You’re probably always looking for ways to help your baby sleep better. Many of our readers feel the same way. When my children were babies, I was just like them. I would do anything to get my baby better sleep.
You may be the same. If so, you might find today’s blog article interesting. Today we’re going to talk about infant massage. What is infant massage? It is worth a try. It will help you sleep better, according to our readers.
What is Infant and Baby Massage?
Infant massage is not a new practice. Babies have been gently massaged for centuries in many cultures, including Indian culture. Infant massage is still a new practice in Western culture. This is largely due to Vimala Schneider McClure, a woman who pioneered infant massage.
Vimala, a 12-year-old girl, massaged the children every day while she was working in an Indian orphanage. McClure discovered that even though the children were starving, they thrived because of the regular massages they received. McClure returned to the United States in mid-70’s to spread the word on infant massage. McClure’s message was heard and infant massage is now widely accepted as a positive practice.
McClure’s infant massage approach includes the Indian massage strokes that she learned from her work there, as well as Swedish massage strokes.
Infant Massage is good for you and your baby
The benefits of infant massage are many, according to parents who have used it. Infant massage is great for you and your baby.
Some of these benefits include:
Improved digestion. Infant massage can help reduce gas and bloating, contrary to popular belief. This could help your baby feel more comfortable if he has gas problems.
You can relax and relieve tension and stress. This is good for you as well as your baby. Massaging your baby gently can calm and relax her. It will also help you relax and calm down. This information may be particularly helpful for parents with babies who are fussy or have colic.
Increased bonding. Nurturing touch is a way to show your love for your baby. Massaging your baby can strengthen the bond between you two. This will encourage your baby’s emotional development.
Improved growth, development. Research has shown that babies who have their parents massage them regularly experience a higher weight gain and better development. They are also more immune-sensitized, which means they are less likely to get sick. This alone could be reason enough to give infant massage a try.
Improved sleep! Parents, infant massage can really help babies to sleep well. Research shows that babies who have their parents massage them before going to bed are more likely to fall asleep quicker, stay asleep deeper, and sleep longer. This is great news for tired dads and moms!
How to massage your baby
In a blog post, we cannot cover all aspects of infant massage. Although infant massage isn’t difficult, it requires that certain techniques are used to target specific areas on the infant’s body.
Are you interested in massaging your baby? Here are some tips from Elaine, one of our sleep consultants who is trained in infant massage.
- Always use edible oils. Coconut oil is a great choice.
- Do not massage your baby if he is upset or agitated. Wait until he is calm.
Stop if your baby is fussy or doesn’t want a massage at the beginning. It will only make your baby more fussy if you massage her when she doesn’t want it. This will teach your baby from an early age that it is okay to say no to being touched if she does not want it.
Remove any jewelry and trim nails before massaging baby
Start your massage by massaging the “least-invasive” parts of the body – the feet or the legs. You can then move on to the next part.
If your baby is suffering from a fever or has skin lesions or rash, you should not massage him. After your baby has had his immunization, it is recommended to stop massaging him for at least 48-72 hours.
Infant massage can be started as early as possible – even newborns can benefit!
Massage can be done by both parents, so make sure dad has the opportunity to give a massage.
To learn how to do infant massage, visit Infant Massage USA. You can also check with your local hospital to find out if they have a certified infant massage specialist.