Your baby cries a lot. Try caressing, try massaging!
Baby massages and their multiple virtues
Massages, those special, gentle moments for you and your little one, have been practised for centuries in certain regions of the world and have taken off in recent years in our western society. The reason? More and more studies have proved the many benefits of massaging*. In recent years, massaging is also being practised more and more often in nurseries and maternity wards.
When you treat yourself to moment of calm and gentleness massaging your baby, you develop the bond of attachment that unites you. When you caress him, you’re showing him that he is loved, welcomed and respected, and it is a way of really communicating with him.
But massages have a large number of virtues beyond the benefits on baby’s emotional development. For example, we know that they help to calm baby because they have a significant impact on stress. There could be other benefits on brain development**, and also if your child has difficulty digesting.
The LoVe massage
The Laudavie laboratories have been working with Dr. Kamel Bargaoui, a gastro-pediatrician, to think about the right things to do when babies cry. They came up with the wonderful idea of massaging baby to relieve him by writing the love letters ” LoVe ” in your caresses on his little belly!
The” LoVe ” massage is a preventive gesture that our paediatric gastroenterologist expert recommends you to do outside of digestive episodes; it will help reduce their number.
Choose a time when you and your little one are calm and receptive.
The ” LoVe ” massage must above all be a pleasant moment.
Here are the few simple steps explained by our expert.
Settle your baby comfortably lying down
With your left hand, try to hold both feet so that baby doesn’t move about in all directions.
Start the massage by catching your baby’s eye. Your baby has to be calm.
L: Start in the centre of the belly and work your way up the right side, very gently, pressing gently.
o: Starting from the left side, make a circle, without pressing, caressing your baby’s belly.
V: Start from the left and move to the right side, still without pressing.
e: Start with the round part on the left side, and caress the whole belly up to the right side.
Repeat these movements as long as they remain pleasant for your baby, the aim being to evacuate the gases. Often, it only takes a few minutes of massage for relief.
Note that the steps in this massage should always be followed in the order given above.
To calm baby and possibly help evacuate gases, it is important to massage clockwise.
The attachment bond
Established from early childhood, the attachment bond is created with a special person, often the mother, during the various interactions. These interactions must be constant, warm and predictable.
This relationship will provide the child with a basis for security and stability that will later make it easier for your baby to explore new environments, to socialize, and also to deal with separation when it comes to going to daycare or school.
The quality of the attachment bond will also have a lasting impact on how the child reacts to stress and manages negative emotions.
Regular massage helps build this bond between you and your child.
* More and more studies:
Le massage bébés : un outil pour l’aide à la séparation en structure d’accueil : https://www.cairn.info/revue-spirale-2006-2-p-149.htm
Massage and touch therapy in neonates : the current évidence : https://www.indianpediatrics.net/sep2010/771.pdf
Baby massages ameliorates neonatal jaundice in full-term newborn infants : https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/tjem/223/2/223_2_97/_pdf
Massage accelerate brain development and the maturation of visual function** : http://www.jneurosci.org/content/29/18/6042.long