Massages are synonymous with well-being and relaxation. When you caress and massage your baby, you are not only creating special moments, but you also promote their development, strengthen the affective bond that exists between you and stimulate communication. That is why it is important that you include this ritual in your daily routine.
Why should you massage your baby?
During the first months of life, skin-to-skin contact not only generates pleasant sensations, but also transmits security to babies and helps to strengthen their attachment to the mother, as confirmed by a study conducted at Bozok University and Atatürk University.
Other research conducted at the University of Massachusetts found that massages , especially when applying moderate pressure, also have a positive effect on the physical and psychological development of newborns since they stimulate the release of growth hormone, reduce the excitability and improve the quality of sleep.
Massages also help reduce cortisol, the stress hormone, since they stimulate the production of endorphins, which are mainly responsible for the feeling of relaxation. You can maximize this effect by using calendula-based creams or essential oils from Weleda, a natural cosmetics brand whose products have a 100% natural origin.
In fact, calendula is a plant that has been used for centuries in natural medicine to treat different conditions. It is as effective as aloe vera in treating diaper rash, according to a study conducted at Kashan University, and it also hydrates the skin, is an excellent antioxidant and has a relaxing effect on mood, which explains why it is often used in many children’s products.
3 types of massages that your baby will love
1. Relaxing massages
Relaxing massages are an excellent option to calm your baby when he is anxious, crying a lot, or before going to sleep. To do this, place your little one face down on a comfortable blanket, rub your hands well to warm them up and begin by massaging your baby’s back with gentle upward movements, but without pressing the spine. Then, place your baby on his back and repeat the procedure on the abdomen, but making circular movements, in a clockwise direction. For a better result, use calendula oil , which has hydrating and soothing properties, as well as stimulating cell activity and preventing inflammation.
2. Therapeutic massages
This type of massage is perfect to stimulate the development and growth of babies. To start, place your little one on a soft surface and, as they settle down, rub both hands together to warm them up. Begin by massaging your feet in circular motions, paying attention to each toe to stimulate bone development. Then, massage your legs from top to bottom and vice versa, from the thighs to the heel to activate circulation. Next, massage the abdomen with circular movements and the chest, pressing from the inside out. Later, massage the hands as you did with the legs and, finally, turn the little one over and massage his back, from the neck to the buttocks, without touching the spine.
3. Stimulating massages
Stimulating massages help to activate children’s circulation, while promoting their development and stimulating the motor response. To perform this type of massage, place your baby on a comfortable surface, rub your hands to warm them and begin by massaging her feet, making circular movements with your thumbs. Then, take one of his legs and perform circular motions, from the outside to the inside. Repeat the procedure, with the other leg and both arms. If you want to maximize the effect of this type of massage, use calendula-based products, which usually have an immunostimulating and antimicrobial action .
Keep in mind that, although you can apply these massages at any time of the day, the ideal is to wait at least two hours after your baby has eaten so as not to affect digestion.