Many adults rely upon massages to relieve bodily tension, to relax the mind, and to sooth common ailments. However, adults aren’t the only ones who can benefit from the healing powers of massage. Baby massage is a useful technique for a wide variety of infant conditions, such as colic, gas, and a weakened immune system. There are definitely right ways and wrong ways to massage a baby, so it’s important to understand the proper techniques to avoid injury or further aggravating existing symptoms.
The purpose of this article is to describe the benefits of baby massage and provide tips for how to massage your baby when symptoms of gas are present.
There are many benefits to baby massage, including relief of digestive discomfort, promoting a restful night’s sleep, and also bonding with the baby. Unlike some other treatments, there are no side effects associated with a daily baby massage as long as it is done in a safe and gentle way.
A great way to stimulate bowel movements that are blocked or interrupted by health issues, stress, or dietary changes is to perform an infant massage of the tummy. A baby massage for gas should be gentle, yet firm enough to avoid tickling the baby.
As with many aspects of infant care, consistency and timing are essential when it comes to a baby massage. To relieve persistent gas, try to massage baby often, at least three times per day or with every diaper change. It’s also a good idea to wait at least half an hour after feeding sessions before giving a baby massage for gas. A good time to start a massage is when the baby is awake, quiet, and hasn’t eaten very recently.
To begin baby massage, start by dressing baby down to just the diaper and placing baby face-up on a blanket. The massage should start at the base of the rib cage and then move down the abdomen in a circular motion. With small circles, move the hands down to the baby’s belly button. From here, parents and caregivers can hold the baby’s feet together while gently pressing the knees up towards the abdomen. It may also help to rotate the baby’s hips from side to side to release gas that has built up. Another fun and engaging massage strategy is to alternate the baby’s leg movements in a bicycle motion.
Some people like to use an organic oil to make the massaging motions more smooth and comfortable for the baby. Pure olive oil works well too in case of accidental ingestion. Plan to massage the baby for as long as it is tolerated or until gas or a bowel movement is passed.
PediaCare’s Gas Relief Drops can be used along with massage to reduce gas pain and bloating without a prescription. A little gas is totally normal, but if your baby’s gas worsens or doesn’t subside with these methods, it may be time to consult a doctor to determine whether a food allergy or other health condition is to blame for painful gas.
In this parental guide to gas relief, PediaCare provides resources for parents seeking answers for their child's special circumstances. Medicine made for kids, helps getting better easier!