Before you start massaging your baby, try all the newborn baby massage techniques on yourself, remember your feelings and the force you apply.
The main rule: no pain! Only pleasant feelings! Later on, your baby will be happy every time he sees you preparing for this procedure.
Stroking. This is an impact on the nerve endings of the surface layer of the skin. Stroking massage relaxes, so the motions should be very delicate. Gently move fingertips of the left hand along the right hand, move your palm from wrist to shoulder. Remember this feeling. You will stroke your baby in the same way.
Stroking stimulates the most superficial layers of the skin, relaxes muscles and increases the inhibitory processes in the cerebral cortex.
This method is usually performed with the palmar surface of the hand, touching very gently. Babies with malnutrition or excessive excitability, and all babies within the first three months of life are given only stroking massage.
Rubbing. It is more intense and deep stroking. It also helps muscles relax and reduce the excitability of the nervous system. Rubbing can be performed with one, two or three fingers and the palmar surface of the hand in clockwise circular motions from wrist to shoulder (from the periphery to the center). Movements must be more energetic than when stroking, as there is an influence on the deeper layers of skin.
Kneading. This technique is similar to rubbing, but there is an even more profound influence on the body (almost knead skin and muscles so as to feel the bone). Three fingers (index, middle and ring) perform both circular and forth motions, vigorously kneading muscles.
Tapping. It is used mostly when massaging the back. Tap your hand with the back of the half-bent fingers, using at first the index one and gradually involving other fingers, from the periphery to the center and backward.
Vibration. This is a quick, rhythmic shaking of the skin and subcutaneous tissue with the fingers and palmar surface of the hand.
Vibrating massage of a baby’s chest reflexively influences the ends of intercostal nerves, resulting in deep breath.
Vibrating massage of the chest. This massage will be useful not only as a prophylactic one, but also in cases when the baby is ill (respiratory diseases, cough, running nose). You can’t try it on yourself, so better practice on a doll.
During the vibrating massage baby is lying on his back, the legs are directed to you.
Hold your baby’s chest so that your thumbs lie at the outside nipple level (do not press his chest!), other fingers lie on the back along the paravertebral lines. Then, perform vibrating and rhythmic upward movements (as if playing a keyboard instrument). If you do it correctly, your baby will merrily laugh, but if he does not like something, then you perform massage too vigorously and he feels pain.
These massage techniques are basic in all massage complexes recommended for children. This general massage complex is worked out for children of different age groups. Remember: you can perform these techniques only if you are absolutely sure that your baby is healthy and his neuromuscular system is ready for these exercises, otherwise the complex of exercises should be individual. In any case check with your pediatrician.