The short answer here is YES!! Whether your soothing your little one before bed or easing a gassy belly, a gently massage can work wonders for your baby.
The longer answer…
Baby massage is the gentle, rhythmic stroking of your baby’s body with your hands. You can also gently manipulate your baby’s ankles, wrists and fingers. It is important to know the techniques and appropriate amount of pressure to apply. Taking an infant massage class with a Registered Massage Therapist is a great way to go! This way you can learn how to provide your little one massage that is safe and effective.
Touch. Touch is one of the 5 basic senses and is thought to be one of the first senses humans develop. Touch isn’t just a sense used to interact with the world, it is also important for our well-being.
At the mama coach, we recommend a bedtime routine for little ones. Routines work well at any age, as the consistency of them allow our little ones to learn and anticipate what is coming and that is sleep!! A great step in a bedtime routine is massage! So, after your little one’s bath you could give your baby a massage and then move on to pajama’s and the rest of the routine. Infant massage has been shown to help our little ones sleep better by decreasing cortisol (the stress hormone) and increasing melatonin (the sleep hormone).
Infant massage doesn’t always have to be part of a bedtime routine. Just be sure that whenever you decide massage fits well into your day, make sure your little one is awake, alert and ready for interaction versus tired, hungry or cranky!
This time you set aside for massage can become a special one on one time together and can facilitate bonding with your baby. Massage releases yet another hormone, oxytocin (the love/cuddle hormone) which is what strengthens the bond between you and your baby! Massage also nurtures your baby and promotes healthy growth and development. Massage can improve functioning of bodily systems, such as helping our lymphatic system flush out harmful toxins keeping our little ones healthy.
Studies show massaging a baby’s face can sooth a baby who is struggling with teething discomfort and a chest massage can help with congestion.
Not only does massage decrease crying and relaxes your baby but is also important for social interaction, communication, intellectual development and enhances motor skills.
I remember trying the bicycle technique with my little ones to help with digestion and relieve colic like symptoms, gas and constipation. After they would feel more comfortable and eat better!
Infant massage is something I wish I would have known more about and incorporated more into my kid’s day when they were little! If I had known what I do now, I would have taken an infant massage class to feel comfortable in providing safe and effective massage for my little ones.
As always, if you have any questions about infant massage or any other topic reach out to the Mama Coach in your area and we are happy to help.