11 Ways to Massage Your Babies to Boost Their Development
While improving a baby’s health, massage can also boost development and help to create a strong bond between the baby and their caregiver. You don’t need any special equipment. Just a few simple techniques, some free time, and love will do the job!
We at Bright Side invite you and your child to explore the benefits of massage with us.
Chest and stomach
- Start with light strokes from the top of your kid’s chest downward, along the ribs. Both hands should be moving simultaneously but in different directions. Avoid using too much pressure, especially when massaging newborns.
- Small babies often suffer from colic and this problem can be solved with clockwise movements around the abdomen. Experts warn that you should not massage the stomach in a counterclockwise motion, since it can cause problems with digestion.
- The next technique mimics the acronym of ’I Love You’. Start with horizontal lines from the bottom of the kid’s tummy to the chest, tracing the letter ’I’. For the next movement, after going from the tummy to chest turn horizontally outlining the upturned letter ’L’. And for upside-down ’U’ repeat the previous movement and go from the armpits downward.
Arms and legs
- Wrap the fingers of your left hand around the baby’s arm and massage it moving backward and forward from armpit to wrist. Repeat the movement in both directions several times, on both hands.
- Repeat the movement with the baby’s legs. Gently rub the baby’s legs with your fingers around them, like a bracelet. Make sure to massage both the inner and the outer sides of the legs.
- Hold both of the child’s arms and move their right hand to the left and left hand to the right. It will look like the kid is hugging themselves. You can also gently draw circles in the air with both arms in both directions.
- Fingers and toes are very sensitive, so it would be great to stimulate those too. Move your thumbs across the palms and the bottoms of the feet, and gently squeeze each finger and toe.
- For the next phase, turn the child onto their stomach and gently stroke their back. Please be extra careful to not press on the spine. Stroke their back with your fingers from the glutes to the shoulders, with both arms.
Head and face
- Massage your baby’s scalp with your palms, like you’re shampooing it. You can also make circular motions with the tips of your fingers. While stroking the baby’s head, don’t miss a chance to say some sweet words for a better bonding experience.
- Earlobes also have nerve endings, so massage them with your thumb and index finger.
- You can repeat saying, “I love you,” only this time draw a heart on your infant’s face. Start by placing your index fingers between their eyebrows and move to the side, sliding through the eyebrows, moving down, stroking the cheeks, and sliding to the chin.
Here’s why massage is so important for both the baby and their caretaker
Massage is not just an amazing way to express all the warm feelings you have for your baby. It enhances blood circulation, reduces the amount of stress hormones, and releases oxytocin. Experts note that it helps to stimulate the nervous system, boosting brain development, and improving motor skills.
For mothers, it’s crucial to feel bonded with their little ones. The first year of motherhood can be tough, so it might help to avoid postnatal depression, since massage releases the hormone of love and happiness.
Have you tried massaging your child? What was your baby’s favorite technique? We’d love to hear about your experience!