to follow? Well, parenting is an experience in itse
lf and we will tell you to enjoy it all you can and not feel burdened with any of these instructions.
Once the baby is home and moms are little over their post partum conditions, the first thing they try and do is get their babies in sleep routines.

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newbornUnderstandably so, because once the babies start sleeping in a fixed pattern, life seems to be back on track! Giving a massage to your new born can go a long way in helping you set a sleep pattern for the baby. A massage can be very relaxing and can stimulate growth and motor skills. Daily massage is also an excellent way to bond with your baby.

Babies need to be touched in order to grow both physically and emotionally. Not only will this boost their immune system but massaging is also known to relive stress in babies. Here are a few pointers which will help you massage your baby in the most fun and relaxing way!

1. Prepare the baby for the massage:

image-7It’s advised to have a set time for massage, but you may do so whenever you feel the baby is ready to take it. Babies should not be hungry but avoid doing it just after a feed. Give a gap of 15-30 minutes after a feed. Also, babies should not be feeling sleepy when you plan to give a massage.

If they are hungry or sleepy, they would be irritated while taking a massage. A full tummy would also make them uncomfortable as they might vomit. So make sure even the baby is completely up to taking a massage at that time.

This will ensure that this becomes a fun, bonding session and babies will look forward to this every day, making your job even easier.

Keep what you need ready like oil, towel, clean diapers and clothes etc. Wash your hands and remove all the jewelry. Undress the baby and make her lie down on a soft towel. Keep talking and keep the baby engaged. It is advised that you test the oil at a spot a day prior before you start the actual body massage.

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Start with soft gentle touch of your hand from head to toes. If the baby stiffen or cries, try holding her close to soothe her. If she responds well, start with the massage.

Goes without saying, your nails should be at its shortest possible length. You don’t want to scratch the baby’s delicate skin while doing this.

2. Massaging baby’s Toes and Legs:

Baby_Massage2 (1)Take a few drops of baby massage oil or baby moisturizer in your warm hands and gently start massaging the soles of your baby’s feet. Use gentle yet firm and slow strokes from the heel towards the toes. Do the same with long strokes up your baby’s legs.Baby_Massage3

Massage from the ankle up to the thigh. Then gently massage over the hip area. You may try massaging both legs at same time or one at a time. Hold your baby’s legs from the knees and gently press towards tummy. This helps expels the gas and can relieve lots of uncomforting conditions for the baby.

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3. Massaging baby’s upper body:

Baby_Massage10Once the legs and toes are done, start with the upper body massage with your hands from the shoulders. Make very gentle strokes in towards the chest. Then massage baby’s arms, starting from the shoulders towards the wrist.

Make sure you aren’t applying oil on baby’s hands. This will ensure oil is not going inside baby’s mouth when the baby playfully puts her hand in her mouth. Check for the baby’s tummy.

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It should feel soft and not too hard or full. Start massaging gently in circular motion over the tummy. Remember to avoid the belly button area if the cord hasn’t completely healed.

4. Massaging baby’s face:

Use very gentle stroke of your fingers while massaging baby’s face. This can be a very tricky area as most babies don’t like being touched and feel uncomfortable if you touch them on their face. The idea is to not to do anything forcefully.

Baby_Massage5Let the baby decide if she wants the massage on her face and for how long. It helps if you talk to the baby in a soothing voice and bring your face closer. Newborns can then see your face clearly and this will then distract them for a minute or two.

That’s all the time you need (even less) to massage the face. Start from the middle of the forehead, go down the outside of her face and then in towards the cheeks. Doing this motion 4-5 times is enough. Baby’s skin is the most sensitive here so avoid any sort of force if baby pulls her face away.

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5. Massaging baby’s head:

This again is a very soft area to give massage to a baby. Avoid force and make sure the baby is comfortable while starting a head massage. Massage with your fingertips and apply oil in a circular motion. Gently do this to the entire head as if applying shampoo. This helps the baby relax.

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6. Massaging baby’s back:

Baby_Massage11If the baby is still comfortable with the massage and isn’t crying or being cranky, turn her back gently on her stomach. If she has started holding her neck, give her a toy (ex. A rattler) to keep her busy. If she is still small and cannot hold her head, give support to her head while turning her over.

Now use long and smooth strokes from just below her neck to the lower back. You may do even longer strokes and do this from the neck to the back of her legs.
Here is a quick checklist of Do’s and Don’ts for giving massage to a baby –

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Baby_Massage12Make sure the room temperature is comfortable for baby. Too hot or too cold temperature can make her irritated instead of making her feel relaxed.

You may undress the baby completely or let her be in her diapers to avoid any accidents.
Make sure the baby is well rested and alert for her to fully enjoy the massage.

The baby may feel scared for the first few times as it is a new experience for her. Try and keep a hand placed on her so that she feels safe.

Keep the baby engaged by giving her toys or talking to her.
If she has a favorite piece of music, playing it too will make the baby feel comfortable?

Keep a check on oil reaction. Redness, rashes or bumps can indicate a reaction.
Nails should be cut and your hands should be warm and not cold.

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Never apply too much pressure. Remember that the baby’s bones are fragile and too much pressure can hurt the baby.
Don’t grip the shoulders or pull the limbs too hard. Baby’s massage is meant to be soothing.