Whenever the words “baby massage” come up, a lot of parents think of something very sophisticated that treats some ailments or can be harmful if done by non-professionals. This is one of the wrong understanding of the words ” baby massage”.
Massage in itself is a way of applying stimulating touch, in some cases stimulating nerve endings or pressure points. When it comes to baby massage I can assure you anyone can do it. Baby massage is aimed more at how to respectfully touch your baby which stimulates the baby’s skin, promotes bonding between the caretaker and the baby, and in some cases, helps with small problems (such as, indigestion, gas that a young baby can have).
When touching the baby, applying strokes on the baby’s body, the parent/caretaker doesn’t only give the stimuli to the baby – he/she listens and observes how the baby responds to these strokes. And soon enough both learn to communicate through this process.
There is no time limit for the massage and it can be done few times a day: from 5 minutes to 30 minutes. It all depends on how the baby feels.
The massage usually starts with asking permission from the baby for a massage. With a smile a parent/caretaker should make an eye contact and ask whether it is ok to massage the baby, with a soft voice explain that the baby will be getting a massage now. Which part of the body to massage first is up to the parent. It is advisable to massage the bare body, just wrapping the parts that aren’t massaged with a blanket. Some oil can be used (except for face, especially the areas around mouth, nose and eyes), preferably without any fragrance. Good choice oils suitable for baby massage are cold-pressed olive and sunflower oil, safflower oil, almond oil (watch out for nut allergy here!), coconut oil, rice bran oil, jojoba oil, grape-seed oil. These oils are also called base oils
For massage in the evening it is good to add 1 drop of lavender or chamomile essential oil to 1 tablespoon of base oil. Lavender and chamomile are natural relaxants and will help a restless baby to sleep better. Sometimes when my daughters have a cold I apply diluted lavender oil on the feet and massage the soles for 5-10 minutes. It helps them sleep better!!!