Massage for Children and Infants
Massage benefits individuals of all age groups and different conditions. Touch is as important to any infants and kids like eating and sleeping. Massaging involves loving, gentle stroking or kneading by a parent or caregiver on various parts of a child’s body like the face, head, arms, shoulders, neck, hands, back, legs and feet.
Use of oils on the body of your precious little ones to soothe, relax and heal affirms a strong, close bond conveying a comforting sense of trust and security.
Early infant massage enhances the development of the nervous system and stimulates all other systems of the body. It improves circulation, respiration, aids digestion and eases elimination of wastes from the body. It also makes your little one less prone to gas and colic ailments. Massage of baby in its growing years prepares the body for sitting, standing and walking.
Massage is a wonderful stress buster for children who are prone to all kind of stress. Like a child starting a school in a new area, health, fights amongst parents, exams or peer pressure, etc produce emotional, physical and mental stress. Massage reduces stress hormones and heals the body.
Each child responds differently to massage. Some may squirm, cry, or some might just appear more relaxed and calm and also fall asleep.
There is no fixed time to massage your baby. Find a time suitable for you and your baby. Some enjoy in the morning after their feed, some in the afternoon before or after their naps. Massage before bedtime can put a cranky baby to sleep peacefully. Follow the massage with a warm bath.
While giving a massage, sit straight either on the floor or on the bed or stand before the table. The room is warm enough as your little one can shiver when undressed. The place where you massage you baby should be quiet and away from distractions of all kinds.
Lay your child on soft surface like thick set of towels so it may not hurt it self when it wriggles or squirms. Keep aside towel, pair of wash cloths, clean diaper and baby clothes for use after the massage.
Oils are good for lubrication, helping your hand glide smoothly over your baby’s soft and rather delicate skin. Small babies have a habit of putting their hand or fingers in their mouth all the time, so it’s ideal to use oil that is of good quality. Use cold pressed (oils extracted by means of pressure) or unscented oils. Alternatively you can use baby oils produced by many companies which specialize in baby products. Grape seed oil has nice texture, apricot and almond oils are smooth, light and easily absorbable into the body. To massage your babies, use coconut oil in summers and mustard oil in winter.