Touch is the ‘mother of all senses’, and ‘loving touch is baby’s first language’.
Gentle massage strengthens the bond between baby and parents (and grandparents, too).
Massage helps new parents become confident when handling baby.
Massage helps parents learn to recognise baby’s ‘cues’ (a sign that baby needs something).
Special massage strokes can help baby with colic and wind.
Massage is relaxing for both baby and mum, so it can help with breast feeding.
Massage is very soothing — massaging baby after a bath can be a useful part of the settling-baby-to-sleep routine.
Gentle, firm stroking of baby’s skin stimulates baby’s nervous system and their growth and development.
How to do it
Choose a time when baby is quiet and alert, and have the room warm.
Take off any rings or watch.
Loosen baby’s nappy or remove it.
Lay down a towel or soft cloth for baby to lie on, and a soft pillow for their head to rest against.
Sit close and face baby, who should be lying on their back.
Put a small amount of oil in your palm and ‘swish’ your hands together.
Ask baby if it’s okay to give them a massage.
There are several YouTube clips demonstrating baby massage. The strokes differ; but what’s common to all are gentle, slow, firm strokes, while watching baby and making sure they’re okay with what’s happening.