Baby Massage Basics
There are many benefits to baby massage, such as building trust, stimulating various body systems, enhancing movement and coordination, soothing aches and pains, and easing colic. The overall idea to make the baby feel safe and loved (hopefully, you'll enjoy it too!)
The best time to give your baby a massage is a time when you and your baby are both feeling refreshed, happy and calm—not after a sleepless night or a cranky afternoon. Experts recommend that baby massage be at least 20 minutes after a feed, but not too close to bed time.
Aside from a quiet time free from distractions (when does that ever happen?), all you need for a baby massage is a warm room, soft music, towels, baby oils and warm hands.
There are all sorts of techniques of baby massage, but the simplest is to use firm, gentle, slow strokes starting with babys feet. Be patient and each time go a little bit further until baby is used to the touch. Move slowly up the lower leg, massaging the thighs and hips. Move up to the shoulders stroking them towards the middle of the chest. Start moving down each arm one at a time ending with the fingers. Make sure you wipe any oil off of the fingers in case baby decides to suck on them. Tummy strokes should be in a circular clockwise motion, if baby shows distress— stop immediately.
When massaging baby's face, stroke across the forehead moving to the cheeks. If baby is still happy, you can try turning him onto his tummy and giving long rubs on his back. When you have finished the massage, dress you baby slowly to maintain the relaxed feeling. Hopefully, you'll feel more relaxed too!