As a new parent, you have been ready for sleepless nights, lots of dirty nappy’s, and constant feeding. What you may not have been aware of is colic. This is something that many babies suffer from and they often get the symptoms at the same time each night.
Baby massage offers a safe and enjoyable treatment for colic. When done regularly, research shows that it reduces crying time, helps baby to sleep better, eases tummy discomfort and reduces parents’ anxiety. Here’s how baby massage can help to relieve symptoms and allow you and your little one some peace.
What is Baby Massage?
Baby massage is a massage that’s designed for a baby. Parents can learn to do simple strokes that will help to soothe the buildup of wind that can often cause colic.
The massage involves gentle and rhythmic strokes along the body, including the legs, the stomach, arms, and even the hands and ankles. This soothing routine helps to release a feel-good hormone in the body, so your baby feels more relaxed and calm around you.
How Baby Massage Relieves Colic
Baby massage offers several benefits thanks to the feel-good hormone that’s released. One of the biggest benefits is that your baby cries and frets less, which helps to reduce the amount of wind that can get trapped in the body. This eases the discomfort throughout the day and leads to a reduction in colicky symptoms.
Routinely running your hand in circular motions along the stomach also helps to aid digestion. Move in a clockwise direction, as this is the direction that the digestion moves in. You’ll help your baby’s milk pass through the system much easier, reducing the trapped wind and easing the pain and discomfort later.
How Long and How Often?
You’ll want to do the baby massage two or three times a day at least. Four times a day can be helpful for the most colicky babies. While doing the massage, hold the knees together and closer to your baby’s tummy for extra relief.
It can take up to two weeks to start seeing results. Even if the massage doesn’t release the wind and help with the colic, it’s still something worth doing as it strengthens the bond between you and baby.
Massage is a safe and beneficial activity to do with your child throughout their infant years. It can reduce stress, improve digestion, improve blood flow, and help your baby to sleep.
Try not to get too discouraged if the massage doesn’t help. Colic is one of those annoying parts of being a baby that doctors and midwives know very little about. Usually, by the time you’ve possibly found something to help, the stage is over and your baby sleeps through the night. Most colic disappears around three months old.
Please bear in mind that massage is a technique that parents need to learn how to give, and baby needs to learn how to receive. It is important that both you and your baby are comfortable with and are familiar to the massage before using massage techniques to help them with colic. ‘Diving’ straight into massage whenever your baby has a sore tummy or is suffering with colic could give baby a negative association with touch or massage. If you are not doing it effectively or baby is not used to this type of touch, it can also lead to more irritation rather than relief. Our online course teaches you how to perform baby massage safely and provides massage routines to help prevent colic and other digestive discomfort as well as routines and holds to help provide relief from colic. Find out more about our online course here.
If you have any tips on relieving colic, we’d love for you to share them in the comments below x
Photo by Sergiu Vălenaș on Unsplash