The Power of a Mother’s Touch

Your Guide to Massaging Your Baby

In today’s stressful world, who doesn’t love to spend an hour on the table while a trained professional kneads out the knots and loosens the muscles? However, a delectable massage isn’t only meant for adults; did you know that your baby can also benefit from the stress-relieving power of touch? And the best part is, it’s your loving touch that’s best for her…

The Science Behind a Loving Touch

In many ways, touch is our first language. Gentle and loving touch can help small babies grow stronger and feel less anxiety. In fact, infants who experience routine touch show 50% more eye contact and are three times more likely to have an overall positive expression than infants who do not.

In addition to skin-to-skin contact, research has shown routine touch and massage leads to improved cognitive performance and increased alertness and attentiveness in children. And further studies have shown that infant massage isn’t just a way to encourage positivity and emotional well-being; it also has physical health benefits for you and your baby:

Emotional Benefits:

• Becoming more confident in handling your baby and better at recognising his/her needs
• Improved positive interaction with your baby
• A great way for you, your partner and family members to bond with baby
• Improved sleep patterns

Health Benefits:

• Aid digestion and help relieve colic, gas and constipation
• Relieve nasal congestion and teething discomfort
• Increase daily weight gain
• Help develop good muscle tone, coordination and suppleness
• Enhance body awareness
• Boost the immune system
• Improve skin texture

A Time and Place

Some research shows that a daily baby massage is best for your baby, while others insist you wait until night to give your baby a soothing treat as part of his or her bedtime routine… Ultimately, when and how often you massage your baby is up to you.

However, you should make sure to follow your baby’s mood. Your baby should be calm, alert, and content when you’re ready to give them a massage. Never perform any massage technique that seems to make your baby uncomfortable. Also, massaging too soon after a feeding might cause your baby to vomit — so wait at least 45 minutes after a feeding.

It’s All in the Touch

Just like any massage, a baby rub-down involves a little preparation and some basic techniques – like creating a calm atmosphere, staying relaxed and watching how your baby responds. Talking to your baby during the massage will help calm them down too; you can do this by repeating their name, telling them a story or singing their favorite nursery rhyme as you move around their body. Controlling your touch to slowly stroke and knead each part of your baby’s body is also part of making your baby’s massage experience more enjoyable.

Massaging Your Baby The Right Way

Not a professional masseuse? Don’t even worry about it, Here are a few techniques to help you get the process started:
• Legs and feet: Hold your baby’s heel in one hand; with your other hand, start at the top of the thigh and slowly stroke all the way down to the ankle, gently squeezing the leg as you go. Reverse the motion and go from ankle to thigh. Then rub the feet with your thumbs, gently uncurling and stroking the toes. Switch legs. You can do these same strokes on the arms and hands.
• Head: Start with your hands on both sides of your baby’s head, then run your hands down both sides of his body, from his head to his toes. Next, draw tiny circles on your baby’s head with your fingertips.
• Face: Fold your hands on your baby’s forehead, then gently push outward from the center. Next, use your thumb to draw a smile on your baby’s face by stroking from one cheek, across the upper lip to the other cheek. Repeat on the lower lip.
• Chest: Fold your hands on your baby’s chest, then push out to the sides, as if you were smoothing the pages of an open book.
• Tummy: With your fingertips, draw an oval below your baby’s belly button. (Move clockwise, to follow the natural path of digestion.) Next, “walk” your fingertips from one side of your baby’s belly to the other, on the diagonal, as if you were making an “X.”
• Back.: Stroke his back side to side and then up and down.

The Right Stuff

Healthy skin has a biological slightly acidic surface called the acid mantle. The delicate skin of a newborn is lacking this protective acid mantle, which is established during the first few months of life. A scientifically proven, pH balanced oil is recommended to protect your baby’s skin against dryness and eczema – perfect for that Winter rash that always seems to creep up on your little one.

Also, it’ll be more pleasant for both of you if your hands glide more easily over your baby’s body…

Looking for the right one? Try Sebamed’s Baby Massage Oil. This gentle, yet effective massage miracle is formulated for delicate skin with Emollient Soya Oil which helps support the natural moisture balance, giving your baby the best protection from day one. It is also enriched with Botanical oils that soothes and protects the skin from moisture loss.

Want to give your baby the best? Make sure you give them a touch of love with Sebamed’s range of specialised, moisturizing skincare with up to 20% off on selected Sebamed products, right here.