Guest Blog from Melissa Gorry
Touch is your baby’s first sense.
They thrive and survive on touch as they are biologically wired to seek it out for cuddles, feeding and playfulness. Using massage as the form of touch, communicate love, security, and well-being together. Massaging your baby will relax and reset their nervous system and this has huge benefits on the body of a growing child.
Are you a parent of a new baby (under 1 year old) and interested in natural health and wellbeing?
In this blog, we will explain why relaxation is important for babies and how giving your baby a massage as part of your nightly routine, will help with improving sleep and growth.
What is baby massage, and why does it matter?
Baby Massage is an ancient skill that is widely used globally, but originally began in India. It is a series of slow, rhythmic strokes over the body parts that help promote relaxation.
It is a combination of bonding using touch – massage, eye gazing, verbal, and non-verbal communication. Baby massage can transform relationships and improve family dynamics by building and strengthening secure attachments, bonds, and communication.
Research also suggests that massaging your baby can facilitate deeper understanding with empathy and compassion.
How to relax your baby.
Babies can find it hard to regulate and calm themselves, especially as our world can become very busy and over-stimulating. They are constantly absorbing information as their brains are like sponges, creating millions of neural pathways.
This can be exhausting for little bodies to process, and your baby can become fussy, whingy, clingy, and unsettled. Your baby needs you to help them feel regulated and relaxed. This in turn will give your baby support to settle and enter a deep state of sleep.
Create a calm atmosphere.
Help your baby’s nervous system to decompress and recalibrate by reducing the stimulants such as tv, music and turning down bright lights. Regularly tune in throughout the day to reduce that sensory overwhelm otherwise it can feel like a day at the theme park for little bodies. In a massage the body needs to feel warm and safe, with no overhead bright lights. You can use soothing background music and warm coconut oil.
When to massage.
Baby Massage tends to be performed at the end of the day as part of your nightly routine to help the body re-organise itself and to promote a restorative sleep. Supporting a healthy sleep routine.
Do you know how sleepy and relaxed you feel after a good massage? This is because your nervous system has gone into a state of relaxation instead of flight / fight (due to anxiety and stress). Massage increases the lovely sleepy hormone – melatonin and has reduced the stress hormones (cortisol). Your baby will experience the same and the effects of regular massage will be compounded.
Relaxed babies sleep better, have improved immunity and because the body is in a resting state it has the space to grow (both brain and body) and develop new skills.
To relax the body, make sure you tune into your touch and adjust accordingly. It needs to be full contact of the hand, not light fingers as this can feel like they are being tickled. The pressure is firm but not hard and the temp is S L O W.
Slow pace brings on relaxation, a feeling of calmness and safety.
How are you feeling yourself? Are you feeling calm and grounded or uptight with a guarded posture?
Check in with your body and breathe.
Breathing deeply automatically calms your nervous system and reduces stress. Our babies can feel our energy and if you’re in a state of stress, your baby can also be. Really enjoy this special time together, being present and in the moment.
A combination of your soothing voice and touch will help your baby to become calm and relaxed and drift off into a state of ease. Studies show that infants who are massaged by their parents before bed tend to fall asleep faster, sleep more deeply, and stay asleep longer. This is an amazing opportunity to know your baby better, becoming an expert on her and to create a special time together.
Learn how to massage your baby.
Do you want a comprehensive experience learning to give your baby the best massage to improve relaxation, build healthy brains and a loving bond. Join from the comfort and safety of your own home with my online 4-week program. Uniquely created with my own daughter, a real-life demonstration of the soothing full body sequence, who has been massaged since birth and is a very happy, relaxed baby.
Contact me here: www.melissagorry.com or email.
Follow me on instagram.com/mel.gorry
Qualified Baby Massage Therapist.
Qualified Intuitive Massage Therapist
Mother of two.