How (and Why) to Give Your Baby a Massage
Massaging is a wonderful way to bond with your baby, but there are additional benefits for baby and mom/dad.
For baby, the benefits include helping with digestion, teething pains, boost muscle development, calm, and if baby is premature, even aide in gaining weight. For mom/dad it can help parents feel more connected with their baby, more empowered in their role and capabilities, and even help with postpartum depression. (Source One and Source Two) If you or your partner is struggling with bonding with your baby, this is a really great way to connect with your baby.
You can start these massages as soon as baby is born (or anytime after!) A wonderful time to start a massage is before bedtime.
Make sure the environment is relaxed, (you can put some music on or not). You can even light some candles if you want!
Lay baby on a towel or blanket, undressed. Dab a little coconut oil on your hands, explain to your baby what you are doing and why, and follow baby’s cues.
Start by beginning to rub on the feet and legs, holding the heel in one hand and rubbing the leg with your other hand. Make a gentle “milking” motion.
Reverse motion and work on other leg, and rub both feet. Place both hands on either side of baby’s head, slowly running your hands down from top of head down to toes.
Using two fingers, rub softly along your baby’s jaw, and then move down to shoulders and arms. Fold your hands on baby’s chest, then push out to the sides, as if you were smoothing the pages of an open book. With your fingertips, slide clockwise (to follow natural path of digestion) along baby’s tummy.
Turn your baby onto their stomach and slowly stroke from side to side and then up and down. That’s it!
Have you ever tried baby massage?