Infant Massage, Knead to Know

Infant Massage is a great way to bond with baby.

What’s more, researchers are finding that massage may promote better sleeping, perhaps even enhance an infant’s immune system, motor skills, and intellectual development as well as relieving colic. Used before an anticipated crying episode, massage may relax your baby and possibly prevent or lessen the duration or intensity of crying Massage may also comfort your baby after crying has started and make the episode shorter. Many hospitals and child care centers provide classes on infant massage.

Here are some Infant Massage tips and techniques to help you along:

  • Use a blanket or towel and massage oil in a non-breakable container. (Test the oil on a small spot of your baby’s skin and wait a day to be sure no irritation appears.)
  • Start when your baby is in a quite yet alert state- not immediately after a feeding or when he/she is sleepy.
  • Find a comfortable location and position. The room should be warm. Lay the baby on his or her back on a towel on a bed, floor or your lap.
  • Undress your baby down to a diaper and place him/her on the blanket cradling the baby’s head to your feet.
  • Start with a gentle “hello: stroke from baby’s head to his/her toes.
  • If baby stiffens, cries or becomes irritable, move to another part of the body or simply end the massage for the day. If he/she responds well, start gently massaging her body section by section.
  • Use warm (not hot) natural oil such as vegetable or olive oil. Slowly rub a little over the baby’s body. Move your palm in clockwise, rhythmic circles on the baby’s abdomen. Use only light pressure.
  • Be sensitive to your baby. A newborn may enjoy only 2 to 5 minutes of massage.
  • Do not massage a sick or feverish child.
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