Benefits of Baby Massage
Author - Jo Roberts @ TheBaby&Co
One of the first classes I signed up to when my son was born was a baby massage class and I loved it!
A time to hang out with my new local mummy friends, share stories of our new roles in motherhood and bond with our little ones.
There was the occasional wee incident (them not us) but that’s inevitable when you have lots of naked babies lying around with uncontrollable bladders!
I’ve teamed up with the lovely Jo at The Baby & Co. Jo has a wealth of knowledge as an early years practitioner and has put together this wonderful introductory guide on baby massage.
I first met Jo at our local children’s centre, which was like a second home to me when I had the boys. I spent so much time there at pregnancy clubs, play groups, singing workshops and more and we always had a good chat. If you are thinking about signing up to a baby massage course but you're not sure, this guide should help you decide and if you know someone that would enjoy a little bonding time with their newborn, please share.
What are the benefits of baby massage?
There are many benefits to baby massage both medicinal and emotional; taking part in a group massage course, gives parents the opportunity to build their local support network and deepen their bond with their baby as they spend quality one-to-one time with them. The list is limitless but below are the key benefits:
- Deepens the bond between parent and baby
- Reduces stress hormone, cortisol and increases feel good hormone, Oxytocin which is a natural pain killer
- Provides vital stimulation for the developing brain
- Allows very young babies to stretch and lengthen their bodies, including toes and fingers, helping muscles to ‘let go’
- Gives babies a sense of themselves and helps them to feel safe
- Allows the skin to breath, especially when nappies are removed
- Good for circulation
- Good for moisturising the skin
- Good for cradle cap
- Eases colic, wind, constipation and helps the digestive system to adjust.
- Helps sooth teething pain and chest congestion
- Can enhance relaxation and aid with sleep
- Is the perfect follow-on from pregnancy club and is often the first group a parent attends with their baby, helping to build a good support network
What oil should you use?
With so many products on the market, which claim to promise all sorts of benefits for your baby’s skin and well being, many of them are in fact very harmful to your baby’s very sensitive and delicate young skin. They can also be quite expensive and do more harm than good. In baby massage, we recommend using a pure vegetable oil straight from your kitchen cupboard!
- It doesn’t smell, so won’t block the familiar and secure smell of the parent, and I promise your baby won’t smell like a deep fat fryer!
- Vegetable oil soaks into the skin easily and if digested is not harmful to baby. Some products, namely Johnsons baby oil, contain strong chemicals which could be extremely harmful if digested, particularly as it sits on the skin and doesn’t soak in.
So what can you expect from one of my baby massage courses?
- A five-week course covers all aspects of Baby Massage, including the importance of the developing Baby’s Brain. Each week I incorporate the Five to Thrive message (the five key things a parent can do to help their baby develop a healthy brain) into the course, discussing each block in turn. My Baby’s Brain and its important messages, works so well within a baby massage environment, giving the course a useful insight into the needs of a baby.
- The course is broken into body sections with the first week covering the legs and feet. There is a fair amount of information to deliver during the first week, including, of course, introductions and welcomes to course members.
- Each week I incorporate a ‘question for the week’ and this helps group members to share experiences, tips and suggestions. Week two goes back over the legs and feet and adds the tummy and chest area. Week three adds the arms, hands, head and face and week four the back. On the final week the group decides which area of the body they may want to repeat or we spend the whole session completing a full body massage.
- Where I feel my courses may be different to others on offer is that I include the Baby Brain element throughout the five weeks. The weekly sessions are 1.5 hours long, in order to allow time at the beginning and at the end for group discussion, sharing of experiences and the opportunity to ask for advice or guidance from a qualified and highly experienced practitioner.
A big thank you to Jo for sharing her knowledge on baby massage.
Before you go why not check out our baby body lotion range to keep your little ones skin soft. Dermatologically tested with a soft Allergen-free scent and gentle pH, approved for newborns and sensitive skin including those prone to eczema and irritations.
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