Nothing prevents you from massaging your baby as soon as he is born. He will surely like your gestures and your gentleness. Enjoy getting out of the bath when lying on the changing table to start a little session. However if you see that he doesn’t like it, tries to struggle, no need to force him.
This moment must be pleasant for you, as for him. He may just not be ready for this experience, you will try a little later.
With a specific product
Some mothers hesitate because they have fear of a possible allergic reaction to massage oil used. You should know that you can buy specific products for babies in drugstores. Proceed as for you: do a test on a small piece of his skin. Wait 24 hours and check for redness or patches.
Generally, we advise sweet almond oil, except in cases of allergy in the family, more neutral petrolatum oil or vegetable recipes. In any case, it is absolutely not recommended to massage your baby with essential oils which, when highly concentrated, are too harmful to the skin.
Massage your baby: simple gestures
You do not need to undergo specific training to perform massage on your newborn baby. However, if you are unsure of yourself, you can always participate in an internship or sessions to learn. Many associations offer it.
If you are doing a postnatal spa treatment, find out, there are certainly hours of lessons.
The gestures are simple. It is not a therapeutic massage, but rather caresses accompanied by very small circular pressures under the fingers or the palms of the hands.
For the back and the chest, put your hands flat in circles and go up or down slowly. In any case, it do not press too hard on: its bones, spine, vertebrae or shoulder blades.
A zen atmosphere
Try to create a little serene atmosphere. The room temperature should be correct: 24-25 ° C so that your baby does not get cold as he will be quite naked. The place should be calm and conducive to relaxation. You can put a little lullaby or very soft music on it.
You can find courses on the website of the French Baby Massage Association.
The basic principles of a massage on your infant
Before embarking on a massage session, there are several principles to know. First of all do not hesitate to talk to your baby, to reassure him, to look at him while it is installed on the back.
Symmetrical and circular movements
The goal is for him to relax, but also to become more aware of your body. So, if you massage her right leg, do the same with her left leg, ditto for the hands and feet. It is necessary that the gestures are well coordinated, symmetrical and circular.
Finally concerning the order, you must start with the top of her head and then her face. Continue through his shoulders back and forth. Slide your hands over his arms, then over his legs, feet, and toes. Go back up finally by his buttocks and his back.
Just a few minutes
Finally, know that the massage of a toddler will not exceed five minutes. If you are in a hurry, postpone the session to another day or concentrate on just one part of her body: legs, hands, feet …
Finish the massage, either by passing your hands two to three times over her entire body (from feet to head), or by taking and bringing her feet to her hands.
The benefits of a massage on your baby
Performing a massage for your little one allows you to enter a moment of exchange, a special relationship with him. This technique can help you soothe, relax your child if you feel him too agitated. He will then feel secure, ready to fall asleep (this is indeed ideal for children who have some difficulty falling asleep).
Massages are also part of bodily awakening. They promote its psychomotor development. Your baby becomes aware of his constitution gently thanks to the touch.
Massaging your baby can also relieve minor aches and pains. For example: when he has colic. Then place one of your hands flat, just below the navel, and go up slowly without pressing too much towards the thorax. With the other hand, go back in the opposite direction.
Read also: Skin to skin: benefits for babies and their parents