Baby massage is a wonderful activity that helps to grow trust between you and your baby. But when should you start to massage your little one and when is it the appropriate time for infant massage?
In this article, we will talk about the signs your baby gives you that you should follow before and during the massage.
Babies can communicate. Maybe not with words but they have cues that the caregiver needs to read. It is essential for a good relationship between the parent and the baby to listen to each other. As caregivers, it is our job to try to figure out what our baby is trying to tell us.
There are several cues that you can notice long before the baby starts to communicate by crying. For example, there are signs of stress like lack of eye contact, fussiness or jittery limbs. All of these mean that your baby is experiencing some level of stress.
What are the signs that your baby is ready for a massage?
In order to know when it is the right time to massage your baby, you need to be able to read their cues. Since every baby is different, the right time for infant massage might vary for each baby.
First of all, you must give massages to happy and healthy babies. So, if your baby has any illness or fever, it is not a good choice to give them a massage. In this case, you need to let the infant’s body rest and let the immune system take care of the illness.
If your baby is healthy and happy you only need to check a couple of cues that mean your baby is ready for a massage – or any other interaction. If your baby:
- keeps good eye contact,
- has relaxed limbs,
- is chatty (vocalising, cooing),
These are awesome cues given by your baby, meaning that it is a perfect time for a massage! Make sure your baby is not hungry and not sleepy when you start massaging them. Many parents are eager to link baby massage into the bedtime routine; but in the beginning, not many babies will be patient enough to have a massage before falling asleep.
First, always check your baby’s cues during the day and introduce massage to them. It is an excellent idea to have a couple-of-seconds-short routine even before you start the massage. Every time when you put oil on your hands, rub your palms together, reward your baby with a huge smile and ask them: ‘Are you ready for a massage, baby?’. By this time, you will notice that your little peanut gives you a huge smile after this little introduction because they will know it means that a massage is on the way!
How your baby feels during massage
Baby massage gives a wonderful opportunity for you and your baby to bond, communicate and get to know each other better and we haven’t even mentioned the presence of oxytocin (also known as the love hormone). During baby massage, both your baby’s and your brain releases loads and loads of oxytocin that deepens the bond between you, so it gives an extra level of happiness to you and your baby during each massage session!
While massaging your little one, all your attention goes to your infant. Babies LOVE that! That’s how they learn the most about you and the world. That’s how they know that they are loved, taken care of and that they matter.
During baby massage always check in with your baby. Observe their cues. Watch their face, listen to their voice and keep in mind which cues mean that your baby is relaxed and which cues are telling you that your baby might have got tired or overwhelmed. Also, don’t forget to listen to your instinct!
If you see that your baby is showing any stress cues mentioned above (jittery limbs, fussiness, avoiding eye contact or even crying) please know that it is time to stop the massage. If you follow your baby’s cues if you listen to them and give them what they need your baby will always feel loved and respected.
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About Blossom & Berry
Blossom & Berry offers expert training, support & resources on baby massage, yoga and parent and baby wellness for professionals & parents across the world.
Blossom & Berry training is designed to give you everything you need to succeed. It gives you a complete teaching practice and mentorship program in a box.
Our training is the most comprehensive teacher training and business package on the market with no restrictions on what you can do and no ongoing licence fees ever.
“I would love to invite you to join my network of over 1000 teachers across the world sharing the benefits of nurturing touch and connection with parents and babies.”
Gayle Berry – Master trainer and international expert on baby massage and yoga, founder of Blossom & Berry.
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