You’re all too familiar with the Zen state a soothing massage can send you into, so extend this benefit to your little one. A massage triggers his central nervous system to signal his brain to produce the feel-good hormone, serotonin, even as it reduces the production of cortisol, the stress hormone. Massaging will also improve his sleep.
Notes Genah Lim, managing director of Beauty, Mums & Babies at Paragon, “You can count on it to improve his digestive, immune, nervous and circulatory systems.” Plus, the ample eye and physical contact will help build your bond with him. The list doesn’t end here either as a massage can ease any gas, colic, stomach cramps and muscle tension.
WHEN The best time to massage your baby is after a bath. Lim says, “It’s when the pores of his skin are open, which allows for better absorption of nutrients from the oil.” Make sure your baby is relaxed but not sleepy, she advises, as the latter state won’t benefit from the close interaction.
WHAT “Use natural oils such as grape seed, olive or cold pressed vegetable oil and massage him for 15 to 20 minutes,” Lim advises. “Avoid mineral oil-based products as it’s a by-product of petroleum, which can clog up your baby’s delicate skin.”
HOW Begin by putting peewee on a flat and smooth surface. Pour some oil onto your palms, and rub together to warm it up. Start by resting your hands gently on the area to be massaged — this technique also works when you’re trying to ease any discomfort he may have, like a stomachache.
Lim says she always massages the legs first as they are frequently in contact with the parent and less sensitive. She explains that soothing massage strokes relaxes your baby, while improving his circulation and lymphatic drainage. Continue bonding with bubba by chatting to him and offering lots of smiles, kisses and hugs.