Benefits of baby massage for your newborn
As a first time parent, you’ll probably want to use every possible moment to learn more about your little one. There are lots of great ways for you to bond and newborn baby massage is a favorite for many – with lots of other benefits, too. In addition to helping to relax you and your baby, a gentle massage can aid their digestion, encourage sleep and also care for their delicate skin.
From the moment you meet your newborn baby, you’ll spend lots of time getting to know each other. All parents have their own way of building that special bond – from talking and singing to cuddling and even a regular massage.
There are so many benefits of baby massage. Touch is a great way to communicate with your little one before they can speak, as children’s nurse and mom of two Tracey explains, “You can become more aware of what your baby wants, because you get so much more aware of their behavior and how they react to things.” And because it’s very soothing, it can sometimes even reduce crying, too. Baby Dove Research and Development expert and mom of two Diane also found it helped with her son’s digestion: “You could feel the gas trapped in his stomach, so I used the Baby Dove Rich Moisture Hypoallergenic Lotion to massage the gas out of him, in a special circular and downward motion.”
It can also do wonders for you as first time parents, helping you to relax, feel empowered, and enjoy special moments with your baby. For Craig, dad of a newborn, a massage is part of a daily routine: “We do bath and baby massage at the same time each day,” he says. “It’s amazing to see his little body growing and watch his reactions to the massage change each week.”
Because their delicate skin loses moisture faster than ours, it’s good to moisturize while you massage by using a nourishing baby lotion. It also helps your hands glide more easily over their body and could make it more relaxing for your baby. “The Baby Dove Rich Moisture Hypoallergenic Lotion is made with 100% skin-natural nutrients that are identical to those found naturally in the skin, so it will help replenish nutrients lost during bathing and lock moisture in,” says Bindu, Baby Dove Research and Development expert and mom of three.
After bath and before bed is an ideal time for moisturizing and massaging, as your baby should be awake but settled and not too hungry or too full – but, as Tracey says, the best time is “always when it suits the baby and the parent”. You can use baby massage for sleep, too, as Baby Dove employee and dad of three Junaid explains: “In my experience, massaging the feet, heels and toes helps a new baby to relax and go to sleep more easily.”
There are also illustrations (below), but it you need more guidance, try asking your midwife or health care expert about baby massage techniques.