After spending nine long months snuggled happily in your womb, it’s no surprise that your baby enjoys your loving touch. Being close to you and feeling your touch soothes and nurtures your baby. She feels safe when she's with you, and skin-to-skin touch can help you to bond with your baby. Baby massage is great for dads too! Both parents can take courses to learn baby massage, together with their baby.
Baby Massage Benefits
Here are 7 amazing benefits of baby massage:
#1: It’s Great For Development
Baby massage is a great example of a sensory activity that can encourage your baby’s social, physical and emotional development. Your baby will get to enjoy eye contact with you, breathing in your familiar scent, listening to your voice, and the touch of your hands as you massage her body.
Newborn babies do not yet have the motor skills or muscle development to fully explore their bodies. Baby massage allows the baby to learn more about her body in a safe and relaxing environment. It can help your baby to develop coordination and increase awareness of her own body. Massage can help to stimulate your baby’s nervous system, immune system and respiratory system.
#2: It Encourages Bonding
Baby massage is a great way of strengthening your bond and attachment. Baby massage release oxytocin in both baby and parent. Oxytocin is known as ‘the love hormone’ because it encourages bonding, and leaves everyone feeling a little loved up. Baby massage allows you to focus on your baby. It takes you away from your smartphone, the television and your guests, leaving you to get lost in your new baby. It works both ways too! Your baby will get the time to truly focus on you. There won’t be anything else getting in the way, it will just be time for the two of you to bond and relax together.
#3: It Can Soothe Ailments
Baby massage can help your baby to relax, and this can be a great way to de-stress after a busy day. Babies can easily become overstimulated throughout the day, so a massage before bed can help them to unwind.
Baby massage can also be used to soothe other ailments too. If your baby is suffering from constipation, you may find a couple of baby massage moves useful for hurrying along your baby’s digestive system. Other moves can be used to help clear blocked sinuses and a stuffy nose. A number of studies have highlighted the benefits of baby massage for preterm babies. The use of baby massage for these babies was linked with increased weight gain and shorter hospital stays, as well as increased parental satisfaction.
#4: It’s Relaxing
Baby massage can help your baby to relax. Your baby may enjoy being close to you as you massage her body. You may find that the eye contact, soothing touch and hushed talking helps your baby to feel totally relaxed. If your baby is overstimulated, baby massage is a great way to help her unwind. Simply find a quiet environment, dim the lights, and try out some simply baby massage techniques to help your baby find her inner calm. You will probably find yourself relaxing too. Life is a new parent isn’t free from stress. If you feel yourself succumbing to the stress, a quick baby massage may help you to find your balance once again. Taking time out of your hectic day of nappy changes and breastfeeds, to focus on the calming sense of touch could be all that you need to feel better.
#5: It Can Help Your Baby To Sleep
Baby massage can help your baby to get a better night’s sleep. Massaging your baby before bed can help her to sleep deeper, and even help her to sleep for longer. Researchers from Warwick University conducted a research study and found that babies who were massaged were likely to sleep better, cry less and have lower levels of stress hormones when compared to other babies.
If you’re looking for a gentle routine to help your baby get used to bedtime, baby massage is the perfect place to start. At around the same time each evening, take your baby upstairs of a massage. Dim the lights, play some relaxing music quietly in the background, and help your baby unwind with a 15 minute massage before bed. As your baby adjusts to the routine, she will soon learn that bedtime follows shortly after her massage.
#6: It Builds Confidence
Baby massage can improve the confidence of both mothers and fathers. As well as strengthening the bond, it encourages communication. As babies respond with eye contact, smiling, vocalisation and touch, parents are free to feel confidence about their parenting abilities. As they spend time touching and engaging with their babies through this activity, they become more aware of their baby’s cues.
Regular baby massage is like taking a master class in how to care for your baby. Not only will you gain an insight and understanding into your baby, but you’ll also receive feedback in the form of smiles and cuddles that will leave you in no doubt that you’re doing a great job as a parent.
#7: It’s Perfect For Dads
Dads, you may not be able to breastfeed, but baby massage can more than make up for that bonding experience. Carve out some special daddy-baby bonding time each day in the form of a relaxing massage. Your baby will enjoy gazing into your eyes, breathing in your familiar smell, listening to your voice and the gentle feel of your touch.
One study found that baby massage can decrease the amount of stress experienced by new fathers. As fathers seek to form meaningful and lasting bonds with their new babies, baby massage can help to achieve this whilst also providing other benefits to the baby. Fathers who regularly massage their babies are more likely to be met with smiles and eye contact. This can help to improve confidence, as well as strengthen their bond.
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