This specialized form of touch is effective not only in the critical weight-gain of premature infants, but also in creating a strong bond between parent and infant and exposing a young child to the benefits and pleasures of touch.
Setting aside just 30-minutes a day to give baby a massage should be a part of every new parents schedule. The benefits are ever-lasting for both you and baby. Massage can soothe a baby thats exhausted from crying numerous times throughout the day (we all know how emotionally and physically exhausting crying can be), it will also relieve colic, circulatory problems or digestive ailments.
Baby massage is equally important for new moms and dads, who are a bit nervous handling a first baby. New dads will often claim that theyre afraid to hold their new baby or change them because theyre scared to hurt or drop them. Well, regular massages will help your baby become familiar with your touch and help you become comfortable with handling your baby. Soon you will learn how to handle this new joy with love and confidence.
When you prepare to give baby a massage its important to set a relaxing scene, just as it is with adult massage. Try the following:
- Studies show that infants respond to music, just like adults do. Set a calming environment by playing some soft meditative music in the background. Music will also reduce any distractive noises.
- The same goes for smell. Babies respond to the gentle smells of essential oils as well.
- Be sure the room is warm enough for your baby to be nude. If its not, turn up the thermostat, or warm their baby blanket in the dryer.
- Cover your massage table with a washable quilt or a fluffy towel. This will mop up any massage oils so they dont leave a mess.
- Use your favorite baby oil for lubrication. If youre not sure what to use, try gentle unscented oil such as grapeseed oil.
- Have diaper powder and a clean diaper handy for post-massage.