Baby Massage: Tips
13:13 (GMT+2), Wed, 20 July 2011
Although there is no 'right' or 'wrong' way to massage a baby, here are some points to keep in mind:
By Sister Lilian
- Make sure that you are relaxed and feeling calmly confident. If you are stressed, your baby will sense it and react to your feelings.
- Massage incorporates all the senses and is something to which your baby should gradually become accustomed.
- To avoid over-stimulation and exhaustion, don't introduce all baby massage techniques at once.
- Allow approximately a half-hour session for a massage. As you learn to understand your baby's likes and needs, shorter sessions of 15 – 20 minutes are still valuable.
- Don't massage your baby within an hour after feeding, as this can induce nausea. However, don't wait until your baby is hungry, as she'll be unsettled and unable to enjoy the experience.
- The smaller the baby, the lighter the strokes. Remember though that small babies don't like tickling sensations.
- Keep eye contact with your baby.
- One hand should be in contact with your baby at all times.
- Always massage your baby's tummy in a clockwise direction.
- Never do a full-touch massage session if your baby has a fever.
- If your baby is sick or has a fever, massage only her hands and feet and the six magic mini-massage points.
- When choosing massage oil, always do a patch test to exclude sensitivities. Apply a little oil to a patch on the sensitive skin inside your baby's arm. If no reaction develops within 24 hours, it should be safe.
- If your baby is allergic to nuts or if a strong family history of nut allergies are present, be sure to use only nut-free products.
- Don't use aromatherapy oils to massage your baby unless under the supervision of a trained aromatherapist.
- Oil can make your baby slippery, so take care not to drop her. After massaging your baby, wrap her in a towel before carrying her.
- Remember that full-body massage can promote the spread of cancer cells, so bear this in mind should your baby be receiving therapy for any type of cancer. Light-touch sessions of hand-, foot- and mini-massage points will, however, be beneficial to this child. If your child is to receive palliative care (medical treatment that reduces pain but does not heal its cause), the positive effects exceed this danger.
Baby Massage: Incorporating it in a daily routine
sister lilian, bonding, massage, bathing, baby