Baby massage: benefits, when and how?

Relaxation, better digestion, parent-child connection, improved sleep… Baby massage has many merits. But then when and how to do it? What should you avoid? Charlie Crane explains it all to you. Namaste!

 

What are the benefits of a baby massage?

There are many of them! Here is the list:

  • Helps develop parent-child attachment bonds thanks to the closeness and complicity of the moment.
  • Trains non-verbal communication: massage requires listening to the baby to know if he or she likes the movements performed.
  • Relaxation: it is a real moment of relaxation for the baby but also for the parent.
  • A better quality sleep and wake up thanks to the secretion of melatonin, the sleep hormone.
  • Allows to reduce the stress that the baby can feel.
  • Improves digestion, relieves colic and gas.
  • Stimulates and improves blood circulation.

 

From what age can I start massaging my baby?

You can start massages from the very first days, testing movements little by little. The advantage of starting early is to establish a ritual that your child will appreciate even as he or she grows: by the time they reach about 10 months of age, babies are more alert and generally less focused. Note that massages become a little more complicated when your baby can roll over!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In what conditions? 

Choose a spacious and comfortable place for both of you: NOGA changing, parent bed, mattress, TAMI playmat … The idea is to create a cocoon in which you will be willing to enjoy the moment. Don’t forget to remove your rings and bracelets that could hurt your baby.

 

What type of oil should I use?

Prefer organic, virgin, cold-pressed and perfume-free vegetable oils. Rapeseed oil is particularly suitable for baby’s skin. You can mix it with sunflower oil and flaxseed oil which contains a lot of Omega 3.

Avoid oleaginous oils (sweet almond, shea, olive…) because they may be allergenic to the skin of a young child. If you only have this type of oil on hand, no formal prohibition but make sure that the composition is 100% oil.

Do not skimp on the quantity of oil to make the massage more pleasant.

 

When to do the massage?

Make sure that your child is ready to receive a massage: he will be less receptive if he is hungry, just after digestion or if he wants to sleep.

Do not hesitate to stop and start again later if you see that he is not receptive!

The massage is offered and stopped on demand. Test it at different times to see which one he accepts best.

 

What movements should be made?

First of all, the rhythm of the massage will be set by the child’s reaction.

You can start with the feet to test your baby’s tolerance.

Try to keep in touch with your baby at all times and observe his behaviour to see if the movements are pleasant for him (astonishment, surprise, etc.).

Make large circular movements from groin to toes with both hands, to free the joint. You can alternate with rotating movements.

Use your two thumbs to apply a little pressure under the arch of the foot and between the toes.

Move up to the pelvis and make small rotations before moving up to the abdominal area. Massage the belly in a clockwise direction and apply gentle pressure with the palm of your hand in rhythm with the baby’s breathing.

These movements help to relieve gas, colic… Almost immediate effect guaranteed!

Turn your baby over, resting his belly on your forearm and move back and forth on his back. Be careful, the youngest babies may not accept this position: if this is the case, do not insist and try again later.

For the upper body, imitate the same movements as for the lower body by stretching and rotating the arms. Stimulate the palm of the hand with your thumbs: this area is very relaxing for the baby.

If you want to massage the face, you can start at the base of the nose between the eyebrows and massage up to the ears. They will enjoy being stimulated under the eyes, from the lips to the ears and on the chin.

The skull is a sensitive area for babies under one year old, so avoid it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How long should the massage last?

Allow about 20 minutes, with 3/4 repetitions per movement. Note that this is only an indication. The massage is adapted to your baby’s reactions. Sometimes your massage will only last 5 minutes!

 

As you can see, massaging your baby has many benefits from a physical and emotional point of view. Above all, take your time and adapt to your child, it should be a moment of pleasure for both of you.

 

The Charlie Crane Team