Baby Massage may help to soothe and calm your baby. It can help with tummy problems, teething pains, colds and congestion and dry skin.
Baby massage releases “cuddle chemicals” which may help your baby to relax. When babies relax studies have shown that they may sleep better and have a greater appetite which can enhance general health and promote weight gain.
We recommend starting baby massage in a class from 8 weeks.
It is prudent not to massage a baby fully before he is four weeks old. Although in many cultures parents massage babies from birth, current research suggests leaving a baby’s skin alone under four weeks to avoid any damage. This is advice should be viewed within cultural and traditional practice. There are no studies that indicate the right time to massage a baby.
1. Babies must always be happy and healthy before they begin massage with no signs of fever or sickness. Massage should be avoided if baby has received vaccinations within 72 hours to enable the baby’s body to process the vaccine and have no ill effects. Any chronic conditions must always be investigated and the consent of the GP or medical profession sought before practice.
2. Babies should be massaged on the floor whenever possible to avoid the possibility of falls or accidents, particularly when the baby is older and able to move around more easily.
3. You should always have clean hands and short nails and remove their jewellery before they begin massage.
4. Always ask your baby’s permission before massage begins to ensure that your baby is happy to receive a massage.
5. You can use an organic sunflower seed oil or coconut oil for massage once your baby is over 4 weeks old. Before this time, sunflower seed oil is not recommended.
*We ask you to perform a 24 hour skin patch test prior to course commencing
There is a lot of conflicting and interesting research on what is appropriate to use on a baby’s skin. Further investigation, clearer advice and more studies are required. In terms of massage I feel we can make these recommendations in light of the current studies;
It is best to avoid the use of oils on the skin until baby is at least one month old.
On current advice, olive oil and sunflower oil should be avoided on newborn skin (under four weeks old).
Coconut oil appears to be suitable for massage based on its chemical makeup but within the parameters set above, (although no study has been conducted on its use)
Although sunflower oil is not suitable for newborn baby’s skin, no study has been done on its suitability for babies older than 4-6 weeks. After 6 weeks the skin has matured and sunflower oil could be used.
Avoid essential oils for massage.
Always do a patch test on oils on a baby’s skin.
Baby massage is best practised from 8 weeks although skin to skin is encouraged from birth.
Traditionally natural vegetable based oils have been used for baby massage for hundreds of years. Further research needs to be done to determine when and what oil is suitable for baby’s skin at each stage.
ACUTE INFECTION, FEVER,SICKNESS,DIARRHOEA,UNDIAGNOSED LUMPS AND BUMPS,CONTAGIOUS ILLNESSES SERIOUS SKIN CONDITIONS (ECZEMA, PSORIASIS),VARICOSE VEINS,RECENT SURGERY,OPEN SORES,INFLAMMATION
LESS THAN 72 HOURS AFTER IMMUNISATION, JAUNDICE,RECENT HAEMORRHAGE,MENINGITIS OR CHILDHOOD LEUKAEMIA
IF YOUR BABY HAS ANY CHRONIC CONDITION, PLEASE CONSULT A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL PRIOR TO ATTENDING THE CLASS.
Baby massage offers a way to get to know your baby, enhance interaction and to communicate to him/her that he/she are loved and respected.
Early positive interaction for babies is very important to help them adjust to the world from the womb and to establish a secure attachment with a carer.
Baby massage boosts circulation of blood, helps strengthen muscles and joints. Skin contact stimulates the nervous system helping develop connections in the brain.