Infant massages offer a variety of benefits for both mother and baby. Spending time giving your baby a massage can help promote better digestion, improve sleep, encourage healthy brain development, and strengthen the bond between parent and child. Keep reading for more information on the benefits of infant massage and how to perform it.
How to Perform Infant Massage
You’ll want to time your baby’s massage session just right to see the maximum benefits. If you begin too soon after a feeding, you could cause digestive upset. The ideal time to massage your baby is at least 45 minutes after a meal and right before bed or a nap.
An infant massage can be a very soothing part of your baby’s daily bedtime routine.
Start by creating a calming atmosphere where both you and your baby can relax and be comfortable. Place your baby on their back on a bed or changing table and try to position yourself where you can maintain eye contact and your baby can see your facial expressions. Gently undress your baby and consider using massage oil or baby lotion to soften the touch on your baby’s skin. Make sure the room is quiet and warm, and lay your baby on a soft blanket or towel to enhance their comfort and enjoyment.
Begin with a gentle touch and use slow, controlled movements on each part of your child’s body including their head, neck, shoulders, back, legs, feet and hands. You can also spend some time gently flexing and extending each of your baby’s limbs as a form of range of motion exercises.
To enhance the massage, you can try singing or speaking to your baby throughout the session as a way of increasing feelings of love and attachment. An infant massage session should result in a beautiful bonding experience between parent and child.
Benefits of Infant Massage
Many parents do not realize how much power is in their tender touch. There are several benefits of infant massage that affect both the parent or caregiver and the baby:
- Promotes the growth of the parent-child relationship
- Encourages bonding through eye contact and physical touch
- Increases parents’ feelings of attachment and desire to care for their baby
- Increases parents’ ability to understand their baby’s cues
- Enhances oxygen flow to your baby’s body cells
- Improves your child’s breathing patterns and lung function
- Encourages healthy brain development in your baby
- Promotes the social, emotional, and cognitive development of your baby
- Promotes your child’s relaxation and healthy sleep
- Decreases irritability, gas, colic, and crying in your baby
- Helps with the regulation of your baby’s internal body systems (such as respiratory, circulatory, digestive and endocrine)
So if you want to see an improvement in your parent-child relationship as well as a whole host of other health benefits, consider adding infant massage sessions to your baby’s daily or nightly routine.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your infant’s health, please give us a call today and schedule an appointment with one of our friendly pediatricians in Arvada.