Stroking their lovely velvety skin and having that time together is pure bliss.
It is believed that massaging your newbie will relax them, help ease wind and many mums say it helps them feel a little calmer too! What's not to love?
For those trying it for the first time, we have put together some tips on how to get going as well as some of the benefits to taking on this lovely task.
1. First things first
When you are sure the baby is ready, rub a few drops of oil into your hands as you ask your baby’s permission – “Can I give you a massage?”.
Remember that massage is baby-lead and adapt the pace of the strokes to your baby’s response. These responses or ‘baby language’ are called ‘infant cues’. It is important that the session is a happy time for both you and your baby. If baby seems fussy, hungry or just not in the right form, stop and resume another time.
2. Resting hands
Begin with a resting hand. This resting hand technique is used before massaging any body area. It can also be used when your baby needs a break during the massage. This is a good way for your baby to feel secure and enjoy touch
Check you have enough oil on your hands before you start.Begin on the legs with a newborn because it is an area which is usually accepted by babies. Downward strokes are more relaxing.
4. Legs – milking
With one hand, gently hold your baby’s ankle. Place your other hand at the top of your baby’s thigh, moulding it around the leg, then slide it to the ankle. Repeat with firm yet gentle rhythmic strokes, one hand after the other.
Babies usually love having their feet massaged. Watch your baby’s reactions in case of sensitivity. A little foot massage can have a positive effect on the whole body. Gently squeeze and roll each toe between your thumb and index finger. Using alternate thumbs stroke the top of the foot from toes to the ankle. Repeat several times.
When baby’s umbilical cord is healed, gentle massage on the tummy can help with digestion and tummy troubles. Start by making contact with your baby’s tummy with a reassuring relaxed hand.If your baby is happy, make gentle paddling strokes, with one hand following the other.
Skin-to-skin contact can enhance the bonding experience between baby, mum and dad.Holding the baby close to your chest, massage your baby’s back beginning at the neck, swooping down to their bottom.
Baby massage has been practised in many cultures for thousands of years, and research shows many benefits.
Through massage, you can gain increased awareness of how your baby communicates and ideas on ways to support your baby in their first few months. You and your baby will discover what is best for you both.
It is important to be mindful that massage is something you do with, rather than to your baby.
Good luck mums! Happy stroking.