Massage is especially suitable for pre-crawling babies. Infant massage help to calm, soothe and alleviate colic in infants and infants find massage extremely therapeutic. Out of the five senses, touch is the sense that is most developed at birth, and research has shown that infant massage provides excellent benefits for the growth and development of babies.
Benefits of Infant Massage:
- Develops the bond between mothers and their babies;
- Accelerates muscle development in babies;
- Soothes and calms babies to sleep;
- Helps to alleviate colic in babies;
- Helps to relieve constipation and enable babies to have regular bowel movements;
- Helps to ease teething pain in babies;
- Improves babies’ digestion and absorption of nutrients; and
- Helps mothers and babies relax.
Although you can start gentle massages with your newborn as soon as you arrive home from the hospital, it is best that you take an infant massage class with a certified infant massage professional before you try to massage your newborn. Most mothers are clueless about infant massage techniques unless they have attended classes conducted by a certified infant massage professional prior to childbirth or are certified infant massage professionals themselves.
The strokes and styles of infant massage are easier to grasp when demonstrated by an experienced infant massage expert. You will be able to grasp the pressure, rate, rhythm, the length of the massage, learn about why your babies cry and what to expect if you attend a class conducted by a certified infant massage professional.
You can check with your Obstetrician or your hospital’s Parentcraft Centre to find out about their infant massage classes. You should encourage your partner to attend the infant massage classes with you. Daddies can also bond with their babies through infant massage. Classes will offer a supportive group environment where parents can share experiences and learn from each other while having fun. Of course, Certified Infant Massage Professionals also provide private teaching sessions.
You will need to take note of a few things before you proceed to massage your baby. First, you should make sure that infant massage is a part of your daily routine. Try to massage your baby at the same time everyday so that he or she will be anticipating a relaxing massage session with mummy or daddy and you can be sure that your baby enjoys the massage session.
Choose a time when you feel relax, free from chores not rushed so that you can really enjoy a calming “ZEN” massage session with your baby. You have to make sure that your baby is not too full or feeling hungry otherwise he or she will puke from a full tummy and will not enjoy belly rubs.
Use a suitable massage oil and it is recommended that you use a professionally curated infant massage oil such as the range of baby massage oils from Aromababy. If you are massaging a newborn, you can choose Aromababy’s organic newborn massage oil which is low allergenic. Pure and certified organic jojoba oil, the oil which most closely resembles the skin’s sebum, is used as the base for this divine oil. Certified gmo-free natural Vitamin E is added to ensure the oil’s superb moisturising and healing properties, extended shelf-life and additional nourishment for particularly sensitive skin types.
Pick a spot at home where you feel comfortable with your baby. The room temperature in Singapore is just nice and warm for a quick rub with your baby. The best places to massage your baby will be on the bed or on the diaper changing table. If you are massaging your baby on the floor, make sure you have a nice cushy rug. Always place a clean towel underneath your baby for good hygiene purpose and to avoid oil stains. You can use this special time to bond with your baby by singing or talking to your baby. If you like, you can play some pacifying music in the background.
Sometimes you will need to assess and monitor the situation. Take cues and hints from you baby. If he or she frowns or cries when you lay your hands on him or her, then it is not the right time for a massage. Nobody likes to be massaged when they are not in the mood and this goes the same for your baby. Save the massage for a later time, check in with him or her a little later.
Use gentle strokes when you massage on your baby. Do not apply a lot of pressure. Use tips which you have learnt from your infant massage class. It has been taught that stroking away from the heart (from shoulder to wrist) is relaxing and suitable for pre-nap or pre-bedtime massaging, while stroking toward the heart (from wrist to shoulder) is stimulating and more appropriate when your baby is awake and active.
Below is a list of hospitals with Parentcraft Centres in Singapore:
- Thomson Medical Centre
- Gleneagles Hospital
- Mount Elizabeth Hospital
- KK Women’s and Children Hospital
- Parkway East Hospital
- Raffles Hospital
Check with the Parentcraft Centres in the above hospitals for more information on their infant massage classes. Explore the benefits of infant massage!