Massage of a New Born Baby


Maalish or massage of a new-born, has an effective impact on the growth and development of your baby. You can start with a baby massage from as soon as birth and continue it for as long as your baby enjoys it and you are able to create time for it.

Maalish fulfils the physical, mental, and emotional needs of your baby. It also creates an opportunity for the parent to spend time with the baby, where they can talk and bond together. Surprisingly, the babies never lose focus while they are being massaged! They keep an eye on the person giving them a massage! The parent can enjoy the undivided attention of their baby during massage time.

There are a few things which every parent/caregiver should bear in mind at the start of the massage:
•Hygiene of the person who is massaging the baby
•Choice of massage oil
•Massage Strokes

Hygiene of the person who massaging the baby

Washing ones hands clean before one massages the baby is a must. Use a hand sanitiser too. It will ensure that your hands are germ free. Infact, parents and caregivers should sanitize their hands each time they  touch or hold the small baby.

Some parents may opt to use an expert baby masseuse or maalishwali to give the baby a massage. It is a personal choice that a parent may make for several reasons. However, as these maalish experts may be interacting with many babies in a day, they could be vectors of infections from one baby to the other. Therefore, one must follow a strict routine of washing and sanitising hands.

Also, remove bangles, bracelets, rings or any ornaments that you are wearing in your hands. These could poke or scratch the baby’s delicate skin during the massage. Remember to keep your nails clipped.

Choosing the right oil for baby massage:

Newborns are delicate and tender miniature human beings. You should double check any product you decide to use for baby massage. Carefully choose the oil that you will use for the massage. Refrain from using synthetic oils or chemical based products. The best way of giving a massage is by oiling your baby with whole seed natural oils which carry the goodness of the earth.

‘Kaumarbhritya’, the branch of Ayurveda that deals with the growth of the child from pre-conception to adolescence, projects light on many natural oils. It recommends coconut, sunflower, olive, sesame oil and ghee. Sesame is a whole seed natural oil that penetrates down to many tissue layers and nourishes deeply during baby massage.

You can use a good ayurvedic oil which has been fortified with natural ingredients that help in the baby’s overall growth.

Using the right strokes for baby massage:

The tender body of babies will respond happily to gentle upward strokes and a light-handed massage. One needs to gently massage the baby’s skin.

Skin stimulation improves brain body coordination. Massaging sends a stimulus to the brain, which responds to the stimuli by building new synapses. This invigorates the central nervous system and fosters mental growth in the baby. Massaging also helps the brain produce more serotonin, a happiness hormone that reduces the production of cortisol, a stress hormone.

Gently massaging a baby’s belly in the clockwise direction can help reduce colic and flatulence. A massage followed up with a warm bath can help the baby sleep too!

You may have heard many popular myths around baby massage. Like, pulling up the nose while massaging can shape up the nose or a proper round shape of the head is due to the right way of massaging. These prevalent myths have no scientific proving.

Physical significance of baby massage

Masssaging a baby, soothes the child, it relaxes them and often lulls  them to sleep. Massage has proven to be an effective way to regulate the various systems of the body, such as respiratory, digestive, circulatory, and nervous.

A good and effectively done baby massage benefits babies in several ways. They become emotionally connected to the massaging parent. During a baby massage, the child gesticulates and emotes to connect with the parent. This meaningful interaction helps the child’s psychological well-being. They start developing trust and identify their parent(s) as their primary nurturer and care giver.

So, do a baby massage for the right reasons with the right expectations. Bond with her, love her, that is what she needs the most to grow into a happy individual. Express your love with the gentle strokes of maalish, deepen the parent – child bond while you help her grow faster.


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