Baby massage isn’t new, the practice has been around for centuries with people from ancient Asian cultures witnessing the benefits massage could provide for thousands of years.
What is more recent however is the research available that can now back the benefits of giving your baby a little rub down each day. Various studies have found a range of benefits for babies and their parents including reductions in stress hormone levels, improved sleep and digestion and a decrease in overall crying time… who doesn’t love the sound of that!
There are a few essential tips and tricks to keep in mind however to make sure massage time provides all of these wonderful benefits.
According to the baby massage experts at the Infant Massage Information Service, these 3 simple tips will help ensure you get the most of massage for both you and your baby.
- Massage after a nap not after a bath
Massage is actually both stimulating and relaxing for babies so it’s best to give them a massage when their fresh and well-rested, not when they’re already worn out from the stimulation their nervous system has been through after having a bath. Massaging after a bath can actually make it more difficult for some babies to fall asleep because they can find the combination of these activities overstimulating.
- Use a good quality massage oil
Babies put their hands and feet in their mouths during massage time, so your little one is going to ingest a small quantity of whatever you are using on their skin during massage. Look for an organic, cold-pressed, fruit, nut, vegetable, seed or plant oil that is safe to ingest but be wary of some exceptions. Infant Massage Instructors and Paediatric Massage Consultants warn there are some exceptions however, olive oil should be avoided at all costs for example as research has shown this can cause eczema by damaging the natural protective layer of your baby’s skin. One of the best oils to use is cold-pressed organic sesame oil because this oil is packed full of beneficial vitamins and minerals to protect and moisturise your baby’s skin.
- Always start with the legs
Babies love leg massage! This is one of their favourite areas to receive massage and because they are used to having their legs touched a lot due to the number of times each day they are changed, it is the least intrusive way to begin massage time. Use long firm strokes, moving from the thigh to the ankle. Stroking with the direction of hair growth will be most relaxing for your baby.
Massage is not only a lot of fun, it’s a relaxing activity you can include in your daily routine to help bond and connect with your little one.
For more massage tips and advice, visit the Infant Massage Information Service website https://www.babymassage.net.au/
Disclaimer: Any information shared on Stokke Australia's platform is intended for general guidance only and must never be considered a substitute for advice provided by a doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care professional with questions you may have.