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Newborn Care Topics..

 
You are here : home > Newborn Care > Massaging and Bathing > Preparing for a massage

Preparing for a massage


Massaging the baby should be a daily ritual for the baby. A baby can be massaged any time of the day. A good oil massage followed by a warm bath is recommended as it soothes the baby and promotes sound sleep. Bathing after a massage has a calming effect on the baby.


When is the best time to massage my baby?

There is no fixed time for massaging your baby. Initially you will have to go through a phase of trial and error to find a time that suits both you and the baby. Some babies will enjoy a massage in the morning after they have been fed and are ready for the day. Some babies like a massage either before or after their naps. If your baby is tired, but not too cranky in the evening, a massage may help her sleep. In the early months, a practice is to massage the baby and then give her a warm bath. By the time she is six months old, a massage may work better after a bath, when she is tired and ready for a nap.


How should I position myself to massage the baby?

Your back should be straight and you can either sit on the floor or on the bed or stand before a table. The cross-legged position is ideal as it allows movement, rhythm and maintains the proper distance between you and the baby. Always massage in a warm, quiet place.


What oils should I use?

Oil helps your hands glide smoothly over your baby's delicate skin. It is advisable to use cold-pressed fruit and/or rather than mass-produced baby oils. Commercially produced oils are believed to dry the skin and clog the pores. If your baby were to put her hand in her mouth, you do not want to worry that a non-food substance is being introduced into your baby's digestive system, which might happen with mineral oils. However, there are produced by renowned baby product companies whose products utilize medicinal grade mineral oil, which meets established standards for purity and safety.

In India, mothers use mustard oil to massage babies in the winter and coconut oil in the summer. Apricot and almond oil are smooth, light and easily absorbed. 'Cold pressed' oils are preferable i.e. oils that are extracted only by means of pressure, without using heat or solvents that may destroy natural nutrients in the oil. Unscented oils are the best.


What are the benefits of massage?

Massage is very beneficial for the growth and development of babies. It is a very good stress buster for them. It reduces the stress hormone known as cortisol. Reduced stress also helps in preventing colic in babies. It improves the mother-baby bonding. As the baby experiences the power of a mother’s touch, her growth hormones are stimulated and neurological development is encouraged. As brain development is at the peak during early years, massage can play an important role in stimulating it.  Massage can also help to boost the immunity of the baby and improve her digestive system.


What safety precautions should be taken while massaging a baby?

Following safety precautions must be taken while massaging a baby.
  • Choose a place where you can sit comfortably for massing your baby.

  • Make sure that you baby is lying comfortably when you are massaging her.

  • Make sure that you use oil which is safe for massaging a baby.

  • Always consult your doctor while choosing oil for your baby’s massage.

  • Avoid being harsh while massaging your baby and massage her gently.

  • Do not place your baby on a higher surface while massaging her.

  • Always seek assistance for lifting your baby after the massage so that she does not slip from your hands due to oiliness.

  • Avoid massaging your baby if she has developed a rash and immediately report to your doctor.
You must always massage your baby before you bathe her as she may not feel comfortable being sticky. Talking to your baby while massaging her can be a great bonding experience for you.

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7 Comments
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.4 years ago
I have a two half months baby boy.i gave him my milk and formula. Due to insufficient milk secretion i gave him formula.but i want to give him only my milk. So what can i do.so that my milk will flow more and more.i am eating more for production of more milk. But there is noo result.please give me suggestion.
 
 
 
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Radha.5 years ago
I make sure I have everything needed for massage before me before I start the massage.
 
 
 
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Simran.5 years ago
good info. explained in detail and in simple language.
 
 
 
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Veena Gowda.8 years ago
my gynac. has advised me that not to massage my baby by oil, acc. to her by massaging it leads d baby to nimonia & also d baby loses its complexion. plz advise.
 
 
 
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