Massage Guide for Newborns
Although your toddler seems so delicate, do not be afraid to start giving him messages regularly shortly after birth. Regularly massaging your baby will help you to create an emotional bond with him and you will promote his development as a healthy and happy baby.
Physical contact is one of the best ways to let your baby know you love him or her.
In fact, skin-to-skin contact for 25-120 minutes immediately after delivery can greatly influence the interactions between you and your little one until a year later. In the first few weeks, use slow movements and transmit security, not stopping too long in a particular area. Newborns may feel that their senses are hyper-stimulated and most will seek solace in their parents’ arms during the first few weeks and some may just want gentle downward strokes down their backs.
Massage Resting Hands
If your baby agrees to give you a massage, start by placing a hand on your body. This technique is used on all parts of the body before performing a massage, as well as when the baby wants to pause while you are giving it. This way, the baby will feel safe and learn to enjoy your contact.
Before you begin, make sure you have enough oil in your hands. It is advisable to begin the massage of the newborn by the legs because it is a part of the body that children normally accept to be touched. Downward movements are usually more relaxing.
With one hand, gently hold the baby’s ankle. Place the other hand on the upper thigh and encompass the contour of the leg. Then slide it to the ankle. Repeat the movement firmly but smoothly and rhythmically, first with one hand and then with the other.
Normally newborns love to get their feet rubbed. Watch your reactions for if you show signs of excessive sensitivity. A small foot massage can have a positive effect on the whole body. Between your thumb and index finger, gently press and turn each toe. With one thumb and then with the other, caress the top of the foot, from the toes to the ankle. Repeat that movement several times.
Once the navel has healed, gentle tummy massages can help newborns digest and alleviate digestive discomfort.
Begin by initiating physical contact with the baby by placing a hand on the tummy in a relaxed and relaxed manner. If you see the baby likes it, perform a series of gentle strokes, first with one hand and then with the other.
Skin-to-skin contact can help tighten the bond between mother, father and baby.
Hold the baby against your chest and massage your back starting at the neck and down to the buttocks.
Thanks to the massages, you can know better how your baby communicates and give you ideas to take care of him during his first months of life. Together you will discover what is best for both of you. It is important to keep in mind that massage is something you do with your baby and not something you do to your baby.
The movements that we have indicated to give the messages are based on CHILDHOOD MASSAGE: practical guide for the father and the mother, of Vimala McClure, founder of the International Association of the Infantile Massage.