Thursday, March 31, 2011

Massage Your Baby

I recommend massaging your baby everyday with an oil you would ingest yourself (organic olive oil or coconut oil work great). Jett's dry skin was so bad that I had to slather on olive or coconut oil several times a day. Massaging stimulates growth hormone release, feel good hormones, bonding hormones, promotes sensory awareness (both tactile and olfactory, if your oil is naturally, not chemically scented) and better muscle tone.

You can start massaging your baby more or less from day one. To help prevent colic, you may want to start when your baby is around one month old.

However, if you didn't, it is never too late, although it is kind of hard to massage a baby that crawls away... Although Jett will hold still for one--at least when he's sleepy.

What Kind of Oil?

Choose a good organic oil for the baby massage. And choose one that doesn't have a strong smell.

Linda Sherman has a child with DS and owns Heritage Essential Oils. She has an information page devoted to DS & oils here Oils was the first thing I used with Jett when he was born because it could be absorbed through the skin and I had to massage him so many times a day.

I've also heard of Young Living products, which is set up sort of like Amway, but these folks swear by the oils. Based on Biblical premise of healing with oils.

Of course you can buy the oils at Whole Foods or any local health food store as well.

Use only a few drops at the time. Rub the oil in the palm of your hands to make it warm before massaging.

Attend a class

Infant massage is not difficult! But it may be bit tricky the first time. Attending a baby massage training is a perfect way to learn how to do it. And it's fun! But if you can't find a course that works for you, you can buy a book or a DVD or check one out from the library.

If your baby has some tummy pain (Jett had it every night it seemed), massage is a very good idea!

Check the video below to get an idea of how to do it.

Warm room temperature
Since babies easily get cold, it is very important to carry out the massage in a warm room.

Really young babies may very well start crying when undressed even if the air temperature is as high as 80F (27 C).

A tip is to choose the smallest room you have, shut the door and put in an extra radiator for a while to get the room temperature up.

A small bathroom or a walk-in closet works well as long as you have enough space on the floor to do the massage.

The older your baby gets, the less sensitive he will be to the temperature.

Not drafty

Even if the room temperature is alright, if it is drafty, your baby might not like the situation anyway. Close the window!

Undressing the baby

If you want to give baby massage to an infant younger than 2 months, it might be a good idea to not undress the baby completely from the start.

Many newborn babies seem to feel insecure or cold when naked and just cry until dressed again.

Not too hard, not too gently

I think it is really easy to be too gentle when massaging a tiny little baby. Of course you can't be heavy-handed, but a too gentle touch will only tickle the baby. Be a little bit firm.

If you watch your baby carefully you will soon notice what he prefers.

Choosing the time of the day

If you attend class, try choosing a time if the day when your baby is likely to be awake.

If you have no routines yet, choose a time that you find convenient.

At home, it may be wise to do the massage in the evening. This can help your baby navigating in the 24 hours of the day - "now it is evening and I will soon go to sleep".

It can also prevent tummy pain at night.


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Antibiotics: Alternatives & What to Avoid
Stimulating Growth
15 Things A New Parent Should Know
How to Bottle Feed & Nontoxic Bottles
Getting Your Baby to Communicate
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Early Steps for Better Speech

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