Massaging your baby is not only a great way to bond but has many benefiting factors as well. It can help the digestion of the infant, which causes a healthy growth process, and massage can promote blood circulation. Skin to skin contact stimulates the nervous system, which builds muscle tone, brain function and coordination, and strengthens the immune system.
Infant massage is performed with many different strokes then an adult massage. Some of those strokes are:
Swedish milking– using your full palms, massage with long fluid strokes toward the heart
Thumb-over-thumb– rhythmic stroking moving the thumbs in the motion of windshield wipers.
Thumb spreading– start with thumbs together and gentle spread outward.
Always keep the massage gentle and slow, to fast can over stimulate the infant. The calm motions will help your baby relax.
Hold the massage in a warm comforting area that has little distraction. Olive, safflower and grape seed oil are excellent lubricants for the baby’s skin. Try to avoid products with mineral oil as they clog pores and are not digestible.