Massaging your baby is not difficult, and this privileged moment will allow you to establish a real communication between you and him. Here are some tips for a successful massage. So go ahead!
- The environment necessary for a good massage
- How to massage your baby?
- Baby leg massage
- Baby’s foot massage
- Baby belly massage
- Baby arm massage
- Baby hand massage
- Baby face massage
- Baby back massage
The massage of a baby is possible from birth , however, parents generally start around 1 month , and continue until the age of 3 years. The average duration of a massage is 30 minutes , but it can vary depending on the age of the child , and his habit of being massaged .
The environment necessary for a good massage
The massage should be carried out in a warm (approximately 26 ° C) and quiet room . Performed before the nap or bedtime , it can release excitement and promote sleep . Getting out of the bath is also a good time. The only time to avoid is after the bottle or meal .
The position adopted must be comfortable for the baby and for the parent. For this, you have several solutions :
- Sit on the floor or on a bed , with your back flexible and straight. Place the baby in front of you , on a pillow or blanket, as close to you as possible, this will reassure him.
- You can also sit with your legs stretched out, your back supported, and place your baby in the hollow between your legs , on a blanket or pillow.
- The baby may be lying on the changing table
Before you start, remember to remove your jewelry , wash your hands , and above all, relax : it is an essential element for the massage to be beneficial. Coat your hands with oil or milk and rub them for a few moments to warm them up .
How to massage your baby?
The massage is different from the caresses: the contact must be hot, soft, but firm , made of stimulating and reassuring pressures for the baby.
A hand must always remain in contact with it .
At first, pay attention to his skull , which remains fragile for several months.
Start at the extremities of the body : massaging the trunk first could make it nervous. If he is not used to it, go gradually , massaging only the legs for example.
Baby leg massage
Massage each leg with the inside of the hand , between the thumb and forefinger, thumb down, making successive the two hands from the groin to the ankle . This releases tension from the legs, and promotes blood circulation to the feet.
Then lift one leg towards you, being careful not to lift the baby’s pelvis , and surround it with both hands , as if to form a bracelet. Carry out a light “screwing-unscrewing” movement to relax the entire thickness of the muscle.
You can also roll the leg between your hands, from the thigh to the ankle .
Baby’s foot massage
Massaging the foot is beneficial for the whole body, as it is extremely rich in nerve endings .
Slide one inch after the other on the sole of the foot, from the heel to the toes , then massage each toe . Gently massage the heel, then the entire sole of the foot with both thumbs . Do not forget the top of the foot and the ankles .
After massaging both legs and feet, massage the buttocks with small circular movements .
Baby belly massage
Put your hands on the baby’s belly for a moment, then massage, bringing one hand after the other towards you . Then slide your hands flat on each side of the belly . With the flat of your fingers, massage clockwise into a circle.
Belly massage tones the digestive system, helps regulate transit and relieve gas and constipation .
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Baby arm massage
Hold the wrist with one hand and, with the other, massage the arm from the shoulder to the wrist, with the palm of the palm , the inside of the hands facing you. Stabilize the shoulder so as not to lift the baby . As for the legs, then carry out a light movement of “screwing-unscrewing” , the two hands always close together so as not to twist the elbow.
Baby hand massage
As for the feet, massage the fingers, then the top of the hand , and finally the wrist by making small circles .
Baby face massage
With the flat of your fingers, smooth the forehead, from the middle to the temples . Then massage the eyebrows , still going towards the temples. With the thumbs, go up on each side of the nose , then go down diagonally to the cheeks . This gesture helps to clear the nose , and relaxes the cheek muscles .
Then, with the tips of your thumbs, gently stretch the upper lip , then the lower lip , as if for a smile. Finally relax the jaw , drawing small circles with your fingertips.
Baby back massage
The back massage is often currently the most relaxing massage for the baby. Put it face down on your thighs, or on the changing table, then put your hands across your upper back.
Go back and forth perpendicular to the axis of the back , one hand after the other , towards the buttocks then go up towards the shoulders. With one hand on the baby’s bottom, then slide the other hand from the shoulders to the bottom . Finally, describe small circles with your fingertips over the entire surface of the back, then, with your fingers slightly apart, “paint” the back of the shoulders to the buttocks.
You can end the massage with small, gentle exercises to stretch the baby’s muscles . However, be sure to choose exercises that are appropriate for your age and motor skills .
Remember that during the massage, you can talk to your baby , or even sing . This will surely reassure him. If you want to deepen these massage techniques, be aware that there are massage workshops in some cities . Do not hesitate to ask.