In our culture, we have always been keen on massages, be it the new born or elder children. Massaging makes the pores of your skin clean and oil used for massage enters the pores and makes the skin soft and supple.
It is an old saying “the more oil poured over skin while you are a child, the younger you remain throughout your life”
Importance of Baby Massage
It is very important for a baby to be touched and massaged, especially by the mother. Touch increases the closeness the baby has with the mother.
Sense of Safety
Massage in fact acts as a therapy to the newborn.
Skin is an important sense organ in the body and the largest one too. Massaging the skin helps it to be sensitive to the surroundings.
The baby is within an enclosed and safe womb for 10 log months and when it comes to the world the new difference in temperature and surface give a sort of stress to him or her. Massage will relieve this stress and make him comfortable.
Bonding with the Mother
Skin to skin bond is one thing that time and again has been advised world over for a child to feel safe with the mother. Similarly, massage gives the baby a cocooned feeling and makes him bond better with the mother.
Bonding is very important because the baby needs an anchor till he/she gets used to the new environment, people and sounds.
How to Give a Perfect Massage
A massage needs to be ‘perfect ‘and nothing less, and to be so you need to check on 6 important aspects.
1. The Place and Time
Choose a cozy place where the place is not too cold or hot, a warm and without much disturbance. You do not want your baby turning and twisting to things that distract him.
Time your massage keeping in mind you baby’s feeding and sleeping times. He should not be hungry while you massage (you would end up with a crying child) nor should he be full bellied.
So schedule your massage at least an hour after his feeding is done. If he is sleepy it is okay, you would in fact enjoy those really content expressions.
2. Choosing the Best Oil for the Massage
Use oil that is soft on the skin of the new born such as coconut oil. Coconut oil contains lauric acid which is present only in mothers milk. It is best suited for your child.
You are actually nourishing your child through the skin, so make sure you do it right. The oil should have enough gentleness and also a sweet smell to attract your child’s olfactory nerves.
3. The Right Strokes
Your child’s skin is soft, yes! However you need to understand his bones are tender too. A new born has 300 bones!
You have read it right! There are bone structures that would merge as he grows to make the final 206 (now you know why a child does not facture his bone when he drops down accidentally).
SO you need to practice the right strokes so as not to hurt any of these bones or actually misplace them.
There are 8 important strokes for the right massage (I shall describe them in a separate post.
4. The Massaging Technique
There are basically three different types of massaging
· The milking technique
· The rolling technique and
· The rubbing technique
You need to follow any one of these, which you find your baby enjoys the most. However I would advise a combination of all the three techniques.
5. Hygiene While Massaging
In fact I would have liked to add this in the beginning of this list, however owing to the spreading awareness in hygiene I suppose that you as a parent would be well aware of this.
However here are a few tips
· Keep the cloth or surface on which you lay your baby soft, dirt free and clean. You do not want anything irritating your baby’s skin.
· Make sure there are no insects like ants or mosquito around the area where you are massaging.
· Wash your hands with a handwash.
· Check your nails before massaging; you do not want to scratch your baby’s skin.
6. Keep your Talking Right
Massage time is a time when you have the full attention of your baby. He is relaxed, he is sleepy and he is in contact with you. This is the time you need to make sure to talk the right things to him.
All the talking you do at this time will be stored in his mind for a very long time, so make sure to choose something fruitful to talk to him.
These six points if taken care off would give your baby the best times he would relish his entire lifetime. Make sure that you give the best to your baby, health wealth and safety. It all starts with ‘ The Massage’ .
So how did you give the first massage to your child, did you know the procedure?
Tell us about how it felt the first time you did have to hold and massage those tiny hands and legs.
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