Bonding with your newborn is so important in your early days together. Getting to know your new little one, and in turn, letting them know they are safe and loved solidifies the unique connection between parent and child for years to come. One gentle way to encourage bonding is through baby massage.
In addition to creating closeness between parent and baby, baby massage also provides a multitude of benefits such as:
- Improving digestion and elimination
- Colic relief
- Infant stress hormone reduction
- Promoting restful sleep for baby
- Increasing relaxation for both parents and child
- For moms, baby massage has been shown to help boost lactation and to reduce postpartum depression
- For dads, it is a way to specially bond with baby
Our Substance Baby Herbal Hug Baby Oil is the perfect companion to your newborn massage ritual. We use organic olive and sesame seed oils which hydrate baby’s sensitive skin, while an infusion of calendula, lavender and lemon balm helps soothe little ones and induce a restful calm. For additional relaxing aromatherapy benefits, add a few drops of lavender essential oil.
- Ensure that you have a safe, warm, quiet and comfortable place where you and the baby can rest undisturbed. A soft pad on the floor is perfect!
- Start by applying a few drops of massage oil to your hands, and warm by rubbing palms quickly together.
- A brief “hello” gesture of making eye contact with your baby and gently placing thumbs between baby’s brows, moving upwards to the hairline, outwards and down the outer face, upper body, torso, legs, and finally toes, is a nice way to let your baby know that a massage is about to begin.
“I Love You” – Great for dads, this basic six-step technique is wonderful for relaxing and bonding.
- Using two or three fingers, gently but firmly trace the letter “I” on the right side of the belly. Start under baby’s ribs and go straight down to the hip joint.
- Next, gently stroke from left to right across baby’s belly, forming the long side of a sideways “L.”
- Complete the “L” with a short downward stroke on the right side of baby’s stomach.
- Stroke up from your baby’s hipbone, on the left side of his tummy, to form an upside-down “U”.
- For the middle segment of the “U,” move your fingers along the top of baby’s tummy.
- To finish the “U,” stroke down your baby’s right side.
“Bike & Fly” – For colic relief
Bike: with baby laying on their back, gently grab their feet or ankles and move them in a pedaling motion, rotating softly so her knees move up and down against their tummy. Fly: grasp her wrists or hands and move them in and out from her chest in a butterfly motion.
“Book ‘Em” — For the back
Roll baby over onto their tummy. Gently place your hands on either side of their spine in a “praying” gesture, then open them up and sweep your palms across her back out towards their shoulders and sides.
“Milk It!” — For the legs
Gently wrap your hands around your baby’s leg and glide your hands down from thigh to ankle in a “milking” motion. Do this a few times, then repeat on the other leg.