Baby Massage in Surrey: The benefits
Why is baby massage so good for your baby?
Baby massage promotes bonding and better quality sleep.
What is baby massage?
Baby massage involves gentle routines of touching, stroking, rubbing, squeezing and tapping all carefully designed to relax and soothe your baby. Some movements will also soothe symptoms such as wind, colic, teething, and encourage integration of reflexes like the Moro reflex.
Massage should only be carried out when a baby is willing, we want the touch to be welcome and the experience a positive one. So we always begin by asking for the baby's permission. There may be days when your baby isn’t in the mood and that’s fine.
This positive touch will stimulate the flow of the love hormone Oxytocin in both parent and baby. This hormone not only boosts your mood but can help the bond between parent and baby. This is why baby massage is often recommended to mums who may have had traumatic birth experiences or are struggling to bond with their baby. Endorphins, your happy hormones, are also released making it a very special way to spend time together.
Baby massage provides one-to-one time with your baby away from busy lives. That’s why it can benefit partners who aren’t the primary carer to also learn techniques as a way to reconnect after being at work all day.
I also encourage the parent to maintain eye contact and direct communication with their baby throughout. This not only reassures them but also helps the development of their communication skills.
The benefits of Baby Massage
Promote better quality sleep
Relieve wind, colic and constipation
Boost immune system
Develop muscle tone, flexibility and coordination
Improve skin conditions and blood circulation
Relieve teething pain
Encourage language development
Improves your confidence in handling your baby
Stimulates happy hormones and lifts the mood of parent and baby
Reduce post natal depression (PND)
Reduce stress levels in parent
Provides a calm space to enjoy your baby
Increases the bond with your baby
When can I start practicing baby massage?
You can practice baby massage from birth although most will attend classes form 8 weeks, and continue until your baby is crawling. At this point your baby may find the world around them too exciting to lay still enough to participate in a baby massage class! But you can continue to practice the movements you’ve learnt for ever more. It can be lovely to give an older child a foot massage to ease any worries they may have or use facial massage to soothe them after a bad dream.
Once your baby is on the move you may consider Baby Yoga.
Can I massage my baby after immunisation jabs?
It’s best to avoid baby massage for 48 hours after the immunisation in case your baby develops a temperature. If all appears well after 48 hours you can give your baby a massage but be very gentle near the injection site for about a week or avoid it completely.
About Baby Massage Classes in Surrey
At Birth & More all our baby classes are relaxed and friendly. We understand how important it is to socialise with other mums and parents, to find your tribe, so there is always time to get to know each other in class. As your instructor I am also happy to answer any parenting questions or sign post services and experts.
Classes are baby-led meaning you can stop to tend to your baby’s needs at any time. If they need to feed or sleep or just aren’t in the mood for massage one week that’s fine. You can still learn by observing and you’ll be able to practice in the next class as the routine is progressive.
Baby Massage courses run for 5 weeks and take place in central Dorking. Classes are 50 minutes long starting with some songs and baby social time, then 20-25 minutes of massage followed by a snack and informal chat. Each week we will add a new area of the body to your massage sequence so by the end of the course you’ll have learnt a full body massage routine, including face and back.
The movements are all easy to learn and replicate at home either as a complete routine or in separate smaller sections. For example, some gentle face massage can help soothe a baby to sleep at night and a tummy massage could help ease wind.
You’ll receive a copy of the full massage routine to keep at the end of the course. A perfect reminder but also a great way to teach your partner some techniques too.
Birth & More Baby Massage Classes in Surrey are:
Relaxed and friendly
5 weekly 50 minute classes
Progressive so you’ll learn a full body routine by the end of the course
Include baby social time and most importantly mum social time!
What oil should I use to massage my baby?
The NHS recommends not using any oils or lotions until your baby is one month old. This is because at birth, the top layer of a baby's skin is very thin and easily damaged. Over the first month (or longer in premature babies), a baby's skin matures and develops its own natural protective barrier.
It used to be recommended that cold pressed vegetable oil was used but a small study recently showed that sunflower and olive oil shouldn't be used on a newborn baby's skin. (Although olive oil is still effective for cradle cap as long as the skin isn't broken.) So we now recommend coconut oil which you may already have at home.
Always test a new oil or lotion on a small area and allow 24 hours for any sign of reaction.
I have used Kokoso on my daughter and really like it, so do many mums on my courses: https://kokoso.co.uk/
I have also given samples of Weleda baby oil to mums and they have enjoyed that too: https://www.weleda.co.uk/calendula-baby-oil-200ml-105100
Childs Farm also have a coconut oil in a handy spray bottle which I also used for my daughter which smells lovely: https://www.childsfarm.com/products/childs-farm-baby-oil-organic-coconut
You can also use a baby moisturising lotion if you have some that is suitable for your baby’s skin.