Baby Massage For Colic
There is no single known cause of colic. While gas has been suggested as one of the possible causes, treatments aimed at reducing gas do not always lessen colic symptoms.
The Mayo Clinic suggests massage as a possible soothing method for colicky babies, but notes that no soothing method is guaranteed to help all babies or work every time.
Parents of a colicky baby should be prepared to rely on a wide range of soothing measures, and this may include baby massage if you so choose.
If you notice that your little ones burps include excessive spit-up or projectile vomit, or if your baby seems to be in pain during or following feeds, consult their doctor.
Your pediatrician can rule out other possible causes for the discomfort including gastroesophageal reflux disease and suggest other treatments as necessary.
Baby Massage Relieves Gas Or Constipation
Because babies have an underdeveloped sphincter in their esophagus, they arent able to burp on their own. This causes gas to build up in their system, causing belly discomfort. Infant massage helps relieve that pressure, says Cheatham.
Gently knead your fingers under your babys rib clockwise to promote good digestion and a healthy GI system.
How Do I Massage My Baby
You might be wondering how to give baby a massage. Baby massage does not look like your typical massage. Because babies have much less muscle, especially newborns and premature infants, the touch and movements performed are much more delicate.
Watch this dad perform Massage+ 30, 10, 5 on his baby in the NICU to learn more.
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Benefits Of Baby Hair Massage
You may think that all babies are born with the same amount of hair but thats far from the truth. Some babies are born with a head full of hair, some with sparse hair and some with average amounts of hair. The hair texture, length and volume vary from baby to baby. While you probably know the benefits of giving your baby a body massage, no massage is complete without a head massage. So when should you start massaging your babys head and is it okay to use a hair oil for massage? What are the best hair oils for baby hair massage and their benefits for your baby? We answer these questions and more in this article.
How To Massage Your Babys Tummy
Massaging your babys tummy is a one way to help relieve constipation or gas. Heres how to massage your babys belly:
- Using your fingertips, draw an oval underneath your babys belly button.
- Move your fingers clockwise, which follows your babys digestive tract.
- Afterward, walk your fingertips diagonally, making an X from one side of your babys belly to the other.
- Repeat as necessary.
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Best Time To Give A Massage To Your Baby
The best time to give massage to your baby would be when your baby is not hungry, sleepy, or tired. You may choose any time of the day for the massagemorning or evening. Baby massage is an efficient way of getting your baby into the routine of bathing, feeding and sleeping.
It is recommended to follow a massage routine by doing the things in the similar order every day. This is because your baby loves predictability, and developing a routine will help your baby to know, what is going to happen next. The predictability also gives your baby a sense of security and happiness.
It is also a good idea to massage your baby, just before bedtime. Massaging before bedtime can help your baby sleep better and longer during the night. Although initially, you may find it difficult to set a pattern or routine for your newborn baby, as your baby grows, you will be able to make a set routine for your baby.
Many new mothers often wonder when to start baby massage? Well, it is recommended to wait for 10 to 14 days before you start off any oil or lotion massage for your newborn baby. Though for preterm or premature babies, it is advised to seek your doctors approval before starting any massage.
Prepare Yourself For This Time With Your Baby
Turn off the ringer and let the phone go to voicemail. Begin by washing your hands and soothing your baby with a soft voice. Use this time to tell her what you plan on doing and how much youre going to enjoy this special time with her. Put a teaspoon or two of oil in your hands and rub your palms together to warm it.
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Baby Massage Enhances Learning
Studies show that massages can promote alertness, and when baby is more alert, he/she learns more. In one study, 4-month-olds who were given 8-minute massages responded more favorably to audio-visual habituation tasks than infants who did not receive massage.
A relationship has been shown between skin-to-skin touch and intelligence, says Koch. The more tactile stimulation a baby receives in its first months of life up through the first year can impact their brain development permanently.
Another study shows that this benefit of massage applies to preschoolers as well. When preschoolers are tested post-massage, they perform better.
End Your Infant Massage
Tell your baby how much you love him or her, and how special your time is together. If you begin to repeat these steps, increasing the duration of the massage, your baby will begin to look forward to this experience with you . Never continue with infant massage is she cries or become fussy. If this happens, let a few weeks go by, and then try again for a shorter time. You have the power to acclimate your baby to the joy and healing powers of touch. With this will come a more relaxed baby, and an ability to instantly put your baby at ease. Relax and enjoy!
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How To Give Massage To A Baby: A Step
A baby massage is the gentle stroking of the babys body with the use of massage oilor lotion, specifically made for babies. A massage can be soothing for babies while also providing an avenue for the parent to bond with their little one.
A research study published in the Journal of American Academy of Pediatrics states that infant massage is comparable to the crib vibrator in reducing crying in colicky infants . This MomJunction post tells you about the benefits of massage for a baby, methods to do massage safely, and more.
Baby Massage Promotes Sleep
Research from the University of Warwick found that baby massage lowers levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, and stimulates melatonin production. Because melatonins main job is to regulate sleep cycles, baby massage helps babies fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Given the apparent effect of infant massage on stress hormones, it is not surprising to find some evidence of an effect on sleep and crying, Angela Underdown, University of Warwick
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How Often Should You Massage Your Baby
There is no restriction on how less or more you can massage your baby. It is great, though, to have a fixed massage routine since it helps your baby reap all the long-term benefits of massage. If your baby faces certain adverse medical problems, then consult the babys doctor about the ideal massage routine.
How Is Massage+ 30 10 5 Different From Other Baby Massages
Massage+ 30, 10, 5 is:
- A simple 15-minute intervention
- Originally designed to help premature babies, but proven to have benefits for all babies from newborns to 12 months
- Based on more than 35 years of research funded by the National Institutes of Health
- Research conducted by Rosemary White-Traut, PhD, RN, FAAN, a member of the Pathways.org Medical Roundtable
- Also known by medical professionals as ATVV
- Helpful at home and in the NICU
Watch the full intervention here.
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Best Time To Massage Your Baby
The best time to massage a baby is when they are alert, well-rested, and seem interested in the environment. Select a moment right between two feeding sessions when the baby is less likely to feel full or hungry. There should be a gap of at least 45 minutes from the babys last feeding session. Also, wait for 15 minutes after the massage before feeding again to give the babys body some extra time to relax completely.
When it comes to a specific time for massage, you can stick to massage after a bath, when the baby is just about to be tucked into the bed for the night or for a nap. Baby massage before a bath is the ideal since you can wash away the oil during the bath to prevent the accumulation of residual oil or lotion on the babys sensitive skin. You may choose to massage your baby after bath in case they have extremely dry skin or if your pediatrician has given a green signal to it. Generally, youll notice the greatest benefit if you can stick to a regular bedtime routine of massaging the baby at night.
Which Oil To Use For Massage
The UK NHS does not recommend using oil or lotion for massaging the baby until they turn one month old . This is done to avoid moisture loss from the babys skin, which is very delicate at the time of birth. However, during the first month , your babys skin develops its natural protective barrier. Owing to this, the babys skin becomes relatively thick. This is the time, under the consultation of a pediatrician, when you could start massaging your baby.
For babies over one month, you may use any odorless and edible oil so that there may not be a problem even if the oil is ingested by mistake. Consult your pediatrician to know about the most suitable oil for your baby.
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When And How Often Should You Massage Your Baby
You can start massaging your baby as early as you like. Just be sure to be extra gentle with newborns.Here are some tips on choosing the right times to massage your baby:
Wait 45 minutes or longer after a feeding. Starting too soon after she’s eaten could cause your baby to vomit.
Pay attention to your babyâs moods. If she seems calm and looks at you with a steady gaze, sheâs probably good to go. If she seems fussy, turns her head away from you, or stiffens up when you pick her up, it might be best to skip the massage for now.
Choose a time thatâs good for both of you. Itâs really up to you and your baby when and how often you do this activity together. You may decide to massage your baby in the evening, for example, as part of her bedtime routine. It could serve as a soothing ritual to calm her before sleep.
Massaging Your Babys Head And Face
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How To Give A Newborn Baby Massage
massaging a baby
Daily infant massage is a great way to bond with baby. What’s more, researchers are finding that massage may promote better sleeping, relieve colic, and perhaps even enhance an infant’s immune system, motor skills, and intellectual development. Here are some tips and techniques to help you along.
Use a blanket or towel, and massage oil in a non-breakable container. Start when your baby is in a quiet yet alert state — not immediately after a feeding or when she’s sleepy. Sit on the floor with the soles of your feet together, forming a diamond shape with your legs. Drape the blanket over your feet and between your knee.
Undress your baby down to her diaper and place her on the blanket, cradling her head on your feet. Start with a gentle “hello” stroke from baby’s head to her toes. If baby stiffens, cries, or becomes irritable, move to another body part or simply end the massage for the day. If she responds well, start gently massaging her body section by section.
Benefits Of Baby Massage
Infant massages are not new. In fact, baby massages have quite the history. Evidence of the earliest infant massage dates back to ancient India. Even then, massages were more than just a form of relaxationthey were incorporated into Ayurvedic medicine as a way to enhance circulation, get rid of toxins, improve digestive function, and boost overall well-being.
Today we know just how much a newborn benefits from massage and that all babies, particularly low birthweight babies, often thrive when exposed to human touch. Over 100 studies confirm the wide range of massage benefits for common maladies from gas to colic to sleeping problems. Lets unpack some of the biggest benefits of baby massage:
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Other Tips For Managing Gas
If massage doesnt seem to be working for your little one or youre looking for some additional comfort measures, there are plenty of things you can try to help manage and prevent gas:
- Bicycle your childs legs in the air while they lie on their back. This may help move gas through the system and encourage a poop if your little one is constipated.
- Gently twist babys legs and hips from side to side, which may help move things along the digestive track.
- Spend some extra time burping your baby during feeds to help air escape early in the digestive process.
- If youre bottle-feeding, check the nipple flow. If the flow is too fast, your child may be gulping air when they drink.
- Change bottle brands. Though no one brand is perfect for eliminating gas, there may be one that works better at reducing gas for your baby.
- Switch to a ready-made version of your babys powdered formula. Though if you dont note any change, you can go back to the powdered version.
Some caregivers report that over-the-counter medications like gripe water or gas drops help their babies with gas. Make sure to check with your childs doctor before going this route.