Many parents delight in caressing the soft skin of their newborns. If you delight in giving your infant these gentle strokes, consider putting this touch to good use and engaging in infant massage. Through infant massage, you can help make your rapidly growing baby comfortable and more effectively bond with her.
Infant massage has an assortment of benefits. The most obvious benefit is soothing. Many infants are immediately calmed by their parents’ touch. Infant massage also helps your child become socialized, as it helps the child become accustomed to touch. Children who suffer from extreme feeding time gas may even experience gas relief, as some massage types help infants expel gas.
Basics of Infant Massage
Before you tackle the task of massaging your infant, warm your hands to ensure the child doesn’t shy away from your touch. Put the baby on a soft surface or your lap. As you engage in the massage, make eye contact with the baby to promote attentiveness. If, at any time, you notice that your child is becoming uncomfortable, stop.
Because infants are so tender, it is vital that you act gingerly and don’t apply too much pressure. When massaging an infant, never apply more pressure than you would to a tender piece of fruit. If your touch would make a peach bruise, it will likely leave your infant bruised as well.
Leg Massage Techniques
Leg massage is one of the easiest infant massage types. To perform leg massage, simply rub the child’s feet and legs. Start at the toes, and work up, ensuring that you tend to the tot’s entire leg. To build his joints, and potentially relieve abdominal discomfort, move his legs in a bicycle pedal motion.
Trunk Massage Ideas
After you have become proficient in the art of leg massage, continue to build your repertoire by engaging in trunk massage. To give a massage of this type, gently rub your child’s chest and shoulders. Move her tiny arms in a circular motion to build her upper body joints and keep her shoulders loose.
Because there are so many types of infant massage, you might be interested in more professional training. Many hospitals offer training of this type. Check with the hospital where your baby was born to see if it offers classes in infant massage. If not, speak to your baby’s doctor and express your interest in learning more. He can likely point you in the direction of a good training program.