I don’t think there’s a feeling as sensational as holding a brand new baby – it’s one that I will never forget with all three of my babies. As soon as Kgosi was born, just two months ago, he was placed on my chest for skin-to-skin contact and this continued throughout his first night earth-side, both to encourage our emotional bond, as well as, to establish my milk supply.
Thankfully, the amazing benefits of touch continue to soothe, develop and grow your little one, beyond their first day. One of the best ways to continue to enhance the power of touch and shower your little one with an extra dose of love, is through giving your baby regular massages. I mean, don’t you love being massaged?!
When you treat your baby to a massage, you are opening up so many possibilities and can expect to see some of these benefits, that come with baby massage:
- A deeper connection and bond with you; it’s best to make lots of eye contact with baby during the massage.
- Better and longer sleep (yes to that!!)
- Increased comfort, security and less crying.
- Healthy weight gain, improved muscle tone and neurological development for baby.
- Less gas, constipation and colic symptoms.
- Improved digestion and circulation (massage baby’s tummy in a clockwise position to achieve this).
This probably explains why my Gogo, who was a professional nurse and all-round nurturer, was fond of stretching and massaging my oldest two each time she would see them.
Tips for giving your baby a massage:
- Give your baby a warm bath or nappy change to ensure that they are as comfortable and content as possible.
- Ensure that the room is warm enough for baby to have a pleasant and relaxing experience. If your baby loves music, put it on to calm them down.
- Use a gentle baby oil, that will be safe for your baby’s sensitive skin. I use the JOHNSON’S® Baby Cotton Touch Baby Oil when I massage him. The Cotton Touch range absorbs quickly and is lightweight to enhance my own touch. I would also highly recommend the JOHNSON’S® Bedtime Oil for night time. I have used it for a several years with my children and it’s a really relaxing scent with soothing NaturalCalm™ essences.
- Use a gentle but firm pressure to massage your baby’s feet, legs, tummy, arms and hands.
- Try and work out which time of the day your baby feels most relaxed and comfortable for a massage. For us, Kgosi is most content straight after a warm bath or 45-60 minutes after a feed.
Be safe and cautious during your baby massage:
- Don’t massage your baby when you are distracted. Your eyes and focus should be on baby throughout the experience to ensure that it is safe and the connection is maintained.
- Avoid massaging your baby’s head as it is still delicate in the early months.
- Never use strong or harsh oils on your baby’s skin, as it is 30% thinner than yours*. delicate, hence I would strong recommend the Johnson’s Cotton Touch range.
Remember Mama, your touch is unique and so so special to your baby and in the early months of life, they need it more than ever. Never underestimate the great development that you are sharing and nurturing.
This post was done in collaboration with Johnson’s. As usual, all opinions and content are my own. #JohnsonsMyMotherhood #ChooseGentle
*Data on file
Modern Zulu Mom