Baby Massage — The Loving Touch

Jul, 31, 2013

As a new mom of a beautiful baby girl 6 years ago, I felt little overwhelmed with this tiny person and her needs. She was not a good eater and her digestion was not 100%. I was lucky to have a postpartum doula, Aparna, who helped me the first few weeks by using ayurvedic baby massage. I saw my daughter just totally relax during her first massage. Soon this massage became part of our routine: bath, massage and final feeding before bed. Bella loved it, and my husband and I enjoyed bonding with our baby girl. The massage helped her sluggish digestive system and suddenly she became a very hungry little girl. Now as mom of three great kids, I’ve used this massage on all of them. My first, now 6 years old, still will ask me to massage her.

Baby massage might be a new thing here in the U.S. but in other culturesMassage of foots

such as in India, massage is an important part of a baby’s daily routine. There is evidence that loving, touching, nurturing contact between parents and babies have a positive impact on a baby’s development. Most of us know that if a baby is put down s/he might fuss or even cry. Babies are most content when held and having skin-to-skin contact, so you can imagine how massage can benefit both baby and parent. Studies show that even the simplest gentle touch releases the hormone oxytocin. Its job is to lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety and pain, and promote relaxation. This is why this hormone is also known as the “cuddle” hormone.

The best time to give a baby a massage is when you and baby are relaxed and not too tired or hungry. All you need is 10-15 minutes. I like to make it part of the bath time routine. Make sure the room is warm and there is no breeze. Remove any jewelry that could harm the baby. Place baby, naked, on a towel with a second towel covering baby’s midsection to prevent any accidents. I like using an oil such as Weleda baby oil or jojoba oil. You may add a drop of essential oil such as lavender or chamomile. You need just one drop in a small bowel of massage oil.

Here is a video of how to do baby massage:

Some benefits of regular baby massage are listed here for you:

· Reduces stress

· Boosts the immune system

· Helps the digestive system

· Boosts circulation

· Stimulates the central nervous system

· Encourages sleep

· Can help colicky babies

· Develops strong bonds baby and parents

· Develops communication between baby and parents

· Helps relieve constipation, gas and teething discomfort

· Provides parents an opportunity to spend more enjoyable one-on-one time with baby

Fredrika Syren

Fredrika Syren is an environmental activist and writer. In 2016, she founded the website Green-Mom.com where she shared her family’s journey of living zero waste. She lives in San Diego, California with her husband James and their children Bella, Noah, and Liam. Fredrika and her family were recently featured in the documentary Zero Time to Waste. Fredrika is also the author of Zero Waste for Families - A Practical Guidebook (which you can buy on this site)

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