Infant Massage can be a wonderful way to help strengthen that unbreakable bond between you and your infant.
It is also something that your partner can beinvolved in as well which may be something nice if you are breast feeding. Developing bonds in the early years of a child’s life is a key to development, many professionals believe that creating these bonds can help in the later years with future relationships.
Also it is a well-known around one in 6 Australian women will experience some sort of postnatal depression Doctors believe that infant massage in combination with counselling sessions has led to significant improvements in the conditions that the mothers are experiencing.
Ripples Top Ten Benefits of Infant Massage
- Can reduce crying time.
Studies on infant massage have shown that with regular practice there is a significant reduction in overall crying time with children that receive massages. It is a great way to help relax both bub and parent.
- Improves sleep and regulates patterns
It’s a well-known fact that massage helps increased serotonin levels and can help regulate the secretion rhythms which help regulate sleep patterns. Bubs that are massaged by their parents before bed tend to fall asleep faster, sleep more deeply, and stay asleep longer. Good news indeed, for all you tired mums and dads out there
- Perfect for pre-term infants
Studies have shown that prem bubs receiving touch therapy and infant massage gain weight faster and in some cases discharged earlier than others, A recent study by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine found that premature babies receiving three 15-minute massages per day for five days showed a 53 percent greater daily weight gain than unmassaged babies.
- Can assist in infant in breathing more rhythmically
Bubs can often have irregular breathing patters. However as we know Skin is the bodies largest organ of our body and its rich in nerve endings, this is where massage can help.
- Fantastic way to help stimulate growth-promoting hormones
Doctors have known for centuries that babies who are touched a lot thrive. Thrive doesn’t just mean growing to their fullest potential, it includes physically, emotionally and intellectually as well.
- To help build their brain
Research has shown some babies who received infant massage or extra touch experience enhanced neurological development. The brain grows at its fastest pace in the first year of development. As the brain grows the fastest in the first year that is the most perfect time to give your child the massage experience.
- Can help boost immunity
Researchers believe that infants from 10 weeks old who’s backs were massages by their parents experiences fewer colds and fewer occurrences of diarrhoea. In the reverse situation, touch deprivation negatively affects the immune system. Touch can help assist the digestive hormone and can help bubs digestive system work more efficiently. Massage therapy has been used to help reduce the stress in pre-term infants and can improve their immunity.
- Study shows that one of the causes of colic in babies is sensory overload. A baby that is stressed will cry. Infant massage can help really reduce this stress by reducing the levels of the stress hormone in the body. And when bub is not stressed that means mum and dad are not either.
How to do an infant massage.
- Put a little oil or cream on your hands to help them glide over your baby’s skin. Make sure your hands are warm.
- Then give your baby slow, gentle tummy strokes, moving your hands in a clockwise direction.
- Doing the strokes clockwise is really important, because it follows the direction of your baby’s intestines. It encourages the trapped wind and poo to move the right way, which may bring your baby some relief, if that is what’s causing his crying. Something else you can try also moving your baby’s legs towards there tummy to ease things.
- Holding your baby’s knees together, gently bend their legs at the knees and push them in to their tummy.
- Hold their legs in this position for a count of six.
- Try getting in the habit of doing the tummy massage three times or four times a day for two weeks. It may take this long before you can tell whether or not it’s working for your baby. It’s fine to carry on with the massage after two weeks if you want to.
How do I get ready?
- Choose a comfortable place and limit distractions.
- Look bub directly in the eye, grasp their legs and bicycle them while speaking softly, “Relax” Cover your baby in an edible oil, such as almond or avocado.
- Younger babies like to lie in the cradle formed when you sit cross-legged. When baby grows out of your leg cradle, stretch out your legs alongside baby.
- Choose a time when your baby is awake and alert, not too hungry or too full, ensure that you have everything ready that you need BEFORE you commence you don’t want to have to leave bub unattended. Make sure you wash your hands and remove all jewellery before you commence. Before you start make sure YOU are relaxed this can also help bub relax as well. You may want to give your baby a deep warm bath before commencing massage.
- This can help aid in the relaxation process, and can be really beneficial if done before the night’s sleep. Many parents find that their newborns are more sensitive to their skin being exposed and their bodies being handled, and they tolerate only gentle and nice calm short sessions. But over the next 6 months, most babies increase their comfort with massages and can enjoy longer sessions.
- Older infants and toddlers may squirm and crawl away, but you can still find quiet times when your children can continue to enjoy massages. There are many different techniques for infant massage.
- What is common among the massage techniques is that they gently stimulate the baby’s skin and the underlying muscles and organs, stimulating the baby’s circulation, digestion and nerve growth.Be sure to ask your baby’s doctor or health professional about whether your baby might benefit from infant massage. In most cases, you can start massaging your newborn as long as there condition (if any) is stable, being careful to avoid sensitive areas such as the umbilical cord before it has fallen off.