Getting Started with Baby Massage
Here at Cuddledry HQ we are passionate about what we do, and pretty confident that every bath time can be a happy bath time! We know that the number one concern of many new parents is how to get baby to sleep well at night (I mean, sleep deprivation is nobody’s idea of fun, is it?), and we’d love to be able to help with that. We’ve written before about how a good bath time routine can help to relax and soothe, but did you know that baby massage can also help? Studies have found that babies who have a 15 minute massage either before or after their bath are more able to fall asleep – and stay asleep!- at bedtime. It’s got to be worth a try, don’t you think? Here are our top three tips for getting started with baby massage.
Benefits of baby massage
There are so many reasons why incorporating baby massage into your bedtime routine can work wonders for your baby’s night time sleep! Here are just a few benefits:
- Better sleep
- Improved digestion
- Helps to soothe symptoms of teething
- Aids in circulation
Three tips to get started…
If you can get to a local baby massage class then great, but if not don’t worry. There are lots of really good videos and websites out there- have a quick google and spend some time reading up on the basics. And when you’re ready, hopefully these tips will help you.
Make sure you have everything you need before you start
The last thing you want when you’re trying to give your baby a relaxing massage is to have to keep disrupting it all because you’ve forgotten something! Much like when you give your baby a bath, it’s a good idea to have everything you need within reach and ready to go. Grab a warm towel and a changing mat with liner to lay your baby on. You’ll also need some organic massage oil and some clothes to dress your baby in when you’re finished.
If you use a Cuddledry hands free towel you can lift your baby for a warm cuddle as soon as the massage is finished. This will help prevent your baby from getting too cold, and will help to maintain the calm atmosphere you’ve worked so hard to create.
Keep it short and sweet
Your baby might need a little time to get used to massage as part of the bedtime routine, so take things slowly. Just as you would during bath time, maintain eye contact and watch for cues that might signal your time is up. Some babies will only tolerate a massage for a few minutes, and others will be happy there for much longer. Allow your baby to lead the way and always bring things to an end if she lets you know enough is enough.
The idea is to make massage an enjoyable activity to help strengthen the baby/ parent bond, so don’t force it.
Keep all movements slow and gentle
Baby massage is a wonderful sensory experience for both baby and parent, so keep this in mind. If you’re short on time and stressed about it, neither of you will feel the benefit. You might need to adjust your routine a little to fit in a massage, or postpone for another day when you know you have enough time. Don’t rush it!
Keep all your movements slow and gentle, and allow your baby to full relax and enjoy the experience.
We’d love to hear about your experiences with baby massage. What works well for you? How old was your baby when you introduced it as part of your bedtime routine?