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Benefits of Infant Massage: How and Why You Need to Do It. 

Baby Massage – How To Do It Right There are so many benefits you didn’t know about!

Being the parent of a new baby is a challenge. The infants are always fussy, and the tried-and-true technique to deal with infant fussiness is to use the “shush-rock-bounce” manoeuvre. However, a less popular but very advantageous move would be to take on “infant massage.” 

Until they are further along in their development, babies experience varying degrees of fussiness. This is because their circadian rhythms and digestive systems are still forming. Infant massage will provide your baby with relief while supporting the development process, as well as helping the parents develop a better connection with their infants. 

Research shows that both infants and parents have a lot to gain from skin-to-skin contact. Massage, especially for fathers who are working on developing a relationship with their infant, allows for a longer conversation between father and child with more skin contact and nerve stimulation, which provides greater benefits. 

Traditionally, parents kiss and cuddle their babies to create a physical bond, but massaging your baby will create an effect that goes beyond mere connection and is therapeutic. Research has proven that massaging your infant will stimulate the circulatory, respiratory, nervous, and immune systems. 

Here are five more reasons as to why you should try infant massage

It’s a stress-buster 

After receiving a massage, research indicates that babies show significantly lower levels of plasma cortisol concentrations, which is an indicator of reduced stress levels. They also show a reduction in stress related behavior such as crying, grimacing, finger flaring etc. 

Promotes better sleep 

All parents wish they had a “good sleeper” as a baby. It has been shown that babies who receive infant massage before bedtime produce more melatonin, which is the sleep-regulating hormone. This improves sleep patterns and helps enhance the coordination of the developing circadian system. 

Relief from infant pains

Babies have pains, too. Gas, colic, constipation, and so on, but they can’t tell us which of these bothers them. Massage is a technique that can provide relief from all of these ailments and soothe the infant. 

Enhance weight gain

Weight gain is important for infants, and massaging premature infants is one sure way to enhance weight gain. 

Improve Jaundice

Massage therapy, along with light therapy, has proven to lower the levels of bilirubin and enhance bowel movement in newborns, as opposed to newborns with jaundice who only received light therapy.

Massaging your baby – how to do it right 

Eye contact is important. Place your baby so that you have direct eye contact with the baby, and pay attention to how your baby reacts to your touch. There is no “wrong” way to massage your baby, and it is very subjective to how your baby responds to you. 

Your baby’s response is the best way to get an idea about the right pressure. Firm is always good, and try not to be too light so that it will tickle. When massaging your baby’s tummy, keep the strokes clockwise to stimulate internal flow in the natural direction. If the baby is naked, this might show in bowel movements. If you just fed your baby, give him some time to digest the food before you massage the tummy area. 

Body oil is the best to be used when you massage your baby, as it eliminates the friction involved. However, if you are using a lotion, keep in mind that this creates a cooling effect on the skin, and keep your baby covered so that only the area receiving the massage is exposed. 

Very young infants prefer their parents’ natural scent. Use cold-pressed, unscented fruit or vegetable oils to massage these babies, as they are non-toxic and safe to ingest. 

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