Saturday, August 27, 2011

Infant Massage

Infant Massage

happier and healthier baby!Infant massage can help baby sleep better,
advance thier development and may raise IQ!
Infant massage may
relieve colic,
teethingconstipation and 
nasal congestion.The benefits don't stop there.
Providing massage to baby helps to relax the caregiver.
Infant massage gives that special bonding time for
all involved.

How do you feel after a long, relaxing back rub? Pretty good, right? Well,
not only is your touch very soothing to your baby, but giving your baby a
massage can actually make you BOTH feel better! A certified infant massage
instructor joined us recently to tell us about all the benefits of infant
massage. Although infant massage has been an important part of parenting in
other countries, it has only begun to be accepted in the U.S. since the
early 1980s. Studies have shown that systematically touching your baby, skin
to skin, for as little as 12 minutes a day can offer many benefits. Not only
do the babies gain weight faster, but their neurological connections
actually improve and they are able to process input better!

You don't even have to devote a solid twelve minutes each day to massage
you could do it for two minutes six times a day if that is more convenient
for you. The important thing is that you are both relaxed, and that the
touch is skin to skin. In other words, pay attention to your baby's cues to
see if your baby is receptive at that time, and don't try to massage your
baby through a shirt or pajamas.  Also, some babies get really sleepy after
a massage while others become wide awake, so you may want to keep that in
mind before attempting a late night massage for the first time.

While infant massage is beneficial to all babies, it is especially good for
preemies and other children who are hypersensitive. These are the babies who
don't normally like to be touched or held, or don't like dirt on their skin,
or sand between their toes, or who are constantly being irritated by their
clothes. You'll definitely have to be patient and pay close attention to
their reaction to massages, but you are almost assured to see improvement in
their level of hypersensitivity. While doing a massage on these babies, try
to keep other sensory input to a minimum. In other words, don't have the TV
on or music playing, don't talk, and you may even want to avoid direct eye
contact during the massage.

When you're ready to try a massage, the first thing to do is to ask your
baby if he would like a massage. This may sound silly, but once your baby
realizes what a massage is they will usually let you know if they're ready
for one. Pay attention to them! Do they look away? They're probably not
interested. Do they maintain eye contact, or as they get older, maybe even
smile or lift their usual starting leg, you can probably assume that they're
ready to begin!  It is usually better to begin with the legs (one at a
time), then the arms (one at a time), and eventually work your way up to
their trunk and face.. Use a firm, but gentle pressure.

Preemies, or other babies who have spent time in the hospital, may be
especially sensitive to having their feet touched (thanks to all the heel
sticks they've experiences). If so, you can try massaging only the tops of
their feet, or avoid the feet altogether.

Here is a very brief description of what a massage may be like. Remember
if they let you know that they don't like a particular motion, stop doing
that particular motion.

Starting at the thigh, use a whole hand motion to stroke the entire length
of one leg from thigh to ankle.

Next, using a very light "Indian rub" motion (squeeze and twist), massage
the same leg from thigh to ankle

Eventually moving onto the top of their foot and their toes.

After a few minutes, begin massaging the foot and move toward the hip and
back toward the foot.

Finish off the "body part" (in this case, the leg) by lightly stroking the
entire leg with your fingertips. This stroking will signal that you're all
finished with that part of their body.

After completing steps 1-5 on the first leg, if baby seems receptive you can
move on to the other leg. Repeat the same five steps, and then lightly
stroke both legs with your fingertips to signal "all done with your legs."

If you'd like, you can then move on to do similar motions on first one arm,
then the other, and then onto their trunk and face. That's all there is to
it!  Well, not really, but that is "the Reader's Digest" version of it. To
learn more, look for one of the growing number of how-to books and videos on
the market.
-This article was taken from a certified infant massage therapist. I liked it because of the focus on preemies. We are trying to schedule a certified therapist for our upcoming Houston meeting and will broadcast that Live on our Preemie Prints livestream channel. If you would like to attend this live event please email

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