Infant Massage: What to know when massaging a Baby
Baby massage is a common ritual in India. In fact, it is widely practiced as a tradition. A baby in India is massaged right after birth. This ritual is also known as a cleansing massage. This is done with a soft ball made of wheat and gram flour dough.
Little almond oil and a pinch of turmeric are also added to the mixture. The ball is dipped in to almond oil prior to rubbing on the body of the baby.
This practice is continued for about six days after the birth. The baby is massaged before giving a bath. Ayurvedic baby massage improves circulation and facilitates elimination of harmful toxins. This also helps in improving the digestive system of the baby.
The actual baby massage starts on the 7th day after the birth of baby. The massage ritual is carried on for up to 3 weeks after the birth. Sometimes it is carried until the baby is one year old. The dough ball is dipped in oil very frequently. This facilitates in keeping the three vital doshas of the body in proper balance.
Massage using hands starts once the baby is one month old. The body of the baby should be strong enough to use hands for the massage.
The massage thereafter is continued every day for up to 3 months or for the duration desired.
The focus is given on massaging spine, neck, back, waist, feet and hands. This is because these body parts must gain adequate strength after birth.
Once the baby is capable of lifting its head without any difficulty, hand massage is done more effectively. Ideally, a baby should be massage for up to 18 months after birth.
The most important part of the massage is the spine massage.
This is also known to be the elementary aspect of baby massage. Once the baby is 18 months old, it can be given massage every alternate days. This should be a daily routine for the child to keep it healthy and strong.
Here are some of the benefits of infant massage:
* Offers relaxation to the infant
* Tender, loving and caring touch reduces tension, irritability and fussiness in the baby
* Massage aids digestion
* Provides great relief from gas and colic
* Massage will also reduce stress for parent and baby
* Massage give the much needed human touch for the baby which enhances bonding
* Touch also results in nurturing and love. These are the important ingredients for emotional as well as physical growth of the child
* The infant massage helps in growth and development of the child
* Studies and researches have proved that infant massage improves body weight of the child and enhances immune function
* Nerve myelination is also increased. This is needed for the development of brain and muscle development
* Promotes communication
* Infant massage offer great opportunities to parents to understand nonverbal cues of a baby
* Baby feels loved and secured
* Enhances sleep in baby
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