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Massage for baby is a care that incorporates techniques of Swedish massage, yoga and reflexology points and is designed to adapt to the specific needs of children. The therapist’s training includes knowledge regarding motor, psychomotor and emotional development of the child, as well as certain pathologies that can interfere with his development. The therapists are then able to offer a care that meets the needs of the baby and explain the benefits to parents. Specific approaches are provided to children with special needs, such as premature, disabled or adopted babies.
As a result of their training, therapists are able to teach parents how to massage their babies and through helping relationship, support the understanding of their child’s needs and the introduction of massage into their family routine.
Massage provides babies many benefits. It relaxes and soothes, improves and facilitates sleep. It can relieve some of the discomfort felt by children, such as colic and gas, and reduce the pain caused by growth spurts affecting muscles. In premature babies, it has been shown that regular massage can increase weight gain.
Touch is very beneficial to babies, as it allows them to feel loved and comforted. Since touch is the first mode of communication for infants, parents who massage their child are more attentive to their non-verbal language and have a better understanding of their needs, which helps to build an attachment connection between them. For the parent, better understanding of their child needs increases their own sense of competence.
Regular, comforting contact with an adult provides the baby with security that helps him build his identity and self-esteem. A baby getting massaged learns to receive affection and feels the well-being of touch. If it is performed by the parent, the latter also benefits from this privileged moment, since this contact can improve his mood and reduce his anxiety.
The massage is done gently with massage oil or gel, preferably unscented and hypoallergenic. It can be performed after the first month of life, and since the techniques can adapt to the development of the child, it can be continued until one year and older.
Massage should be performed at a time of the day when the baby is well disposed, for instance when he’s calm and awake. Before or after a nap, after bathing or before the night are particularly amenable occasions.
Baby massage can be performed in the clinic by a professional and taught to parents. With proper knowledge, parents can perform a massage routine with their baby for periods ranging from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on their desire and tolerance of the child.
A tired or agitated baby should not be given a massage. Massage should also be avoided if the child has just had a meal, surgery, if he has skin lesions or if he is sick or feverish.Find a therapist