Just like adults, babies need to be massaged too. Apart from being extremely soothing for the baby, massages help to improve blood circulation and provide adequate bonding opportunities for parents and their babies.
A baby massage is the gentle stroking of the baby’s body with the use of massage oil or lotion, specifically made for babies. There are no set guidelines regarding the minimum age to start massaging a baby. There is a general opinion that the infants must complete one month of their life before they get a massage. The reason for this is that a baby’s skin barrier is underdeveloped at birth, and it takes 15 days for the skin to become water-resistant.
Overall, one month is the ideal age since it has multiple benefits: the umbilical cord stub would have fallen, and navel had dried, the skin is less sensitive than at birth, the skin barrier is stronger, and the baby at this age can be more responsive to touch.
Benefits of Baby Massage
- Relieves stress, relaxes muscles
- Stimulates nervous system
- Helps baby sleep better
- May improve the quality of life for babies
- Could help improve blood circulation
- Way to deal with postnatal depression
- Boosts psychological and social development
Setup For Massage
- Sit on a bed or soft carpeted floor
- Maintain a comfortable room temperature.
- Choose a massage oil that is specifically made for babies.
- Lighting in the room is important and use as much natural light as possible.
- You can choose to massage your baby with or without the nappy,
Conditions Where A Massage May Be Beneficial
Massage may also be relevant in relieving certain medical conditions like
- Cough and congestion.
- Constipation, gas, and colic.
- Gastroesophageal reflux
There is no restriction on how less or more you can massage your baby. It is great, though, to have a fixed massage routine since it helps your baby reap all the long-term benefits of massage. If your baby faces certain adverse medical problems, then consult the baby’s doctor about the ideal massage routine.