There are innumerable memories I have of my daughter as a baby and the fondest ones include the daily massage and bath sessions. The daily regime was her favourite time of the day. My pediatrician told me to massage her daily and to do it myself. I did not immediately understand why she emphasised on MY doing it but acted on her advice, just because I happen to be a 'paranoid' mom who just can't take any chances. I thought I would be a 'cool' mom but the tiny bundle I was handed over turned me into this unreasonably apprehensive, over-possessive caretaker who hoarded up a big stock of hand sanitisers, disposable wipes and put up a 'no-shoe area' sign outside my door for all visitors. So when I was told to massage my baby, I was Hell-bent on doing it the right way. After my Pediatrician friend, my mother and everyone around me told me that natural oils are the best for massaging,I still had to search online to test their claims(they were right, of course!)
So if you are a new mom too and looking for answers about baby massage, let me try and help you out.
1) Why massage?
-Masssage is very important for the baby's skin which needs deep moisturisation from within for retaining its cuddly soft texture.
-Massage is important for the growth and development of muscles and bones.
-Massaging a baby provides an intimate physical experience for the baby and is a wonderful ma-baby bonding time. Try and do it yourself.
-It also improves circulation and aids in digestion.
-Massage soothes the baby and eases teething pain.
-Massaging time is clothes-free time. All babies love it!
2) How to massage?
Massaging a baby should be by soft, gentle and rhythmic stroking of the baby's body with your hands. Do not rub vigorously and repeatedly. Gentle upward stroking will soothe your baby and help her sleep better too. Lightly rub her hands,feet,wrists and ankles as well.
3)When to massage?
The best time is in between her two feeds so that she is nether too full nor too hungry. Try to choose a time when she is calm and settled but awake and active. Do not massage her right before bathing her as that will remove all the moisture. It is better to do it after a bath or sometime before her bedtime so that she sleeps well.
4) What to use for massage?
Now this is the most relevant question. A baby's skin is highly sensitive and a judicious decision must be taken as to what to apply on it. I personally do not, as a mother, recommend using 'chemicals' and 'formulas' that have 'baby' written on them, As far as it is possible, only natural oils must be used. For those who do not have access to them, there are brands available in the market like Dabur Massage Oil which are made up of natural oils-almond and olive oil.
Do not buy products that contain PARAFFIN! It does more harm than good as it occludes the pores and does not let the skin breathe though externally, the skin appears moisturised.
5)What are the benefits of natural oils?
-Vegetable and plant oils are absorbed quickly in the body. They are also edible and easily digested if your baby sucks her oiled fingers. So no worries!
-Coconut oil is good for summers but solidifies in winters. Almond oil and olive oil can be used in both summers and winters.
-Mustard oil is also used in winters as it is believed to warm the body but has a pungent smell. Almond oil and olive oil do not have strong odours or colour.
-Both the oils are rich in vitamin E which is very important for skin health.
-Being natural, there is little chance of rash or reaction.
-Olive oil is a good remedy for diaper rash as well.
-Sweet almond oil is a natural anti-inflammatory.
-Natural oils are light and spread easily, leaving behind no greasiness or stickiness.
Memories-My princess sleeping after a massage!
We adults are inflicted with the disease of artificiality. For a baby, everything is natural....her smile, her innocence, her love and her attachment. Why not retain it as long as you can? Keep your baby away from everything artificial, that includes incomprehensible 'baby' formulas and harmful chemicals.
Go natural! You can never go wrong!
Author's note: “I am participating in the #FirstLove activity at BlogAdda in association with Dabur“.