Baby massage - deepening the bond with your baby

Touch means contact, touch is important. You long for this, but your baby too! Baby massage is a good way to give substance to this. You can massage your baby from birth or even during pregnancy. The skin contains millions of touch-sensitive receptors and in the uterus the skin of your baby is the most important means of communication. Touch is the 'first language' that your child learns; for him the most important language during the first months of his life.

Deepening of the band

Most people associate massage with the treatment of physical complaints, but of course a massage can only revolve around touch - the contact. It can be a way to deepen the bond between parent and child, but a massage can also promote health on a natural path.

Preventive

Massage can work preventively in preventing disease. Every baby instinctively understands the message of hands and heart. Baby massage is wordless communication. He will soon recognize the difference between touches that are tender, loving and conscious, touches that are superficial and mechanical, but also when mom or dad are not there with his / her thoughts! An effective massage can therefore only happen if you completely immerse yourself in the feeling of touch.

Baby massage: A sense of security

During pregnancy, baby massage through the abdominal wall is useful for many reasons. The transition from the warm, safe uterus to the big human world is a huge change, even for babies born after a trouble-free pregnancy. With a good massage technique (contact!) During pregnancy, your baby feels safe and known, which will facilitate the transition from the uterus to the outside world. Babymassage works especially soothing after birth. Through loving touch and massage your baby will more easily surrender to relaxation and sleep.

Who is baby massage suitable for?

Baby massage is for everyone who wants a little more. In most cases mother and child can understand each other without words, but via the baby massage something extra can be added which is of inestimable value. In many cultures, baby massage is part of the daily care of the baby.

Muscle development

The massage helps the muscle development, the blood circulation of the skin and stimulates the senses. Every newborn baby can enjoy a massage. Up to ± six weeks, you can massage it with very gentle stroking touches. The emphasis is on skin contact during this period. After six weeks, the massage can be focused more on the muscles and the skin. The experience of touch is one of the most important conditions for your infant to develop trust and self-awareness, and for the ability to feel secure in itself and in the world.

Swapping game

Massage is an interplay of giving and receiving tender feelings. Physical contact and touch - loving and conscious - form the most important basis for a healthy growth in all respects towards a happy, well-balanced person.

Baby massage benefits

Baby massage:

  • Gives peace and is wonderfully relaxing for parents and children
  • Can make your child sleep more peacefully and deeper
  • Has a positive effect on digestion and helps with colic
  • Is a beautiful moment between parent and child, and deepens their bond
  • Gives self-confidence
  • Can cause your child to show less irritated behavior and increase weight and height faster
  • Stimulates the development of your child: it promotes motor skills, breathing and muscle development
  • Stimulates the immune system
  • Can ensure that you as a parent better understand the body language of your child
  • Improves blood flow
  • Can relieve stress in your baby

How do you learn?

Baby massage is not difficult to master. You can learn it in different ways. You can, of course, together with your baby look for a course in the neighborhood (there is always one in your neighborhood). Or you buy a book or DVD that describes very clearly, or how you can massage your child. The actions are often not difficult to follow, so you can quickly get started.

Online curusses

Various online courses can also be found on the internet; there are several sites that offer these. Can you see if it is something for you or your baby, before you make any costs. Keep eye contact during the massage; you learn automatically what your child reacts to positively: gently caressing, tingling or rubbing. Adjust your actions if desired. Eventually you will both enjoy this moment intensely!

Preparation

Choose a quiet moment. Since any kind of nervousness of yours can skip on your child, it is best to choose a moment in the day when you are as relaxed as possible. No work pressure, no appointments, no inner unrest. You better not massage your child when he is tired and would rather sleep, immediately before or after a feeding, or if he has a fever.
Before you massage your baby, make sure that it is nice and warm in the room (about 22 degrees Celsius).

Take off your jewelry

Put a towel and oil ready, do as much as possible your jewelry before you start and be careful with long nails.
You can sit on the floor with your child (take care of a soft surface), bed, couch or blanket. Make sure your child is comfortable and that you can easily get anywhere.

By which?

Everyone has the most important instruments at home, namely: time, love and a bit of fingertip feeling. Different oils are possible, but only use cold-pressed, unrefined vegetable oils. These can nowadays be bought in almost all reform houses or health food stores, all ready-made, specially for the massage of babies.

Different oils

Sweet almond oilNourishes and nourishes the skin and is suitable for every age and every type of skin.
Jojoba oilMakes the skin very supple and soft with its high content of nutrients and contains a natural light-protective factor. Is also suitable for inflamed, eczema-prone skin.
Wheat germ oilContains a lot of vitamin E and is suitable for dry skin because it regenerates and provides intensive care.
St. John's wort oilA very powerful oil, which especially proves good services for burns, sunburn, minor wounds and irritated skin. It is said that she can store the properties of the sunlight and thus bring warmth and happiness. Attention: St. John's wort oil works phototoxically. That is, she makes the skin more sensitive to light in some children. Therefore avoid the baby being exposed to direct sunlight after the massage.
Olive oilSaves the skin tone and is also suitable for inflamed skin or muscle and joint problems.
Coconut oilIn India the classic baby oil, which at our temperatures usually needs to be heated, because otherwise it is too firm. It has a high moisture content and is very suitable for dry skin.

Source: Baby massage - The perfect harmony between parent and child (ISBN 9789024370299)

How long?

In the beginning you can not massage for more than 10 to 15 minutes. Ten minutes of baby massage equals one hour of heavy physical exercise in adults. If your baby becomes restless or starts to cry, stop the massage. In baby massage, different body parts of the baby are discussed. A lot of attention goes to the limbs, the belly and the back. You will caress yourself by applying certain handles, in all softness.

Practical tips

  • Provide a quiet environment
  • Make sure you are not distracted (switch off phone and doorbell)
  • Set up a quiet background music
  • Do not insist on places he does not like
  • Provide as much eye contact as possible
  • Try to be 100% with your thought
  • Provide a good (room) temperature
  • Put a little oil in a container, so that you can occasionally get a little oil in an easy way
  • Your baby is slippery with oil after the massage, keep this in mind so that your child does not slither out of your arms
  • If necessary, put some extra cloths (hydrofielluiers) ready to clean your baby after the massage

Particularities

Research has shown that preterm infants who are being massaged increase in weight better than babies who are not massaged. They are more alert and active, are discharged from the hospital earlier and perform better after a few months and at an older age in mental development tests.

Video: Baby massage

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