Protection and safety – what your children need right from the start. Baby massage supports your child and has a positive effect on his or her development. In addition, the intensive body contact strengthens the bond between parents and baby. Start at the head and finish at the feet – many children enjoy the gentle movements. Be sure to choose the right time, however, and comfortable surroundings.
Baby massage has an effect on body and soul
Regular massaging maintains your baby’s general sense of well-being. Massage stimulates digestion and reduces bloating. Teas with a calming effect on the stomach and bowels, e.g. sugar-free NESTLÉ ALETE Bio-Fenchel-Tee, can also promote a healthy digestive system.
Baby massage furthermore supports muscle formation, encourages blood flow and strengthens skin and tissue. During a massage your baby is calmed, and it encourages a regulated sleep pattern. It helps sensory perception to develop, and strengthens the immune system and the body’s ability to heal itself. In addition, baby massage helps premature babies to develop healthily and promotes the emotional connection between parents and child.
The time and the place must be right
You can massage your baby from day one. The massage should be enjoyable for both you and your child. It is best, therefore, only to use massage at calm, stress-free times. Your child should be well-fed and not too tired. Because your baby is naked, both the ambient temperature (c.24°C) and your hands should be nice and warm. The stroking movements will be even more enjoyable for your child if you use a little baby lotion or baby oil on the palms of your hands. Choose plant-based oils, e.g. BÜBCHEN Calendula Pflege Öl. These are rapidly absorbed into the skin, letting it breathe and making it smooth and supple.
Be aware of your baby’s reaction when you start the massage. You will be able to tell from the expression on their face whether they are enjoying it, or whether it is not the right time for a massage. If your baby grizzles or seems unhappy it is best to try another time instead. If your baby is ill, check with your baby’s doctor beforehand whether massage is a good idea or not.
Guidance: how to massage your child
Use the palms of your hands to apply a gentle pressure and stroking movements, massaging your child with sweeping strokes. Small, feather-light movements are not as effective for baby massage as these tickle your child.
- Start by massaging the face. To do this, use both hands to stroke in opposite directions from the nose out over the cheeks, and from the middle of the forehead up over the temples.
- When your baby is lying on its back, use one hand to alternately stroke from the shoulder over the chest and stomach down to the opposite leg.
- When your baby is lying on its stomach, start by massaging from the shoulders diagonally (from left to right and vice versa) across the whole back down to the bottom. Then start on the neck and use your hands to stroke in a vertical direction (from above to below) over the whole back, bottom and legs down to the feet.
- Include the arms and legs in the baby massage, working on the upper arm or upper thigh. Then slowly pull the hand up to the hand or foot. Before you let go of this leg or arm, start with your other hand in the same place.
- It is important to only massage the stomach in a clockwise direction – from right to left – because this is the direction that food takes through your baby’s digestive system. Always massage the chest working from the centre outwards. Be careful to give symmetrical parts of the body equal amounts of attention. For example, if you massage the left leg five times, you should do the same with the right leg as well.