Why should you massage the baby?
Baby massage is a tradition followed in most Indian households. Reinforcing our grandmothers’ faith in the therapeutic ritual, enough documented studies have confirmed that massaging a baby can reduce crying and fussiness, improve sleep quality, and alleviate common issues like constipation and colic.
Here are the top benefits of massaging a baby:
Relaxes the baby
Massaging a baby stimulates her central nervous system which sets off a chain reaction in which her brain produces more serotonin (feel-good chemical), and less cortisol (stress hormone). As a result, her heart rate and breathing slow down, and the baby becomes more relaxed.
In a study by Tiffany Field, PhD, at Touch Research Institutes at the University of Miami School of Medicine, infants and toddlers with sleep onset problems showed fewer sleep delays after being massaged by their parents for 15 minutes before bedtime each day for a month (as opposed to babies who were read a bedtime story). Massage helps babies sleep deeper and more soundly.
Improves overall functioning of the gastrointestinal tract
Colic, constipation and gas can cause a lot of distress for both babies and parents. Easy-to-learn massage techniques can help move along digestion and move out the gas that is causing distress, often relieving pain and discomfort in just a few minutes.
To massage a baby, find a spot that is warm and quiet. Take off any jewelry that could hurt the baby. Strip the baby down to her diaper, and lay him on a towel or blanket. Garb some baby massage oil, and begin by holding your baby’s hands and gently rubbing his palms with your thumbs a few times. When the baby seems to start liking the experience, start massaging the baby’s legs and work your way up her body.