As a new parent it is daunting knowing exactly what activity to introduce to your baby and what value it will bring to your baby's life. You want to give your baby the best, the best love care and attention. Yet it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information available to you. I remember when my daughters were new-born I was so confused about the array of baby products available...do you buy this gadget, feed your baby this formula or take her to every mother-baby group....It was all too much. I wanted something, simple, affordable, and brought joy to the parenting process. That is why I started baby massage.
What Is Baby /Infant Massage?
Baby massage consists of a series of gentle simple stroking movements over your baby's body. You can undress your baby and massage her as part of her daily care routine or you can slip in a quick massage during the day when she is wearing her clothes.
What Are The Benefits Of Baby Massage?
If you have ever received a massage you will know how relax, energised and stretched you feel afterwards. Baby massage has the same benefit for your baby.
There are many physical and psychological benefits from giving your baby a gentle massage.
Five Main Benefits of Baby Massage
1. Improves Confidence. Baby massage helps you to get used to touching your baby. If you are apprehensive or unsure how to handle your baby, giving her a simple massage can help you feel more confident and assured in your ability to carry and touch your baby.
2. Enhances Communication. Every time you massage your baby, you pick up non verbal and verbal cues about how they feel and what parts of their body like stroking. This information is useful if your baby feels distressed, unhappy or cold. You learn how to respond quicker to their needs.
3.Eases Parental Stress. Parenting is stressful and hard work. Giving your baby a massage allows you time to sit down, relax and enjoy quiet time with your baby. The more relaxed and comfortable you are it becomes easier for your baby to settle and enjoy a good nights sleep. A definite boom for you.
4.Stimulates Circulation and Digestion. As you massage your baby you help to stimulate all her bodily systems especially the digestive and nervous system. This makes it easier for your baby to settle and be contented. Feeding and sleeping play a central role in your baby's life. So the easier it is for your daughter to digest her food and sleep the happier she grows.
5.Encourages Bonding.If you had a difficult birth or your baby has a medical problem or you suffer from post natal depression, it is hard to bond with your baby. Massaging encourages you to slowly get used to looking after your baby and spending quality time with her.
Are There Are Disadvantages Of Baby Massage?
Although massage is fine, it is best to wait till your baby has had their 6-8 weeks check before progressing on more advance massage techniques involving moving the hips. Always listen and respect your baby. if at any time they look distressed or uncomfortable, stop what you are doing and give them time to readjust and settle down.
As your baby grows you can still give them a massage. My "babies" are now teenagers yet they still love me giving them their hand or foot massage as part of their "wind down- bedtime routine!".
I urge you to find out more about the benefits of baby massage. Maybe there is a class near you or you can look online for in-depth articles and videos.