Baby body massage, when to start, how to do it?
According to some research, baby massage can even improve a child's development. The fastest growth of the human body can be noticed during the initial months and years. It is the time when bones get into shape, become stronger, muscles become stout, sense organs get into action, the brain develops, and immunity builds up.
Childhood is a time of rapid growth and development, so it is crucial to ensure adequate nutrition and care. The same can be achieved by giving your baby a proper and nutritious diet, which will make the baby strong from inside and build strong immunity. The second way is by taking care of your baby's body, like baby massage to aid its development.
To help your baby's bones and muscles develop and strengthen, baby massage after birth is very important.
The benefits of baby massage are very important before we discuss when and how we should proceed with it and what are the next steps we should take to achieve this.
Why body massage?
Body massage is one of many things that have been done throughout history to aid in the development of a baby. Ayurveda, the belief system of our ancestors, has put some extreme importance on Shishu Abhyanga (baby massage). Ayurveda is proclaimed to be very beneficial for the strain and stress caused due to the natural birth of the child and to control Vata dosha (balance of air in the baby's body). Additionally, it soothes the baby and helps them have a sound sleep. Ayurveda baby massage oils can relieve muscular tension, pain during growth, and teething discomfort for preterm babies.
So now that you know body massage fosters growth and has a significant role in the development of your baby, it's time for you to learn things further.
When to start?
When to start baby massage is one very important point that you should be aware of. Mothers often think that babies are too delicate for massage in the initial months and do not start doing it at the right time. As a result, development is comparatively slower and there is a lack of external boost available during development.
So make sure you don't commit the same mistake and start the baby massage from the first week of birth. Yes, the sooner the better is what is also mentioned in Ayurveda. Starting off from the first week of birth also makes your baby familiar with your touch.
From the first week of the baby's birth, you should start baby massage at home every day before bathing your baby. Though mornings are the preferable time for baby massage, but you can also give a calm massage to your baby in the evening. Choosing the right baby massage oil is very important, as it ensures the baby's proper growth.
How to do it?
Body massage to a week-old baby can be a bit challenging. You always need to be careful with the way you're doing it, the right strokes and the pressure you're using.
So let's now get to the proper way of doing baby massage at home and everything you need to know about it. Make sure that you keep the following things at the back of your mind before beginning the massage.
- Make sure the baby's stomach is empty. Do not go for a massage for at least an hour after feeding.
- Be sure that your baby is in a good mood, content and happy. The baby enjoys the massage in relaxed state of mind.
- Make sure you do it with clean hands and also beware of nails.
- Do not apply too much pressure during baby massage. Be gentle throughout the process as it is to make the baby feel relaxed.
- Be very careful while doing the facial massage. The baby massage oil should not touch the eyes or lips of the baby.
- Keep the baby covered once the massage is done. Also, make sure the process is followed by a warm bath.
- Be attentive to see if the baby is allergic to oil or has any after effects.
- Take utmost care while carrying out the whole process. Babies are very delicate, and any negligence during the massage may cause injuries.
So there are many oils that ayurveda suggests are beneficial for baby's massage. Any natural oil like coconut oil, mustard oil, sesame or olive oil, or even oils like Bala ashwagandhadhi taila or Ksheerabala taila, etc can be used for the massage.
Just make sure the oil you're using is chemical free and it would be great to use plant based oils. Ayurveda baby massage oils are preferred in such case since it is chemical free.
While there is no denying that some of these benefits are pretty amazing, you should always follow the lead of your own baby during a massage. In case the massage doesn't go well with your baby, you can stop for the moment; you can try the baby massage again when you see your baby being less fussy.
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