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Touch and massage can really help you bond with your baby, along with several other important developmental benefits. 

Touch: Our First Language

Scientists are now beginning to understand that in many ways, touch is our first language. Gentle and loving touch can help small babies grow stronger and feel less anxiety. Infants who are touched display more eye contact, smiles and vocalizations. In many hospitals and birth centres, newborns are placed on the mother's chest or abdomen to give them as much skin-to-skin contact as possible. The touch between you and your baby brings you emotionally close – a process known as bonding or attachment.

Benefits of Baby Massage

Massage is a wonderful way to help strengthen your bond. This is the key to a child’s development, as many researchers and clinicians feel that a positive maternal child bond helps to form the basis for future relationships.

In addition to helping you and your baby bond, regular massage may:

  • Soothe baby and reduce crying
  • Aid digestion and help relieve gas and constipation
  • Help baby sleep more deeply and longer
  • Help calm and relax both parent and baby
  • Boost parents’ confidence in handling baby

NOTE: Don't massage your baby if they're sick or have just been immunised — the area of the injection may still be sore.

Tips for Massaging Baby
Tip 1Choose a time when your baby is awake and alert, not too hungry or too full
Tip 2Ensure the room is warm and lighting not too bright
Tip 3Have what you need ready: oil, towel, clean nappies and clothes
Tip 4Wash your hands and remove jewellery
Tip 5Use a safe and comfortable place to do the massage and position your baby so that they can see your face clearly
Tip 6Before starting, take time to relax with a few full breaths — this can help your baby relax too
Tip 7Babies are different, changing all the time. For instance, young babies may feel more secure if most of their clothes are left on and they feel close to their parent’s body

Use an oil specifically developed for babies, like JOHNSON’S® baby oil. Be careful of nut based oils in case of allergies.

Through massage, you can gain increased awareness of how your baby communicates. You'll learn to read their likes, dislikes, desires and emotions. You'll learn the best time for cuddling, playing and relaxing. And your relationship will grow as you and your baby will discover what is best for you both.

Baby Massage Guide

Learn how best to massage your baby as they grow

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