From improved sleep to stronger bones, baby massage has so much to offer. It’s an age-old tradition with medically proven benefits. Not only does it help the baby grow, but it also helps the baby to bond with the parents. The sense of touch is the most advanced in babies, a gentle rub, hold and cradle help them to build trust and create a bond with the parents. It also helps to build their immunity and provides relief from dry skin, fatigue, and stress. (Yes! the new-borns also feel stress. They have just entered into a completely new environment which makes them anxious and can lead to stress.)
Here are some Do’s and Don’ts by Massage expert Jyoti Devjani, founder of Keola Wellness, about infant massage for the new parents.
- Start massaging your baby only after the umbilical cord dries and falls off. Until then, holding and cradling the baby soothes them and provides a sense of safety around them.
- Take permission from the baby i.e. try to understand their body language to check if they want a massage. This helps in building a sense of choice and promotes their self-esteem.
- Always wipe off the extra oil from the baby’s body with a damp cloth or tissue. The residuals can otherwise cause irritation and infections.
- Manage the pressure and be extremely gentle with their joints as the babies are extremely fragile.
- Use cold-pressed vegetable oils, edible oil, or desi ghee for massage. If you feel the need to add essential oils, consult an aroma-therapist. Also, before trying a new oil, do a patch test on the baby’s skin to avoid any allergic reaction.
- Do not put oil in their eyes, ears, nose, or naval as this skill is acquired by a lot of practice and is best performed only by the professionals. If gone wrong, it can lead to irritation and infection.
- Do not pinch the baby’s nipples or nose. There are myths that say removing extra milk from the nipples is important or otherwise, when they grow up, they will be heavy chested whereas pinching only causes irritation and pain for the baby. Similarly, the notions around shaping their nose by pinching are false. Babies tend to change their features and look for the initial 2 months.
- Trying to remove extra hair or getting a fairer complexion through massage are also myths. Babies tend to shed excess hair on their own and keep changing their complexion for a while.
- If the baby has a rash, avoid that area during massages. Also, avoid massaging areas near their eyes and the front of the neck.
As delicate as the young ones are, all they need is their parents for protecting and nourishing them. As a new parent you might have some apprehensions and confusion, but don’t worry, MomSoon is there with you at every step of this amazing journey of parenthood.
**For any queries or confusions please send a direct message to Keola Wellness on their Instagram page - @keolawellness, they will be happy to help.