Before a child learns to speak and can comprehend words, you often communicate with him through actions. Massage is an excellent way of communicating with your baby. It can not only soothe a cranky baby to blissful sleep, but baby massage also comes with some proven medical advantages.
I. How Does a Baby Massage Work?
Baby massage is a fun activity which helps you bond with your child as well as works as a great relaxation technique. All you need is a good quality moisturizer or mild oil and a relaxing environment to work in. You can start by gently and rhythmically stroking and massaging your baby’s ankles and work all the way upwards. Massage every part of his body by applying mild and balanced pressure, which will stimulate your child’s muscles and help them grow better. Make sure you and your baby are on the same page while carrying out this activity. Your infant’s response to your touch and his facial expressions should determine the course of your massage.
II. Benefits of Baby Massage
Massage therapy comes with some benefits. Top of the list, it helps in the development of a bond between you, your child, your partner which is nurtured through loving touch.
a. Uplift of Your Child’s Mood
Just like any adult massage, baby massage too helps the child in combating fatigue, irritation and any unwanted sensation of restlessness which may be caused by a number of reasons. Baby massage helps your child sleep well, especially when coupled with a nice warm bath.
b. Helps Combat Postnatal Depression
While no other phenomenon holds a candle to the miracle of childbirth, sometimes it can be a distressing experience for the mother who then falls prey to postnatal depression. Baby massage provides a mother the intimacy she needs to connect with her baby. It also makes her feel more empowered as she can steer her child’s mood and state of wellbeing in a positive direction through the mere act of touch.
c. Acceleration in Weight Gain
Baby massage is particularly therapeutic for underweight and premature babies. When you massage your child with an invigorating oil, it results in the circulation of blood and stimulates the body’s muscles. During the baby massage, the vagus nerve is subjected to stimulation. This nerve is connected to major parts of the body i.e. heart, lungs and upper digestive tract. Regular massage of the vagus nerve accelerates digestion and bowel movement which increases appetite and help an infant gain weight and bodily mass.