THE BENEFITS OF BABY MASSAGE
I am Anna, a music therapist and baby massage teacher, owner of Cuddles and Music and mom of a 20 months old boy. I would like to talk you about the importance and the benefits of baby massage.
Before babies are able to understand language, we often comunicate and comfort them through touch and music. We all love to receive a massage, so why not try baby massage for your littlest one?
It is easy to feel helpless with a newborn, but giving him a gentle massage can help you fell more in control and will help you learn how to read your baby’s signals and respond better to his needs. Baby massage is a lovely way to bring you and your little one closer. Trust and communication develop as you interact with your baby and your calming touch will make your baby feel loved and cared for: it is a soothing therapy that calms your baby and promotes bonding time.
I always suggest to introduce touch as soon as possible to increase the benefits and to communicate with the baby during the massage, such as repeat his name or the word “relax” to help him calm down, or even to tell a story or sing a nursery rhyme as you move around his body.
According to Tiffany Field, director of the Touch Research institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine, when you give your baby a massage you are stimulating his central nervous system, his brain produce more serotonin, a feel-good chemical, and less cortisol, hormone secreted in response to stress. As a result, your baby’s heart rate and breathing slow down and he becomes more relaxed. That’s why baby massage helps babies fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer!
Baby massage may help to stimulate the circulatory and digestive systems, helping some babies who have colic/cramps/constipation problems. Massage may also comfort from muscular tension, growing and teething pain. It can get your newborn to sleep better and improve his health: studies have shown that massaging a baby can reduce crying and fussiness, help the baby sleep more peacefully, boosts a baby’s ability to fight off germs.
A cozy atmosphere is essential to enjoy the massage. Pick a time when you are relaxed and your baby is quiet but alert, no tired or hungry (to massage a fussy baby can overstimulate him and make him even more unhappy) and make sure the room is warm and quiet. Sitting on the floor with your baby safely on a towel in front of you to keep the eye contact, find a comfortable position, ask permission to massage him (yes, this may sound a little strange but your baby will become familiar with this cue and you give a chance to let him know if they don’t feel like a massage). Then gently but firmly massage him starting from foot, repeating each stroke a few times. Keep the massage short and sweet and make it part of your daily routine!
Feeling a little more curious now?
I am running online sessions in this crazy time; if you like, feel free to send me a message to ask for more details.
Have a lovely day,