When my daughter was an infant, one of our favorite times of the day used to be “Massage Time”. (Massages for babies are a regular feature in the Indian culture.) I remember being scared and apprehensive the first time I had to massage her. I was terrified of breaking something!
However, once I started, it felt blissful and she loved it. Her gurgles and giggles encouraged me to make the massage a daily ritual before her morning bath. While I did begin to massage her, at that time, I didn’t know much about the benefits of infant massage and the incredible effects it has on a tiny, little baby.
Yet what I learnt first-hand, experienced and saw was enough to make me want to continue.
Bonding with Baby
One of the most important things that I experienced with massaging my little one was that it helped us connect, bond and understand each other. She loved the ritual and would gurgle in pleasure. Talking to her throughout the massage helped me to come closer to her and know her better. Both of us would look forward to “massage time” and even, today as a toddler, she loves getting her hair and head massaged each week.
Better Baby Skin and Scalp
Regular massage helped me to get rid of cradle cap easily and without any fuss. Since her hair (she had a full head of hair from day 1) would be oiled, just running a comb through got rid of the scales in a few days. Also, her skin cleared up and she had a lot of dry patches on her tiny, little palms and soles that softened with the massage.
Reduced Tummy Troubles
Gently rubbing her tummy in circles and massaging her back everyday helped us to deal naturally with her colic and constipation problems. Even though she was a breastfed baby, through and through, her colic was getting worrisome and leading to many sleepless nights for both her and me. However, when I started spending a little more time massaging her tummy and back everyday, I noticed that the colicky episodes eased up.
A massage followed by a warm bath is a sure-shot recipe for happy dreams, even for grown-ups. So, how can a baby differ? ***laughing*** I’d put her down for her nap after a post-bath feed and she’d be out like a light. This helped me to structure my routine and schedule household tasks accordingly.
Massaging my baby was one of those special “mommy-baby” moments that I cherish and will always hold close to my heart. Although I didn’t know much about its proven benefits, as in the case of co-sleeping, I knew that if it felt right to my “mommy heart”, it would be good for my baby.
Your turn! Did you massage your baby? Do you think using the magic of touch helps you to bond? I’d love to hear what you have to share!
This post is part of the Moms’ 30-Minute Blog Challenge hosted by Jamie of Steady Mom, every Tuesday. A complete post in 30 minutes, from start to finish. Join in!
Photo Credit: Valentina Powers