Baby Massage: Using Touch to Soothe Your Baby

Just like the rest of us, your baby loves human touch — and studies haveshown that skin-to-skin contact can have beneficial effects on parent-childbonding.

The Benefits of Human Touch

Your baby has made the transition from a warm, enclosed environment to acold, open one. Close touch imitates the security of the womb and makesyour baby's transition to the outside world less traumatic and morebearable in the following ways:

• It makes your baby feel nurtured, protected, and secure.

• It helps soothe your baby.

• It may improve your baby's growth and development.

• It helps promote bonding.

How to Give Your Baby a Massage

1. Make sure the room is warm.

2. Choose a secure area where there's no possibility of falling; manypeople simply put a soft blanket on the floor.

3. Undress your baby (down to his T-shirt and diaper).

4. It's not necessary to use oil, but if you choose to, pour a small amountof any bland, non-perfumed oil (even vegetable oil is fine) into the palmof one hand, and then rub your hands together to warm the oil up before youapply it to your baby's skin. Remember, he could get very slippery and hardto handle when he's all greased up!

5. Beginning with his feet and legs, gently move your hands upward towardyour baby's chest and arms, using firm strokes.

6. When you get to your baby's upper body, cover his legs and feet with ablanket, and then remove his shirt.

Keep it up only as long as your baby seems to be enjoying the massage — andhave fun!

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