Every parent will tell you their little tricks to get their babies to sleep. But, what works for one parent doesn’t always work for other parents. Thankfully, there is one sure-fire method of giving your baby a better night’s sleep, every night, and that is by using massage therapy. It is not just adults who can benefit from massages, and this type of therapy for babies, while relatively new in the US, has been used in other countries for centuries.
Benefits of Massage Therapy for Babies
As any parent who uses massage therapy for their babies knows, this type of therapy is wonderful for both parents and babies. Not only is it relaxing for babies, it is also relaxing for parents. Some of the many benefits of massage therapy for babies include:
- Better Digestion – Infant massage can help to improve your baby’s digestion, which will help to reduce gas and bloating.
- Less Stress and Tension – Yes, babies do have stress and tension, and this is one way to relieve it. Gentle massages can be very relaxing for infants, and it will help to relax them. It can be particularly helpful for babies with colic.
- Better Bonding – The more you touch your baby, the more you bond with your baby. Massage is a good way to increase the bond between you and your baby, which will help to promote emotional development.
- Better Growth and Development – Babies who receive regular massages from their parents show more weight gain, and better overall development. They have better immune functions, so they aren’t sick all the time.
- Better Sleep – Obviously, the main reason for baby massages is to help them sleep. Studies show that babies who receive massages fall asleep faster, sleep longer, and sleep more deeply.
Tips for Baby Massage
Now that you understand some of the benefits of baby massages, it is time to start doing it. You may even want to take a massage therapy course
. Here are some tips that will help you give your babies massages that will benefit both of you.
1. Prepare the Room – Before you can start giving your baby a massage, the room needs to be ready. Make sure that the temperature is around 75 degrees, and that there are no drafts. Play some soft music. Create a massage area by placing a waterproof pad on a pillow, and then covering it with a soft towel.
2. Start at the Feet – To begin your baby’s massage, begin at the feet, and be sure to talk to your baby the entire time you are giving the massage. Your soothing voice will help your baby to relax. Start at the feet, and work up to the head.
3. Move to the Stomach – Next, move on to the stomach, making sweeping motions outward. Gently massage the belly button to the outside, using both thumbs.
4. Move to the Chest – Make a “sun and moon” motion using both index fingers to trace a circle, beginning at the top of the chest and ending near the belly button. With your right hand, go back up and trace out a moon shape up to the top of the chest, and then do the same with the left hand.
5. Move to the Arms – Next, massage the arms and hands with the “rope twist” method, followed by an open-hand massage on each arm.
6. Move to the Face – Be careful around the face, gently using your thumbs for massaging the eye area. Make small circles at the jaw, as well as behind the ears.
7. Finally, the Back – Last, but not least, it is time to massage your baby’s back. Use a back and forth motion to stroke the back up and down, and also make small circles at the back muscles. Let your hands move the entire length of the body, from the top of the back to the ankles.