Baby Massage: How and Why You Need To Do It
Little Yawn Collective - Oct 10, 2021
Think of all the wonderful reasons why you enjoy getting a massage: It's soothing, alleviates tension, and of course, it's undeniably relaxing. Not to mention it just feels good — a gentle body rub is something every parent could benefit from.
But it's not just mom and dad who enjoy the power of touch; babies also find a soft rub down very calming —and even therapeutic! In fact, recent studies have shown that a gentle massage may reduce tears and fussiness, promote a peaceful snooze, and ease troubled tummies.
Interested in learning more? Little Yawn Collective is here to help! Read on as we explore the adorable world of baby massage to discover how and why you need to do it.
What Is a Baby Massage?
We've all been there. The second you put your little one down for a snooze, they cry.
Pick your fussy tot up from their comfy-cozy crib and PRESTO — they're all smiles again. If simply holding your little one can be so comforting, imagine how they'll benefit from a soothing massage.
A gentle, rhythmic stroking of your tiny human's body with your hands, baby massage, is arguably the best thing since sliced bread. It involves mindfully engaging with your child, recognizing nonverbal communication, and creatively adapting touch to support the baby's sensory needs and capabilities.
Why Should I Give My Baby Massages?
For a tiny tot who is relatively new to the world, the sense of touch can symbolize many different things. For babies who can neither use words or gestures to communicate their feelings, touch also serves as a powerful tool for communication.
Establishing a baby massage routine right from the get-go can help you use this incredible sense to soothe, calm, and comfort your smallest family member.
Encourages Healthy Weight
Believe it or not, many studies show that for itty-bitty babies, following a regular massage routine may lead to healthy weight gain — particularly if you use oils. You see, massage stimulates a key nerve called the vagus nerve, which connects your little one's noggin with other important parts of the body, including their tummy.
Stimulating this essential nerve may improve digestion while supporting growth and development, which just might help your tiny human to gain weight.
Helps Reduce Stress
There's a good reason your sweet cherub is smiling after a soothing baby massage. Endorphins — you know, those oh-so-happy hormones — are naturally released in response to therapeutic touch.
At the same time, the stress hormone cortisol is reduced, essentially pulling the plug on the fight-or-flight response while stimulating the relaxation response.
In other words, a soothing baby massage can help to melt away your baby’s stress for happy days and dreamy nights.
Helps Promote Sleep
From falling asleep faster to staying asleep longer, the relaxation and gentle skin stimulation brought on by a soothing massage do wonders for baby sleep.
Just think about how you usually feel after a great body massage or spa session — if done right, chances are you typically feel quite sleepy and ready for a snooze. Your little one is no different.
We recommend massaging your baby as a part of the bedtime routine using our Nourishing Body Lotion with Oat and Shea Butter.
This dreamy lotion is clinically proven to be gentle on your little one's sensitive skin and is infused with our signature NaturalSnooze fragrance.
This fragrance includes snoozy scents proven to create a peaceful environment that helps babies sleep deeper and more soundly.
Let’s face it, if your baby is sleeping better, you'll sleep better too.
Helps Strengthen Your Bond
When you delicately massage your little buddy, you may not realize it, but you're forging a beautiful bond through touch as well as sound — it's natural to use hushed loving words while gently massaging your tiny bundle.
With each gentle stroke, your baby will feel nurtured and loved, paving the way for a strong relationship as they grow.
How Do I Give a Baby Massage?
Before getting started with a soothing baby massage, give your little darling a slight rub on their tummy or behind the ears to see if they're feeling up for it. If your baby seems irritated by the touch, save the massage for another time.
If your baby coos, however, you have the green light to start the massage. Grab your Nourishing Body Lotion to nourish and calm your little buddy's skin as you rub for a super dreamy and calming experience.
Start with the baby's tiny feet. Rub some lotion on your palms and begin massaging the soles. Then, use your thumbs to massage the heels up to the toes. Stick with firm, gentle, slow strokes.
Legs and Arms
With one hand, gently hold your little buddy's ankle. Place your other hand at the top of the thigh, molding it around the leg before sliding it down to the ankle. Repeat with firm yet gentle strokes, one hand after the other.
After giving your little buddy's legs some love, it's time to move to the upper extremities. Massage your tiny tot's arms by stroking gently from the shoulders down towards their wrists.
Tummy and Chest
If your child’s tummy feels soft, massage it with gentle circular, clockwise strokes (to follow the natural path of digestion). If they get a little fussy, go on to the next step.
Note: Avoid the belly button area if your tiny tot's cord isn't completely healed.
The last step is to turn your little one around and massage the back. Place your tot outstretched on the tummy with their hands at the front — not on the sides.
Place your fingertips on your baby's upper back and trace clockwise circles while slowly moving the strokes towards their bum. Then, place your index finger and middle finger on either side of the upper spine and, ever-so-gently, slide your fingers down to the lower spine.
Repeat the strokes a few times.
A Final Word
To make the massage extra special, create a cozy and peaceful "spa-like" atmosphere for you and your tot. Place them on a snuggly blanket on their back so they can maintain eye contact. Dim the lights, grab a little body lotion, and sing, hum, or whisper to your little one.
A baby massage is an excellent way of strengthening the parent-baby bond while also enabling your little buddy to grow better. Maintain a routine for massage time with your tiny tot and keep at it — even if you don't get the hang of it right away. Your little buddy will thank you!
Here at Little Yawn Collective, we know firsthand the power of a cuddly baby massage. To help soothe and calm your child further for a gentle rubdown that's second to none, we recommend using our Nourishing Body Lotion with Oat and Shea Butter.
Designed with you and your precious treasure in mind, this dreamy lotion will gently calm and hydrate your baby's skin for sleepier bedtimes.
Ready to try your hand at a baby massage? Check us out today and bring on the sleepiness tomorrow! Trust us, you'll thank us later.