Give your baby the most re­lax­ing mas­sage

Mother & Baby - - CONTENTS -

Baby mas­sage is a great way to bond with your baby and has been prac­ticed for cen­turies in our coun­try. When you go to buy baby oil for mas­sage, it is im­por­tant that you choose an oil, which is best suited for your baby’s skin. Dr Pankaj Parikh, Mum­bai-based pae­di­a­tri­cian, says, “You can choose be­tween veg­etable oils, min­eral oils or emul­sions and lo­tions. Best to use are un­re­fined veg­etable oils, which ab­sorb quickly and carry many health ben­e­fits.”

GET­TING STARTED

You can mas­sage your baby from birth. This is known to have a calm­ing ef­fect and is a great way to re­lax your baby. Dr Parikh says, “When you give your baby a mas­sage, it stim­u­lates her ner­vous sys­tem. This helps im­prove blood cir­cu­la­tion in her body which is es­sen­tial for her de­vel­op­ment. Choose any oil, for ex­am­ple, veg­etable oil which is less vis­cous and pen­e­trates into the skin. It pre­vents dry and ir­ri­ta­ble skin and re­tains mois­ture. Rhyth­mic move­ment that comes from the af­fec­tion­ate touch of the mother or fa­ther helps the par­ents to com­mu­ni­cate with the baby. So, it’s a great way for you to bond. Your baby’s heart rate and breath­ing slows down dur­ing the mas­sage and she be­comes more relaxed. Giv­ing your in­fant reg­u­lar mas­sages is good for her emo­tional well-be­ing too. It will also help you learn how to read your baby’s sig­nals and re­spond bet­ter to her unique needs.”

THE RIGHT TIME

Any­time, un­less your baby is cry­ing or dis­tressed. “Pick a time when you’re relaxed and your baby is quiet but alert,” says Dr Parikh. Make sure the room is warm and com­fort­able, then un­dress your baby and lay her on a soft towel. Rub cream or olive oil into your hands to warm them up, then begin. If your baby doesn’t seem to en­joy the mas­sage, stop and try again an­other time.

TECH­NIQUE

Close your eyes and press your eye­lids. This is the amount of pres­sure you should use on your baby to avoid caus­ing her dis­com­fort. Dr Parikh ad­vises, “Make sure the strokes are gen­tle but firm. Fol­low your baby’s sig­nal about when to stop.”

HEAD. SHOUL­DERS AND BACK

Start with your baby’s head and use a cir­cu­lar mo­tion to mas­sage her tem­ples and ears. Lightly stroke her eye­brows, eye­lids and around her mouth. Move down to her shoul­ders and chest and gently mas­sage them us­ing cir­cu­lar move­ments. “With both of your hands on baby’s back,move each hand back and forth from the base of her neck to her but­tocks,” says Dr Parikh.

LEGS, FEET AND TOES

Stroke each leg gently with the whole of your hand, start­ing from the top of your baby’s thigh, work­ing down. When you get to her feet, start by pulling her toes gently then rub the top of each foot with your thumb. “Mas­sage around her an­kle by mov­ing your fin­gers in small cir­cles. Use your whole hand to stroke the bot­tom of her foot from heel to toes,” ad­vises Dr Parikh. By the time you fin­ish, both of you will be feeling de­li­ciously calm.

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