Baby massage, it’s importance and how to do it

Motherhood comes along with many responsibilities. These responsibilities, in turn, teach us some most important techniques of child upbringing. Be it breastfeeding, bathing a baby or even giving the baby a proper massage, becoming a mother teaches us all. However, there are a few things to know about baby massage. Let’s discuss them in this article.

Infant massage in India

In India, infant massage history dates back to 1800 BC where ancient Ayurvedic massage was practised by experts. We have learned the know-how from our parents. When my daughter Kaira was born, my mother used to massage her. In Indian joint families, mostly grandmothers do the job. However, I live in a nuclear family and therefore my mother passed on the knowledge to me. Infant massage is said to be given mainly for building up muscle and bone strength. However, there are other advantages too.

Importance of baby massage

There are numerous advantages of infant massage and listing a few of them below will definitely establish it’s importance.

  • The benefit of the touch therapy
  • Building up of a bond between the mother and the child
  • Proper blood circulation promotes a healthy circulatory and nervous system
  • Muscle and bone development
  • Relaxes muscles and clears pores
  • Promotes sound sleep
  • Builds up a baby’s attachment towards his mother
  • Develops immunity
  • Reduces colic and helps pass out entrapped gas from the stomach

How to massage

Prerequisites

  • Chose a natural baby massage oil which is non-sticky and absorbs fast. I recommend Himalaya massage oil
  • Lay the baby comfortably in a mat or your lap
  • Remove any bangle you are wearing so that the baby doesn’t get hurt while massaging

Steps

  • Chest massage
    • Start rubbing the chest from the middle to outwards using both hands in a circular motion
    • Do not apply too much pressure
    • Repeat the action 8-10 times
  • Arms massage
    • Start massaging one hand at a time
    • Massage the hand in a milking fashion
    • Massage the hand from shoulder joint to the palm
    • Mix milking action with grip twisting acting using both hands
    • Repeat the action 8-10 times
    • Continue in the same way on the other hand
  • Legs massage
    • Similar to the arms, massage the legs one at a time
    • Mix milking and twisting massage gently
    • Repeat 8-10 times
  • Back massage
    • Lay the child on his stomach
    • Start rubbing the back from inward to outward direction
    • Rub the back in twisting fashion but be gentle
    • Repeat the process 8-10 times
  • Crossing arms
    • Lay the child to his original position
    • Hold both the hands, one in each
    • Cross the arms with each other
    • Repeat 5-6 times
  • Cross the legs
    • Hold one leg in each hands as we did with the hands
    • Cross both the legs with each other
    • Repeat the process 5-6 times
  • Cross arms and legs
    • Now hold diagonally opposite hand and legs on each hand
    • Cross them diagonally with each other
    • Repeat it 5-6 times
  • Releasing trapped air
    • To release any gas in the stomach, hold both the hands, fold them and bring them together to the chest
    • Repeat 2-3 times
  • Hanging
    • Hold the baby with one arm and one leg
    • Hand the baby in air in this position
    • Repeat with other pair of hand and leg
    • This action is optional and is performed by experts
    • This technique is found helpful in removing the baby’s fear

Conclusion

The steps discussed above are taught in every Indian family. We’ve seen our grandmothers doing the same. Still before implementing the techniques, one should always consult a paediatrician.

You can also watch the video below to see how I used to massage Kaira. The role of a father in child upbringing is very important. Keeping that in mind, I’ve taught the massage steps to my husband too. You’ll hear his voiceover in the video.

References

https://babygooroo.com/articles/baby-massage-benefits-techniques

https://www.indiaparenting.com/newborn-care/105_3418/baby-massage-tips.html