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Massage is the best exercise for your new born. It helps your baby to build stronger bones, and develops his/her muscles. A massage is an enjoyable period both for the baby as well as the massaging parent. It connects them and strengthens their bond. A massage is the best way to show your baby how much you love and care for them. Remember using an organic massage oil contributes a lot to the baby’s growth. Here are the steps you should follow to give your baby the perfect massage.
- The Legs
Start massaging your baby from his/her legs, because compared to other body parts, legs are less sensitive. Pour some oil in your both palms, wrap them around one of its thighs and pull down your hand one after the other while gently squeezing the baby’s leg. Switch from one leg to another, and repeat the massage. Gently bend that baby’s knees alternatively giving him/her a cycling motion.
- The Feet
Take one foot in your hands and gently press it giving circular motions, in either direction 4-5 times. Then, gently stroke down from the ankle to toes. Switch the foot, and do the same. Fold your baby’s legs and touch the toes to the baby’s forehead.
- The Soles And Heels
Move your thumbs in circular motion on the soles and feet of the baby.
- The Toes
Hold each toe of the baby between your index finger and thumb, and gently pull it off the toes, giving circular motion. Repeat it for all the toes of both legs.
- The Arms
Take one arm in your hands and stroke the baby in milking motion from the baby’s armpit to its wrist. Now, gently rotate the baby’s wrist of each hand in either direction for 4 to 5 times. Switch hand and repeat. Hold the baby’s arms and stretch them in opposite directions crossing them over each other. Repeat this process a couple times.
- The Palms
Move your thumbs on the palms in circular motion of both the hands.
- The Fingers
Just like toes, take the fingers of each hand one by one between your index finger and thumb, and first gently pull in down, then pull it up, each time letting it slip off your grip.
- The Face And Head
Gently hold your baby’s back of the head in your hands and then, stroke the scalp softly and gently with your fingertips. After this, gently stroke his/her eyebrows, closed eyes and from the nose-bridge across the cheeks. Then, rub baby’s earlobes and gently stroke the jaws in small circles.
- The Chest
Join your hands together over the baby’s heart. Now, open them slowly, stroke them outwards and flatten the palms lightly over the baby’s chest. Repeat the process several times.
Next, lay one hand flat across the top of your baby’s chest. Now, gently stoke it down to baby’s thighs. With alternate hands repeat the motion several times.
Who doesn’t like a little belly rub? Put a couple drops of massage oil in the baby’s naval and rub some in your hands. Now gently massage the baby’s belly in half circular strokes outwards. Also take the oil from the naval and rub it on to the baby’s stomach.
- The Back
Now roll the baby onto its belly for a back massage. Use your fingers and trace circles from the neck down to baby’s buttock on either side of its spine. Make one gentle but swift stroke on the baby’s backbone, first from top to bottom then in the opposite direction.
Finish the massage with firm and long strokes to baby from its shoulders to feet. Now hold your baby close to your heart and cuddle or rock him/her. Chances are, he/she will easily dose off to sleep with in a few minutes.
Remember that a massage is not only an exercise for your baby it is also a therapy. The skin to skin contact with your baby is a great way to connect with him/her. It makes him/her feel safe, protected and loved. During the first few months, the baby only understands the language of touch, this is why a massage given by a parent is the most effective one. Also don’t forget to warm up the massage oil a bit before starting the massage, the cool temperature might have adverse effects on the baby.