Massaging a baby is highly favored in traditional societies as being very good for baby’s health and immunity, an aid to help baby sleep better and an excellent method of bonding for mother and child.
Here are some practical tips for baby massage –
- Make sure that your hands are warm before you start, to avoid causing the baby discomfort. Also make sure that your nails are short and clean, and that there are no rings, bracelets and other adornments that could possibly result in an injury.
- Use firm but gentle strokes, using the palms and fingers without undue pressure.
- If a baby has been vaccinated recently, or has rashes or wounds (including the clamped umbilical cord) avoid those areas while massaging.
- It is best to use unscented, natural oils such as olive for massaging baby; essential oils and aromatherapy oils are not suitable for baby.
- For the abdomen and chest, use gentle circular movements and use straight upward and downward movements for the legs.
- Avoid oil massage on the fingers and palms because babies tend to put them in their eyes or mouths.
- Avoid massage just after a feed and also if baby is ill.
- Wrap up baby warmly after a massage.