Newborns simply love to be touched and cuddled. The skin to skin touch helps you and your baby bond, comforts your baby when she is upset or uneasy with gas or colic problems. Hence, touch is a critical part of growth and development.
The massage strokes used on adults are completely different from the strokes to be used on newborns. The younger they are, more delicate and smaller will be the strokes be.
It is ideal that you take your child either on your lap or lay him on any kind of elevated soft surface such as few thick towels put together. Be very gentle while massaging. If your child cries or does not enjoy it, stop massaging.
Massage steps for the front of the body:
– Lay the child on the back. Start by stroking gently the face, move to the middle of the forehead and temples
– Stroke the cheeks from nose to ears and back moving down to the chin. Gently stroke the area around the eyes.
– Stroke the front of the body along the arms. Make clockwise circles around the navel with both hands. Do gentle wringing action across the abdomen and up the body.
– Take one arm at a time, start stroking from shoulder to hand to fingers. Massage the hand, squeeze and rotate each of the fingers in turn. Do the same for other arm.
– Take one leg at time. Do a gentle wring or squeeze up the leg and stroke down the leg. Do the same for other arm.
Massage steps for the back of the body:
– Lay the child stomach down. Stoke up and over the back and along the arms.
– Do a gentle kneading on the child’s shoulder
– Do a gentle wringing stroke all over the body. Massage the rear side with gentle kneading or pinching strokes.
– Slide smoothly down the spine alternating with both the hands. Start from the base of the neck and move to working down to the base of spine.
– Gently stroke the legs, bending the knee up and working all the way to the foot.
– Hold the anklebone between your fingertips and move both the hands in circular motion.
– Squeeze the heel with one hand and use the thumb of your other hand to massage the sole of the foot.
– Massage the toes by gentle squeezing, rotating and pulling it in turns. Hold the foot firmly between your hands for few seconds. Repeat the same for massaging the backside of other leg.
Lastly, turn the baby over and give it a final massage in two strokes. Start from one foot up the leg, across the lower abdomen and move down the other leg. Do light strokes from the top of head right down to the feet.
To massage the baby having gas or digestive problems, use the “I Love You” technique:
– Lay the baby on the back and undress it completely or just leave the diaper on.
– Use two or three fingers of your right hand to trace the alphabet “I” on the right side of the abdomen with gentle, yet firm movements.
– Next do a gentle stroke from left to right across the baby’s abdomen and then do a small downward stroke along the right side of his stomach forming upside down “L” alphabet.
– Last, stroke up from the left side of your baby’s hipbone moving towards the left side of the abdomen, across the baby”s body from left to right horizontally along the stomach and finally finish by stroking down the right side in the same manner, forming the “U” alphabet in upside down direction.