Do's and Don'ts of Infant Massage
Infant massage offers numerous benefits to your little bundle of joy. At Mommy Mundo's latest Baby Love workshop for new parents, Rome Kanapi, expert childbirth educator who also teaches infant massage techniques, enumerated its many benefits including increasing weight gain, promoting longer and deeper sleep behavior, relieving gas and colic, and stimulating digestion, among others. Here, Rome gave a few cues on how to go about this most enjoyable experience. DO start your infant massage routine two to three weeks after childbirth. Before then, Rome says, you are likely to be harassed as you're still getting acquainted with your baby, and learning how best to take care of him.
DON'T massage baby right after he's been fed, when he's obviously cranky, and after immunization.
DO pick a quiet place to do the massage. Don't pick a spot in front of the television, and watch your favorite show while giving baby a massage, Rome says. Keep in mind that the massage is a golden opportunity for you to bond with baby.
DO get into a relaxed mood before anything else. Rome explains, “When parents are stressed, babies also get stressed. You cannot massage baby if you are tense.” Take three deep breaths before you begin.
DO start the massage by laying baby on a mat on the ground. You can, of course, do the massage on a table but you may not be able to predict how baby will move. So for safety reasons, it's best to do the massage on the ground. Ask for baby's permission before you proceed.
DO use natural cold-pressed coconut oil. Do check for for any allergic reactions the night before by placing a small amount on baby's wrist the night before. If the area turns red, then baby has an allergic reaction to it.
DO put some oil an your palm, and rub it in a swishing motion. This will serve as a signal to baby that the massage is about to start.
DO maintain eye contact with baby at all times. Turn off the television. Ditch your cellphone. This is your quality time with baby.
DON'T massage baby's whole body in one go. This will only serve to overstimulate him, says Rome. You can start with his legs on the first week, stomach and chest on the second week, arms on the third week, and back on the fourth.
DO talk to baby while you're massaging him. You can also sing to him as well. This is your time together, make it special.
Here, some photos from the Baby Love event: