YOUR CHILD Bathing and massaging your baby
It helps your baby relax and be calm
ONE of the biggest responsibilities that you have as a mother is to keep your baby clean and healthy at all times. Giving your baby a massage during bath time can be a wonderful way to bond with your child. We look at tips on how to bath and massage your baby.
WHAT IS A BABY MASSAGE?
Lynne Bluff, a registered nurse, midwife and childbirth educator at Huggies, says “Baby massage is gentle and rhythmic stroking of your baby’s body with your hands. You can use oils or a moisturiser to help your hands glide smoothly over your baby’s skin. You can also talk softly or sing to your baby while you are massaging her, which may make it more reassuring for your baby,” says Lynne.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF A BABY MASSAGE?
A massage is a special language to communicate love to your baby. It strengthens the baby-parent bond. It helps the baby sleep deeper and more soundly.
It decreases the production of stress hormones and helps the baby to relax. It improves the baby’s immune system. Babies who are massaged cry and fuss less.
HOW TO MASSAGE
It is very important to know how to massage your baby as their bodies are tiny and sensitive.
“Begin with your baby on her back, facing you, so that you can talk softly to her as you begin this new experience together. Gently massage from head to toe, front and back, allowing one hand to leave the body only as the other begins a stroke. This gives the sensation of continuous touch. Firm but gentle stroking is best. Feathery touches can overstimulate,” advises Lynne. “Tune into your baby and take your cues from their responses. If certain touches seem to be particularly enjoyed, repeat them. If you are met with resistance, try phasing out stroking in that area. A baby’s face is very sensitive and some babies are not relaxed by facial stroking.”
BATHING YOUR BABY
Nthabiseng Leso, senior brand manager at Huggies, says it is important to use soap designed for babies that doesn’t have harsh chemicals in it and not to fully bath the baby in the first couple of days. “It is best not to bath your baby for the first couple of days because it is not necessary. After this, your baby will enjoy a full bath. Remember that they have lived in water in the womb for the last nine months, so this is a comforting and reassuring experience for them to be back in water,” says Nthabiseng. “You can bath your baby on a daily basis or every other day when they are little. Once they start crawling, it becomes a necessity to ‘clean them up’ more frequently,” she adds.
BENEFITS OF BATHING YOUR BABY
Bathing can be very comforting and relaxing to the baby.
Babies tend to sleep better after a taking a bath.
Bathing helps the baby feel fresh, clean and healthy.